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Epic Second-Set Rally Lifts Clarion Past DuBois in Showdown of Top D9 Volleyball Teams

Adia Needham had six kills for Clarion in the win over DuBois Monday. Photo by Nathan Girvan

DUBOIS, Pa. – A matchup of the top two volleyball programs in District 9 didn’t disappoint Monday night, as Clarion used an epic second-set rally to top DuBois, 3-0 (25-20, 27-25, 25-23) in DuBois.

Also see: Oct. 11 volleyball recaps

Rewatch the match

While the match was a sweep for the Lady Cats, the top-ranked Class 1A team in the state by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, it was really either team’s match to have.

The second set proved to be the turning point for both teams.

After Clarion had held on to win the first set by five – the Lady Cats led 19-12 before DuBois cut the lead to 22-19, the Lady Beavers looked in complete control of the second set following an Emma Delp kill that made the score 21-13 in favor of the home squad.

But Clarion got control of the serve and went on a 7-2 run to get back within three, 23-20, thanks to a pair of Aryana Girvan kills an ace by Korrin Burns.

DuBois, though, seemed to be in pretty good shape when it got the score to 24-21 with three set points ahead of it.

Clarion would have nothing to do with that scoring the next four points to take a 25-24 lead and set up set point for the Lady Cats.

A kill by Adia Needhman made it 24-22 followed by a Burns kill that made it 24-23. Girvan then tied the set at 24 with a kill, and Burns recorded another kill to put Clarion ahead by one.

Bella Gregory fought off the set point with a kill of her own to make it 25-all, but Burns recorded two more kills to give Clarion the second set and a 2-0 lead.

“We wanted to make sure we were playing clean,” Burns said. “We wanted to make all of our serves. We made a lot of errors. At that point (being down 21-13), we just wanted to not be so aggressive (with the serve) and just be smarter.”

Burns was correct. Clarion did make a lot of errors. The Lady Cats committed six service errors in the second set alone and 17 in the match while also being called for a rotation error in the second set giving DuBois seven of its 25 points on unforced errors.

But Burns also played well enough to help Clarion overcome those mistakes.

The senior, who is headed to D-I St. Francis next season, had another fantastic match with 23 kills, including 11 during the second set. Five of those 11 second-set kills came after the Lady Cats fell behind 17-11.

“Those 23 kills, I had 23 great passes, 23 great sets,” Burns, who hit .514 for the match and added seven digs, two blocks, and an ace, said. “I couldn’t have done it without those.”

While winning the second set was “pretty exciting” according to Burns, it didn’t win the match for Clarion.

DuBois came out strong in the third set and battled forging ties at 18, 22, and 23.

But an Eden Galiczynski service error put Clarion ahead 24-23, and the Lady Cats won the match when Morgan Pasternak couldn’t get to a pass from Galiczynski.

In the first set, Clarion looked easily in control taking a 17-8 lead while still holding a 20-14 advantage.

But DuBois got a pair of kills from Jessica Pfaff to help close the gap to three, 22-19, before a back-row kill by Burns was followed by an ace from Girvan to make it set point.

Delp kept DuBois alive with a kill to make it 24-20, but Pasternak served into the net giving Clarion the 25-20 win.

Girvan, who missed Clarion’s win over A-C Valley last week, added seven kills, seven digs, and two aces.

“It is really nice to have her back,” Burns, who was named the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg Player of the Match, said. “She was out for a little bit. We’ve had really weird lineups for like a couple of weeks. So it is good to be back fully healthy.”

Watch Burns’ full post-game interview.

Needham had six kills and Simko four kills. Noel Anthony ran the offense with 39 set assists while Jordan Best also contributed seven digs.

Gregory and Delp each had nine kills to pace DuBois with Pfaff adding four kills.

Clarion hosts North Clarion Tuesday, while DuBois plays Central Mountain Thursday.

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