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Oswayo Valley Outlasts Serra Catholic in Five Sets to Advance to PIAA 1A Second Round

Oswayo Valley beat Serra Catholic to advance to the PIAA Quarterfinals.

SHINGLEHOUSE, Pa. – Not content with one piece of history, Oswayo Valley made some more on Tuesday.

Also see: Maplewood tops ECC; D9/10 Roundup from Nov. 8

Fresh off their first District 9 title in program history, the Green Wave captured their first-ever PIAA win, knocking off WPIAL runner-up Serra Catholic in a wild affair, 3-2 (26-24, 25-12, 22-25, 15-25, 15-13).

“It feels amazing,” said Oswayo Valley’s Praylan Perkins. “We’ve never come this far and it’s just a great night.”

           

See Perkins’ full interview:

Serra Catholic had all the momentum after rallying from a 2-0 deficit, but the Green Wave (23-0) gathered themselves, jumping out to an 11-4 lead after kills from Avaree Kellert and Makenna Manning.

The Eagles (18-3) battled back, getting within 14-13 before Olivia Cook slammed home the last of her 23 kills to send the Green Wave to the quarterfinals.

“Going into the fifth set, I think we wanted it so bad,” Kellert said. “For the seniors, we didn’t want this to be our last game. This is the farthest OV has ever gone. We said this is a home game, we need to do it. We need to do this and we need to keep pushing.”

See Kellert’s full interview:

OV coach Ken Kellert was proud of the way his team responded.

“I told them if you want it you have to come together,” coach Kellert said. “I told them they have to play and they all knew it. Give them (Serra Catholic) credit. They were digging everything and we weren’t digging.”

The late-match dramatics didn’t look like they were going to be necessary early on.

Oswayo Valley led nearly the entirety of the first set, thanks to the strong offensive play of Cook, Kellert (21 kills, 27 digs, 3 blocks) and Trinity Lundy (48 set assists, 9 digs).

           

Twice Serra Catholic tied the set at 16-16 and 19-19 before taking its first lead, 24-23 on a kill by Maria Goldstein.

OV called time out and promptly went on a 3-0 run to close the set after Serra was unable to handle a serve from Manning.

That momentum carried over into the second set, which was dominated by OV. An ace from Kellert and back-to-back kills by Cook had the Green Wave out in front 10-1. They never looked back, sending the sellout crowd into a frenzy.

“I think the crowd helped them a lot,” coach Kellert said. “It’s the most people we’ve had in the stands for a match. I think they said we sold 375 tickets. That’s quite a few people in a small town – and area. We had Coudersport and other areas come out and support us, too.”

Serra jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the third set after a kill from Sarah Glaneman, prompting an OV timeout. The Eagles led through, taking a 24-18 lead before OV almost pulled off a big rally, going on a 4-0 run, cutting the margin to 24-22 after an Eagles’ hitting error.

But Serra closed out the third to extend the match and then dominated the fourth set, much like OV did in the second.

“We’re up and I think they just relaxed a little bit,” coach Kellert said. “They (Serra) got some momentum, then some mistakes happen on our side. We can’t do that against teams of this caliber. You’re now at a level where little mistakes win or lose a game.”

Oswayo Valley’s Olivia Cook.

In addition to Lundy, Cook, and Kellert, Perkins finished with 25 digs, four kills, and one block.

As they continue to make history, the Green Wave aren’t content to see their run end any time soon.

They have a date with District 5 champion Conemaugh Valley, which beat Bishop Canevin (7-3), 25-14, 25-12, 25-18, in the quarterfinals on Saturday (site, time to be determined).

“More history,” coach Kellert said. “It’s pretty amazing.”

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