Volleyball Team Captures Gold At York (11/18/12)

After the grueling, five set victory over Greensburg Central Catholic in the Western Final, earlier in the week, The Lady Cats Volleyball Team could use a bit of a breather. They got just that, in the State Class A Championship Match at Central York High School, on Saturday.

With hardly enough time to work up a sweat, the Girls won the State Championship over Eastern Champ Williamson, in three straight games, that took roughly three quarters of an hour.

Williamson jumped out to a 1-0 lead in Game 1, their last lead of the game. With the Cats up 4 -2 and great play by Clarion the lead moved to 7-2 with 3 straight service points. Shortly thereafter, with an 8-3 lead and Ellie Burns serving, same thing 3 straight service points 11-3. Several more spurts and the game was over with the Girls winning 25-14.

Again, in the second game Williamson jumped out to the early lead, this time 2-0. The Lady Cats came back to lead 4-3, then after several lead changes the Lady Warriors led 12-11. This would be their last lead in the game and the match. They did tie it up at 13 all, though, but could manage only one more point, as the Cats coasted the rest of the game.

With Morgan Bailey serving, the team scored 7 straight while on offense and it was 21-13. One point by Williamson, then 4 straight by the Cats, three with Ellie serving and Game 2 was in the books, by the same 25-14 score.

Game 3 saw the Lady Cats jump out to a 3-0 lead, and they never looked back. With Matti, the high scorer in the match with 19 points, serving the Girls reeled of six straight offensive points – score now 10-2. Later on seven straight offensive points with Gretchen Vandermeer behind the line and it was 18-8.

Finally, with the score 21-9, Bekah Nesbitt serving, and just like the Western Final, several days earlier, the opponent never got to serve again. At 24-9, Kyla Miles ended the game, sending the ball over the net from her position up front. The Willamson girls tried valiantly, as they had all match, but just like it was all match, they didn’t have an answer to the Bobcats game up front. The Lady Cats won the final game 25-9.

Bekah can always remember she served the last point in the State Championship (as well as the Western Championship) and Kyla will always remember that she put the final exclamation point on this great season.

But this was not a game about individuals. This was not a season about individuals. This was a group of girls, coaches, support staff and parents that epitomized the term TEAM. Great passing, serving, hitting, digging and on and on and on, this team is One Well Oiled Machine! The conditioning, the travel ball, the tournaments with ranked schools, two and three times their size or more, the determination, the refusal not to be denied, some of them playing together for years. The coaches, the support staff, the parents.

Like the old Smith Barney commercials. The Lady Cats Volleyball Team won The 2012 State Championship the old fashioned way – THEY EARNED IT!

Individual Stats:
Matti Thornton – 19 points, one an ace, 10 digs; Morgan Bailey – 16 points, 2 aces,9 kills, nine digs; Bekah Nesbitt – 12 points, 2 digs; Ellie Burns – 11 points, one an ace 19 digs, one kill; Gretchen Vandermeer – 27 assists, 9 points, 1 an ace, 1 kill, four digs; Kate Fillman – 7 points, 7 kills, eight digs; Kyla Miles 9 kills, one assist; Hannah Wolfe – three kills.

The Lady Cats finished the season with a 43-6 overall record, 22-0 in dual matches. They were 23-0 in Dual Matches. This was the team’s 3rd straight Title Game appearance and their 7th straight post season trip to York. The 2012 Lady Cats are the first ever D9 State Champion in Volleyball. They are only the 4th State Team Champion, in any sport from Clarion Area High School joining the 2000 and 2001 Boys Track Team and the 2003 Barbell Club which won the USAPL State Championship. This season the Girls defeated AA State Champion Fort LeBoeuf and AAA runner-up Parkland.

Seven Seniors are going out in style: Ellie, Kate, Dereka, Hannah, Gretchen, Morgan and Matti. Congratulations to these young ladies on a great career and to them and the rest of their Lady Cat Spikers on a great season.