Bobcats Down Wolverines In District Nine Class-A Volleyball Matchup

Images by Nate Girvan – Above: Marley Kline

The Clarion Area Bobcats came out of the gate strong, in the opening round of the District Nine Class-A Volleyball playoffs as they downed the visiting Sheffield Wolverines in straight sets (25-18, 25-12, 25-13), on Tuesday (October 25th).

With Bri Pierce serving, to open set one, the Bobcats jumped out to a 5-0 lead. But Sheffield came back to tie the match at 17-all.

But Clarion regained serve and Bri Pierce put up six service points to move the Bobcats to set point at 24-17 and with a service break by both teams, set one was in the books winning 25-18.

The second and third sets saw Clarion lead from wire-to-wire.

Set two opened Aryana Girvan registering a kill on the Wolverine’s serve, followed by three straight points, including two aces, by Adia Needham to give Clarion a 3-0 lead. And later, Girvan broke Sheffield’s serve, with a kill to move Clarion to a 7-2 lead. She then stepped to the line for four service points. the first with Needham getting the kill, to increase the lead to 11-2.

Clarion was up 18-11 and went on a 7-1 run to finish out the set, with Grace Ochs serving for three points, then both teams exchanging service, followed by two points, the last one an ace, by Anna O’Toole.

Grace Ochs

The third set saw the Bobcats with a 7-1 lead, after five straight service points by Ochs. Later after several service points by Natalie Durish, Clarion led 18-10. The set ended with Girvan delivering an ace followed by another point, with Ali Burford getting the kill.

This was a great team effort by the Bobcats, attested to by their game stats.

Ochs had 11 points, 30 assists, 5 digs and a block. Girvan delivered on 16 kills, 7 points (2 aces), 8 digs and a block. Pierce’s numbers included 10 points (4 aces) and thirteen digs. Needham contributed 10 points (2 aces), 7 kills, 2 digs and a block. Durish added 4 points and nine digs.

Taylor Alston had 4 kills, 3 points (2 aces), a block and three digs. Marley Kline accounted for 4 kills and three blocks. Anna O’Toole recorded 2 points (1 ace) Sophia Babington had 4 digs and a kill. Burford had a kill.

Coach Shari Campbell shared her thoughts after the match.

It’s really great to get our first playoff win under our belt.

We were missing Hadlee Campbell, but I really thought that Natalie Durish and Sophie Babington stepped up tonight and played really well. I also thought Marley Kline stepped in. She had four kills tonight and like three blocks for the team. I think it was really great to see those underclassmen step in to that role.

Adia Needham played really well tonight for us. She’s not a hundred percent right now. So to see her give one of her best matches is really great; to see that focus for her. I thought Bri Pierce played some great defense for us and kind of led the serve-receive. I thought once Aryana settled (in), she got some control. You saw her kind of play a complete game. So that’s good.

We’ll just keep working on getting better.

(Ali Burford), is coming off a hip injury. She had a fracture. She’s a really smart volleyball player. She knows the game really well. She knows what she is doing. So it’s good to see her start to be one hundred percent.

The Bobcats will travel to Otto-Eldred for a quarterfinal encounter, tomorrow (Thursday, October 27). The match is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

(Keep up the great work, Cats!!!! Thanks to Nate Girvan for his pics!!)