ALLPORT — There were no tricks, only treats on Thursday night for the fans that showed up to watch the District 6 Class A semifinal between second-seeded West Branch and third-seeded Bishop Carroll.
The teams duked it out for five sets, with the Lady Huskies coming out on top 22-25, 27-25, 27-25, 20-25 and 15-11.
“If you paid five bucks to see that match, you got your money’s worth,” said West Branch head coach Terry Trude. “The key for us is that we knew we would be 26-24, 25-23 every set with them. We were up the second and third games 24-21 I think and Bishop Caroll got the last points.
“The girls battled tonight. There is nothing negative to say. They served well. We missed five serves out of over 100. We had a ton of kills and Morgan (Glace) set the ball tremendously.”
Bishop Carroll head coach Katie Wyland agreed.
“That was one heck of a match,” she said. “ I am so proud of them. They are a young team, so to get these two playoff wins under their belt, I think it will help them out a lot in the future.”
The two teams dueled for much of the match, with several long rallies.
West Branch took the first game after a big service run by Emma Morlock to put them up 19-14.
The Lady Warriors went on to win that game 25-22.
Bishop Carroll took the next two sets, despite West Branch having game point in both of the 27-25 losses.
The Lady Huskies were led by senior hitter Mara Yahner, who finished the night with 29 kills and three blocks.
“Yahner is such a good player,” Trude said. “We tried not to get serving errors when she was in the back row so we could keep her there. She was key for them.”
Still the Lady Warriors were able to force a fifth set after taking the fourth game 25-20.
Corrin Evans had a four-point run that was vital to West Branch pulling out in front, while Taylor Myers, Taylor Kalke and Morlock combined for 10 kills.
West Branch won the toss for the fifth set and elected to serve first.
Bishop Carroll got a sideout on a Yahner kill to go up 1-0, before going up 5-2 off the strength of four more Yahner kills.
The senior hitter finished the fifth set with 10 kills, as the Lady Huskies went on to win 15-11.
“She’s been to our go-to girl all year,” Wyland said. “She has come leaps and bounds since her freshmen year. She is fantastic. She has really developed into a leader and she wants the ball every time.
“And we might as well give it to her, because she is putting the ball away and being smart with it.”
Trude was pleased with the way his girls played, despite the hard loss.
“Our girls played well,” he said. “That was a high-level game. We won 31 games this year. We won another ICC title and we won the Elk County Tournament. I am so proud of these girls.
“It was two quality teams battling. They (BC) are ranked fifth in the state and Northern Cambria is first. I think we should be top 10 too, because we are certainly a top 10 team.”
It was the final game for Kalke and Rachel Yingling, who was out with an injury.
“Taylor and Rachel were our lone seniors and they gave such great leadership,” said Trude. “They were four-time ICC champs.”
Myers led the Lady Warriors with 15 kills, 10 service points and 10 blocks. Glace added 53 assists and eight service points, while Kalke had 12 kills, 11 service points and three blocks.
Morlock tallied 10 kills and nine service points, while Meghan Cantolina netted nine kills and five service points. Evans tallied eight service points and five kills.
For Bishop Carroll, Eleanor Long had 13 kills and a block.
Emma Becquet had 15 service points, while Mia Wyland had nine. Setter Sara Muriceak tallied 56 assists.
“We talk to our setter a lot,” said Coach Wyland. “Just knowing who is on and who is having a rough night. I told the girls they are going to be on 100 percent every night, so I said to our setter you have to figure out who is on that night and keep setting them.
“She is doing a very good job for us too.”
Bishop Carroll improved to 16-5 overall. The Lady Huskies will play top-seeded Northern Cambria on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Class A title game.
West Branch finished the season at 31-5.