Bishop Carroll couldn’t quite complete its championship dream on Saturday.
The underdog Huskies (15-6), seeded fifth and making their first-ever appearance in the title game, fell in straight sets to No. 2 Penns Manor 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 in the Class A final.
“This team had a lot of heart to get here,” said Bishop Carroll coach Joe Skura, whose team will play District 5 champ North Star on Tuesday at Somerset High School in the PIAA playoffs. “They wanted this more than anything. I’m honestly still the proudest coach in the world that we got here. We all feel a little bit that we didn’t finish the job at the end. To play a team like Penns Manor, I thought we were right with them, but we made too many unforced errors. The swept us. They are a great team and a great program. We played a little timid. I think my team was a little bit intimidated by what Penns Manor had to bring in. It showed a lot about the seedings. Single-A volleyball in District 6 is absolutely tremendous.”
The Comets’ senior outside hitters Jen Knezovich and Meghan Jarvie gave the Huskies trouble.
“We didn’t get many blocks on their outside hitters,” Skura said. “Our coverage in the back, we were a little off. They were getting into the heads of my passers. We moved one way and they went the other way. They were able to read the holes in the court very well. They played well all around. When we had them down, they came back and flipped it around fairly quickly.”
Penns Manor coach Erika Talmadge said her team set its goals at the start of the year.
“Our goals were to win the conference and then districts and then some,” the Comets coach said. “To come through today and actually make those goals a reality just feels the best.
“We have some great competitors at the net and I thought they really made the difference.”
The Huskies led most of the first game before the Comets tied the game at 13 and Penns Manor finished on a 12-5 run.
In the second game, the Indiana County squad never trailed, rolling to the win.
Bishop Carroll started strong in the third game, but again the Comets came roaring back. After a tie at 16, Penns Manor never looked back.
Junior Sarah Gomish finished with 17 kills for the Huskies while freshman Ellie Yahner added 15.
“Our goal was to get through the Bellwood match and get here (to the championship) and everything from there was sugar on top,” said Skura, whose team knocked off the top-seeded Blue Devils 3-1 in the semifinals. “These girls have worked hard. I wanted more than anything for them to get that medal around their neck, but I feel that it will give them more to be hungry for next year.”