BY JAKE OSWALT
The Bishop Carroll girls’ volleyball team knew from the previous two years how hard it was to win at Penn Cambria.
The Lady Huskies put their experience to good use on Tuesday, sweeping Penn Cambria in straight sets 25-4,
25-15, 25-16 to remain undefeated at
9-0, 7-0 in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference, and handing the Lady Panthers their first loss of the season.
“This is the first time we’ve won in this gym, every other time we played here with this group we’ve gone five games and lost,” Bishop Carroll head coach Joe Skura said. “The last two years it’s been 17-15 and 15-13. We have a lot of respect for Penn Cambria, we know they’re going to give us a strong fight. There’s a rivalry between us but it’s a good, fun, clean rivalry. The place was packed and I think they responded to a full gym. They weren’t going to let anything come between them and the win tonight. I just think our girls did not want to back down.”
The Lady Huskies jumped out to a 12-2 lead and cruised to a 25-4 first set win. Senior Sarah Gomish had seven service points and five kills in the set.
Bishop Carroll’s fast start set the tone for the rest of the night.
“Bishop Carroll’s a really good team,” Penn Cambria head coach Leah Montgomery said. “We had so many unforced errors, we were tight, there was no confidence there at all. I could tell whenever they went out for the first game that they already looked like they lost the match and you just can’t go out like that, I mean they’re a really good team.”
Penn Cambria (7-1, 6-1 LHAC) played two freshmen and three sophomores. Nerves and experience were a factor at the start of the match.
“I mean the girls’ hands were shaking before they went out, they said they were nervous all day at school and you just can’t do that,” Montgomery said. “Not only were they getting points, we were giving them points on stupid unforced errors. You can’t give them free balls, they’re going to kill it, which they did.”
The second set featured four ties before Carroll took control with a 14-5 run before winning 25-15. Hayley Holsberger had five of her 13 kills in the set. Gomish added seven more service points and ended with a game-high 23 service points.
The third set had three ties before the Lady Huskies went on to win, 25-16, scoring the last five points. Gomish finished strong with eight of her game-high 17 kills in the final set.
Lady Huskie Janelle Gueguen finished with 33 assists. Ellie Yahner added five kills, seven digs, and 14 service points.
The Lady Huskies were well prepared for the Lady Panthers’ attack.
“That was our goal at practice yesterday, focus and be prepared for anything that can happen on that court, tips to hard swings,” Skura said. “Their hitters are strong. We know them pretty well so I think they worked hard to prepare to play Penn Cambria. I’m proud that we were able to come here and get a win tonight.”
Bishop Carroll is pleased to stay undefeated against a quality team in its own section.
“We say all the time, success breeds success,” Skura said. “To be able to stay undefeated tonight means a lot to all of us, that was our goal coming in tonight and they were also undefeated tonight too, so we knew it was going to be a dogfight, I would like to say as a coach it speaks volumes to what our girls have worked for. They have worked to do this this year and they don’t want anything to stop them and a credit to Penn Cambria, because you’re never, ever guaranteed a win against Penn Cambria.”