RADNOR, PA – The Archbishop Carroll Patriots’ volleyball team has an opportunity to reclaim the Philadelphia Catholic League trophy. A 3-0 shutout of the Lansdale Catholic Crusaders in the semifinal round of the PCL playoffs Wednesday, October 25, sealed the Patriots’ place in the title match.
Controlling the ball and playing solid did it for Carroll (18-2) in this crucial game. The team emerged victorious by scores of 25-7, 25-16 and 25-7.
“We played really clean,” said Carroll’s Morgan Silks, who was named 2017 MVP of the Catholic League. “We just had to play our game.”
Silks led the way on defense along with teammate and senior co-captain Gina Custer. They finished with ten digs apiece. Audrey Jones prevailed offensively with 22 kills and proved to be especially tough for Lansdale Catholic (12-9).
2017 PCL MVP Morgan Silks prepares to serve - PSD Photo
“She [Silks] is a great hitter,” said Lansdale Catholic head coach Katrina Koffel. “It was hard to figure out how to dig with her.”
This outcome earned a Carroll a championship game date with the Archbishop Wood Vikings that defeated the Cardinal O’Hara Lions in the other semifinal contest.
Carroll had a strong lead throughout the first round but Lansdale Catholic gradually settled down and fought its way back in to the competition. Jamie Marks helped the Crusaders get past Jones and they were on top early in Game 2.
“It was a little bit of nerves,” said Koffel. “Serving was strong. Hitters started to hit. Jamie started to block Jones.”
Although the Crusaders were fighting, the Patriots did not get the least bit discouraged by the tight margin. They came back and got through the rest of the match. In Game 3, Lansdale Catholic desperately wanted to keep it alive but Carroll did everything it had to right then and there to move on to the finals.
In addition to Custer, Silks and Jones; Paige Monastero (12 kills, seven digs) and Meghan McCann (six digs, three kills) made a genuine contribution.
“Serves are just excellent,” said Archbishop Carroll head coach Brian McCann. “Paige and Audrey are pretty much unstoppable. They just know where the ball is and hit away.”
Archbishop Carroll will play Archbishop Wood in the PCL final on Sunday evening at Neumann University - PSD Photo
Leading Lansdale Catholic were Maile Erwin (15 digs), Dana Senour (nine digs) as well as Regan Quigley (four kills). Although this loss was a disappointment for the Crusaders, they have come a long way as a young team with many underclassmen.
“Carroll is an amazing team,” said Koffel. “We’re young. There is a lot of room to grow. I’m excited to see what next year brings.”
Carroll and Wood are set to face each other in the finals Sunday at 6:00 p.m. at Neumann University. The Patriots are looking for their second straight title and hope to remain undefeated in the Philadelphia Catholic League this season.
“I think we have a really good chance of succeeding,” said Silks. “We have a really good group of girls.”