Crusaders fall to Clarion

CLARION – The Clarion Area Lady Bobcat volleyball team eliminated the Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders from the District 9-A volleyball tournament Thursday night in a match played at the Clarion Area High School.Clarion won the first set 25-21, took the second set 25-13 and the third set 25-19.“We played well at times in the first and third sets,” said ECCHS coach Diane Gies. “We’re an inexperienced team playing well at this time of the year against a ranked opponent.“We went out fighting. We’ve come a long way this season, peaking at the right time. It is a testament to the leadership shown by the seniors. The three seniors have meant a lot to this program.”Playing in their final match for Elk Catholic were Helen Danz, Taylor Schlimm and Lexie Meholic.In the first, set Elk got the serve with the score tied at 1-1. With Danz serving, the Lady Crusaders went up 5-1. Meholic had a kill during the run. Clarion battled back to tie the set at 10-10. With Kate Fillman serving, the Bobcats moved out to a 13-10 lead. The Lady Crusaders got the serve back trailing 14-12. With Danz serving, Elk took a 15-14 lead on a Danz ace. The set then went back and forth for several points as Clarion took a 22-20 lead. Elk cut it to 22-21, with Clarion going out to a 24-21 lead. Clarion would win the set 25-21.The second set was back and forth early, with Clarion taking a 7-5 advantage. They would gradually increase their lead to six, 16-10, before Meholic gave Elk the serve back on a kill, 16-11. Clarion got the serve right back. With Rebekah Nesbitt serving, the Lady Bobcats opened a 21-11 lead. Clarion would go on to win the set 25-13.The third set was again a back-and-forth affair. With the score tied at 13, Clarion went on a 4-0 run to take a 17-13 lead. The Lady Crusaders got the serve back trailing 19-15. A block by Meholic and Jessie Ginther made the score 19-16. Meholic recorded two kills to make it 19-18 before Clarion got the serve back. A kill by Anna VanEerden gave the serve back to ECC trailing 21-19. The Lady Bobcats would go on to win the set 25-19, giving them a 3-0 match victory.Elk Catholic was led by Lexie Meholic with nine kills, while Jessie Ginther recorded four. Hayley DaCanal led Elk with four service points and Helen Danz had three.The Lady Crusaders finished the season with a 12-4 record.Clarion will now join Port Allegany, Ridgway and AC Valley at the District 9-A final four Saturday at St. Marys Area High School. Port Allegany is the top seed, Clarion second, AC Valley third and Ridgway fourth.The schedule for Saturday at SMAHS is as follows:9:15 a.m. - Clarion vs. AC Valley10:30 a.m. - Port Allegany vs. Ridgway11:30 a.m. - Clarion vs. Ridgway12:30 p.m. - Port Allegany vs. AC Valley1:30 p.m. - AC Valley vs. Ridgway2:30 p.m. - Port Allegany vs. ClarionThe top two teams in Class A advance to the PIAA tournament, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Nov. 8.