Saturday, July 20, 2024

Trinity Volleyball Kills it into State Finals

In no way is it a surprise that Trinity has marched through the top-half of the PIAA Class 2A girls’ volleyball playoff bracket to the state final to be played at Cumberland Valley High School on Saturday, November 18, when they will face a familiar foe, the Mountaineers of Philipsburg-Osceola, who have also had great success at the state level in recent years.

The Shamrocks are loaded with senior experience. Having tasted defeat last year after not making it into the PIAA state playoffs due to a crushing loss to York Catholic in districts only seems to have fueled a ’Rocks’ deep hunger to win it all. It’s fair to say Trinity (25-0) has been focused all autumn on playing the third Saturday in November in the state championship game, just miles from their homes. It’s a place where they won the school’s first ever volleyball championship in 2020 during the pandemic and this year’s march to the final has seen the ’Rocks roll to a 75-1 set record, having dropped their lone set loss in the state quarterfinals against Holy Redeemer. That is a remarkable stat.

In the state semifinals played in rural Fulton County at McConnellsburg High School’s bandbox of a gym loaded with spectators, Trinity faced District 6 Forest Hills. The Rangers were the second seed out of District 6, having lost to Philipsburg-Osceola in the district final. Trinity, with superior serving and net size presence, wore down a very good Forest Hills team who just could not match the ’Rocks’ hitting prowess. They were led by senior hitter Sammi McAuliffe and senior setter Jess Minnick, whose hitting and serving respectively were the difference in winning 25-22, 25-16, 25-17. In each set, the Rangers did have leads and at times led by as many has four; however, it seems when Trinity faces a deficit they rally with pounding top-spin serves and a multiple point hitting game that does not give opponents a chance to set up double blocks. In the end, the Rangers passed and set well, but never could offensively attack and kill with Trinity. That Trinity had nearly twice the number of kills in the match tells the story of this victory.

The Mountaineers, who they will face on Saturday, are also unbeaten (25-0). With this finals appearance, Trinity will have played in three of the last four championship games.

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness

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