DuBOIS — After Brookville and DuBois Central Catholic went back-and-forth over the first four sets, the Lady Raiders dominated the fifth to secure a five-set victory, 25-13, 18-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-5 and spoil the Senior Night festivities at Frank Varischetti Sports Complex in both side’s regular season finale.
DuBois Central Catholic honored its eight seniors prior to the match as once the action began the early portions of the opening set saw the teams trading points as a kill from DCC senior Maia Cogley trimmed the Lady Raiders advantage to 10-9.
That is when Brookville began to impose its will, as the visitors did not allow the Lady Cardinals to earn a service point from that point on in the match.
Megrah Suhan and Brooke Ganoe each recorded a pair of service points for the Lady Raiders to help stretch the lead to 16-10 as two runs of three later in the set helped Brookville finish things off.
Leah Kammerdiener, who finished with a match-high 21 service points, recorded the first three-point run aided by a pair of blocks from Lauren Hergert, who had a big night at the net.
After the teams traded side outs, Emaa Veneksy rattled off three points in a row from the line started by an ace as Morgan Johnson recorded a kill to cap the run and push the away side’s advantage to 24-12.
After a kill from Jordy Kosko returned the service to DCC’s side, a service fault gave the Lady Raiders a 25-13 victory in the opening set.
“It was a good win to get moving forward towards the playoffs,” Brookville head coach Joyce Reitz said. “We were off our game a little bit tonight, but give DuBois Central a lot of credit, they played hard.”
Brookville then looked to take a commanding lead with a victory in the second set as just like the first set the early going was tightly contested.
However, unlike the first set, this time it was DuBois Central pulling away late in the set to even the match at one set apiece.
The big swing came in the middle of the set behind the play of one of the Lady Cardinals’ eight seniors Hannah Holdren.
After a service point by Brookville’s Morgan Johnson tied the set at 11, Holdren came up with a big block to return the service to the home side of the court as Martina Swalligan took to the line.
Swalligan then secured a pair of service points behind kills from Holdren and one of her own, as Shayleigh Gulvas followed with a run of four-straight service points to help cushion DCC’s lead at 19-12.
Bella Mangiantini, who led the Lady Cardinals at the net, finished off the run with back-to-back blocks, as she recorded eight in the match to go along with a team-high 11 kills.
The Lady Raiders looked to make a run late in the set as they cut the deficit down to 23-18 before a kill from Holdren brought the service back to DCC.
Jordy Kosko then finished things off for the Lady Cardinals on a Jules Stine serve to finish off the 25-18 second-set win and even the match at 1-1.
While the third set was close for the first few points, a huge run at the service line by Kammerdeiner gave Brookville a big lead that it held for the remainder of the set.
After an ace by Gulvas evened the set at three, a side out returned the serve to Brookville as Kammerdiener took the line and rattled off eight points in a row to give her team a 12-3 advantage.
The Lady Raider senior had an ace during the run while Morgan Johnson helped out with a pair of kills and Hergert added a kill.
From that point on, DCC never got within six points, as Brooke Ganoe finished off the 25-17 victory with a block to put the Lady Raiders on the verge of a match victory.
The fourth set was the most tightly contested from start to finish as the Lady Cardinals were able to send the match to an if-necessary fifth set.
While the set was close the entire way, the home side never trailed, as the only tie was at 23 before DCC finished things off with the final two points on a block by Mangiantini followed by a kill from the senior off a Kosko serve.
Swalligan got the set rolling for the Lady Cardinals with four service points n a row on an ace and two kills from Mangiantini, who finished with six kills and four blocks in the fourth set.
Late in the set, a run of four service points from Venesky got Brookville back in it at 22-21, as a kill from Morgan Johnson later tied things up, but DCC was able to hold off the rally and send the match into a fifth set.
A side out opened the fifth set and gave Brookville the serve, as Suhan won four points in a row to give her side a commanding 5-0 lead in the early going.
After a run of four point that included a pair of aces from Ganoe, Kammerdeiner finished off her strong night at the line with four service points as Hergert finished the match off with a kill.
DuBois Central Catholic head coach Ted Fitzer removed his six seniors on the court one by one down the stretch in the fifth set, as each got large ovations from the crowd.
“It was really hard to pull them out because they were playing so hard, I’m kind of at a loss for words because it is an emotional night,” Fitzer said. “I’m glad they took these guys to five sets and it was one of the most exciting games all year for us.”
“If they could play like that against Cameron County, I think we can come out with a win, that’s all I can ask of them.”
Both teams now enter the District 9 playoffs in their respective classes, as 11th-seeded DCC begins play in the opening round of the Class A tournament Thursday on the road against No. 6 Cameron County at 6:30 p.m.
The Lady Raiders, who earned the No. 1 seed in the Class 2A playoffs, their first ever top seed in the D-9 playoffs, will look to begin a run towards a first-ever district title as they host fourth-seeded Moniteau in the semifinals Monday at 6:30 p.m.
“This is their first chance to be the number one seed, they’ve worked hard the past several years and they’ve improved the name of Brookville volleyball,” Reitz said.