DuBOIS — The path through the opening round of the Class A PIAA playoffs might not have been an easy one, but for the Clarion High School volleyball team, it did its best to make it as familiar as possible.
The Lady Bobcats’ trio of seniors Hailey Sintobin and Dorothy Kalinowski along with freshman Korrin Burns pulled off another strong performance at the net, as they did against Ridgway in the district finals, to post a straight-set, 25-20, 25-19, 25-17, sweep over Cambridge Springs in the PIAA opener Tuesday.
Clarion will now move on to play either Bishop Canevin or Northern Cambria in the quarterfinal round Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Sintobin and Kalinowski led the way from the middle with nine kills apiece while Burns added eight from the outside.
As a team, Clarion had double-digit kills in all three sets, outgunning the Lady Blue Devils, 32-23 overall.
Still, rarely did either team manage to sustain a big run at the service line in the contest.
In fact, Clarion had the largest run of the match in the opening set as junior Kaitlyn Constantino rolled off a string of six points early.
Constantino was also the Lady Bobcats’ most proficient player at the line, finishing with 13 service points in the match.
Cambridge Springs also had its longest service run of the match in the opener as well with junior Brooke Myers picking up four-straight to keep the Lady Blue Devils close.
Clarion actually looked like it was on its way to a run-away victory in the opener following Constantino’s string of six points which opened up an 11-3 lead for the Lady Bobcats.
However, Cambridge Springs rallied following a timeout and eventually tied the set at 18-18 on a side out by Clarion.
The set stayed within two points until a kill by Kalinowski gave Clarion the serve at 22-20 and sophomore Brenna Campbell came up with the final three service points to give the Lady Bobcats the victory.
The second set was nearly a mirror-image of the first with Clarion grabbing an early six-point advantate before the Lady Blue Devils rallied to tie things at 14-14.
Things stayed close as the set was tied twice more before Clarion was able to take a two-point advantage, then pick up the final four points to take the second set as well.
The final set saw Cambridge Springs jump out to an early lead before Clarion rallied to knot things up for the first of nine ties in the set.
The final tie came off a side out to make it a 14-14 game and give Clarion the serve.
Constantino then picked up four-straight points to give the Lady Bobcats an 18-14 lead.
From there, Clarion asserted itself at the net, scoring kills on five of the final seven points to wrap things up, 25-17.