After a fairly easy 25-19 game one win, CC (26-2) started to show signs of a team that had not been on the final four stage before Thursday night. With Central Catholic up 9-6, Roger Bacon scored seven straight points to spark a 13-3 run to lead to a game two victory to even the match.
“A very talented Roger Bacon team made a run in the second game and we didn’t handle it very well,” said Central Catholic head coach Dave Franklin. “After game two, I thought we settled down and reminded one another that we have been down before and found a way to come back.”
Central Catholic responded in a pivotal third game grabbing momentum that would prove to be the difference in the last half of the match. Down three at 12-9, CC scored seven straight points behind the serving of Alexis Diglio and the hitting of JoJo Krieg and Lauren Thomas. This run put the T-Birds in control to stay as Central Catholic’s Kacy Querry blocked an Alli Wilson kill attempt to complete the game three win giving CC the two games to one advantage.
“It is a great experience to play at this level,” said Krieg who recorded 17 kills and 11 digs in the semifinal win. “As a small school it is neat how the entire school and the entire town has really gotten behind us and made this an experience of a lifetime.”
In game four the Spartans of Roger Bacon responded the way a program with its proud tradition is expected to react. Battling Central Catholic on every volley, the Lady Spartans earned a 21-20 lead in hopes of forcing a game five; however, this time it was CC that responded as the T-Birds won four of the next five points thanks to two kills and a block from Danielle Taflinger.
Down 24-22, Roger Bacon survived the first match point with a Katelyn Schawe to Chelsea Hoffman kill, but Central Catholic won the pursuing point with a Diglio to Rachel Illig kill to secure the three sets to one win. Illig, a junior, finished with 16 kills.
“We just never stopped competing,” said Coach Franklin when asked his opinion on the difference in the match. “No matter what these kids face, they always continue to play hard and they always believe they can win. Game four was a dogfight and the kids just kept playing one point at a time. We found a way to make some plays down the stretch to get the job done.”
Head coach Caryl Schawe’s Roger Bacon team finishes the season at 19-9. The Spartans were led by Wilson and Hoffman with 14 and 13 kills, respectively. Schawe dished out 39 assists while Chelsea Sprong had nine kills and 10 digs. Vickie Pumpple played well in the back row for the Spartans recording 19 digs.
Central Catholic’s Diglio dished out 46 assists.