DuBOIS, Pa. – It’s the newbie vs. the veterans in the PIAA Class 1A volleyball semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at DuBois High School.
Coudersport (20-2), the District 9 champion, is making its first appearance in the state semifinals, while WPIAL champion Greensburg Central Catholic (27-1) won the PIAA title in 2014 before falling in the quarterfinals last year.
The Lady Falcons are a bit of surprise to be at this point. They lost twice in NTL play to Otto-Eldred and had to beat the Lady Terrors on the road in the as the fifth seeded in the District 9 quarterfinals just to reach semifinal/championship Saturday. They did that then knocked off two higher seed (top-seeded Elk County Catholic in the semifinals and third-seeded A-C Valley in the title match) to win the D9 title, their first since 2003.
The PIAA road has included a pair of 3-1 wins at DuBois High School with Coudy topping Fort Cherry 25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14 last Tuesday before knocking off Bishop Guilfoyle 25-13, 25-22, 23-25, 25-13 Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Greensburg Central Catholic breezed to the WPIAL Championship losing just one set, in the semifinals to Fort Cherry, along the way and then had an easy 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-22) win over ECC, the third-place team out of D9, in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs.
But the Centurions struggled in the quarterfinals falling behind District 10 champion Maplewood 2-0 before rallying for a hard-fought 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 26-24, 25-20, 15-6) victory.
Mikayla Bisignani, a 6-2 senior, leads the way for GCC. She had 30 kills in the quarterfinal win over Maplewood after recording 18 in the first-round win over ECC, 16 in the WPIAL title-match victory over Bishop Canevin and 19 in the semifinal win over Fort Cherry.
GCC is paced by Mikayla Bisignani, a 6-2 senior who had 16 kills in the championship match win over Bishop Canevin after recording 19 in a semifinal victory over Fort Cherry.
Haley Moore runs the offense for the Centurions, who have senior seniors – Moore, Bisignani, Abbie Hutchins, who missed Saturday’s match with an illness, Kennedy Johnston, Christine Cochenour, Brittany Stawovy and Taylor Obusek – who were all on that 2014 title team as sophomores.
Savina Pavlik is an underclassman who plays a key role for GCC as well.
Coudersport is a young team with only four seniors, but all four play key roles.
Ally Easton had 18 kills and nine blocks in the win over Bishop Guilfoyle and 15 kills, four blocks and two aces in the victory over Fort Cherry after recording 21 kills and 10 blocks in the D9 title match vs. ECC.
Kiara Perkins had 27 kills in the D9 title match and then added eight against Fort Cherry and 10 against BG, while Skyler VanWagenen had seven kills and two aces in Saturday’s quarterfinals victory. Macy Gleason also played a key role Saturday with four kills and 28 digs after having 14 kills and four blocks in the D9 title match victory over ECC.
A strong junior class has also played a key role in the Lady Falcons success led by setter Haley Keck, Libero Joplin Osgood (39 digs vs. BG), hitter EmmaRae Easton (7 kills vs. Fort Cherry, 14 kills, 5 blocks vs. ECC) and defensive specialist Ady Page (25 digs vs. BG).
The winner of Tuesday’s match will take on the winner of Tuesday’s other semifinals match between District 11 champion Marian Catholic and District 5 champion Berlin Brothersvalley, which is being played at 5 p.m. at Cumberland Valley High School.
The PIAA Championship match is at 11 a.m. Saturday at Richland High School.