MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Clarion Area captured the state title in dominant fashion, overcoming early mistakes to cruise to a 25-16, 25-14, 25-15 win over Marian Catholic to win the PIAA Class A Championship.
(Photos by Kirkland Photography.)
Korrin Burns led the way with 19 kills, while Erica Selfridge had 18 kills. Aryana Girvan was clutch for the Bobcats, using her solid service game to jumpstart rallies and secure key points. Brenna Campbell had another characteristically strong performance organizing the offense.
Clarion had a poor opening to the match, making seven early errors to quickly fall behind 8-2. Fortunately for the Bobcats, they swiftly cleaned up their play, going on an 8-2 run of their own to equal the score at 10 apiece. The efficient hitting of Selfridge and strong service game of Girvan was key in the comeback, which pulled Clarion right back into the set.
Selfridge powered the Bobcats on to victory in the opening set, tallying nine kills and two aces to grow Clarion’s lead to 23-15, regaining momentum and control over the set. A kill by Burns put the Bobcats on the brink, before a Simko ace secured the first set for Clarion, winning 25-16.
The beginning of the second set was sloppy, with both teams making both hitting and service errors. With Marian Catholic holding a 7-6 lead, Clarion went on another big run, scoring six of the next seven points to pull ahead 13-7. Clarion was able to put tremendous pressure on Marian Catholic, using strong serves and a firm backrow attack to push their lead to 20-13. Burns and Selfridge bossed the rest of the set, securing two kills and an ace to win the final three points of the set, winning 25-14. Girvan was also key in the second set win, continuing to provide solid serves while chipping in with kills.
Up two sets to none, Clarion surged ahead early in the third set, using the strong service of Burns to pull ahead 4-1. A mini-run by Marian Catholic thrust the Fillies back into the game, equaling the Bobcats at 8-8. Just as in the first two sets, Clarion found their groove midway through the third set, taking advantage of Marian Catholic errors and more strong serving to pull ahead 21-14.
Needing four points to secure the state title, Clarion’s big hitters delivered, with Burns and Selfridge scoring the last four points to win the title. A strong kill by Burns secured the championship point, a fitting end to Clarion’s dominant season.
The championship is Clarion’s second state title, having won their first title in 2012. Clarion concludes the season with a 24-0 record, having lost only one set all season. The Bobcats swept their way through the playoffs en route to the state crown.