The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusader volleyball team captured the 16th annual Elk County Volleyball Tournament championship on Saturday by defeating St. Marys Area in the championship match.
Elk Catholic defeated St. Marys in two games, 25-13 and 25-15.
The Ridgway Lady Elkers took third place by defeating the Johnsonburg Ramettes by a 30-18 score in the consolation match.
In the first matches of pool play, St. Marys and Ridgway split their two sets, with Ridgway winning the first one 27-25 and St. Marys taking the second game 25-22. Elk Catholic swept Johnsonburg, winning by identical 25-16 scores in both games.
The Lady Dutch swept the Ramettes in their second match of the day. St. Marys won 25-18 and 25-14. Elk Catholic swept the Lady Elkers 25-9 and 25-16.
The third match of pool play saw Elk Catholic and St. Marys Area split. The Lady Dutch won the first set 25-19 with the Lady Crusaders taking the second set 25-23. Johnsonburg took two sets from Ridgway by 25-14 and 25-19 scores.
The Lady Crusaders finished pool play with five victories, followed by St. Marys Area with four, Johnsonburg two and Ridgway one.
In the championship match, Elk Catholic took the early 2-1 lead. St. Marys got the serve back after Kristen Anderson got a point off a block. Elk got the serve back as St. Marys hit the ball out of bounds. With Kirstie Wehler serving, EC went up 6-1 as Jessie Ginther got a block and Carli Schneider had two kills. The teams traded sideouts. With Kayla Nussbaum serving, St. Marys evened the score at 7-all. Kiana Hoohuli had a kill and Nussbaum an ace. Again the teams traded sideouts. With Camille Smithbauer serving, Elk went up 13-8. With Marissa Cunningham serving, Elk Catholic went up 17-9. Cunningham had two aces and St. Marys was called for a carry. The Lady Dutch got the serve back and Lena Hanes hit an ace. Anderson had a block before a kill by DaCanal gave the serve back to ECC. With DaCanal serving, the Lady Crusaders went up 23-12. Ginther had a kill in that stretch and Cunningham had two aces. Elk Catholic went on to win the set 25-13.
The second set saw the Lady Dutch get the serve back with the score tied at 1-1. With Taylor Bellina serving, St. Marys went up 3-1. The Lady Dutch eased out to a 6-3 lead. With Katie McFadden serving, Hoohuli got a kill and Brittany Tarle scored a point off a block, 9-3. The Lady Crusaders were able to close the gap to 6-9 on a kill by Anna VanEerden. Hoohuli gave the serve back to St. Marys with a block. ECC cut the Lady Dutch lead to 11-10. A block by Schneider evened the score at 11-11 with Wehler serving. Elk Catholic then moved out to a 14-13 lead. The teams traded sideouts . ECC got the serve back leading 17-14. With Schneider serving, Elk went up 22-14. VanEerden had a kill and DaCanal two in that stretch. The Lady Crusaders went on to win the match 25-15.
St. Marys, Elk Catholic and Ridgway return to action Tuesday. St. Marys travels to Sheffield, while Elk Catholic hosts Kane and Ridgway hosts Bradford. Johnsonburg returns to action Thursday when they travel to Bradford. Junior varsity matches begin at 6 p.m., with the varsity matches to follow.