Lady Crusaders advance in D9-A volleyball tourney

The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders volleyball team kept their record clean on Thursday evening, defeating the Otto-Eldred Lady Terrors by a 3-1 score in the quarterfinals of the District 9-A Volleyball Tournament. The Lady Crusaders ran their slate to 14-0 on the season as they defeated the Lady Terrors 25-14, 23-25, 25-14 and 25-14 in a match held at the Aaron J. Straub Gym on the Elk Catholic campus."It's always nice to win at home, especially in the playoffs," said Diane Gies, ECCHS Head Coach. "I was a little worried that we might come out a little flat since we haven't played in over a week. The girls came out fired up and played very aggressive tonight.""We played really tough tonight and kept our mistakes to a minimum," added Gies. "In the second game, we committed a few mental mistakes but we rebounded very well as we took the next two games. Otto-Eldred has a nice team with a couple of girls who can really hit the ball down. Tonight we hit the ball down very well and also our net play was excellent as we blocked a lot of shots, some that turned into points for us."Elk Catholic was led in the kill department on Thursday by several players. Lexie Meholic had 15 kills, followed by Taylor Frank with 14, Emily Gregory with 11, Taylor Schlimm with five, Alexis Schlimm and Helen Danz with two each and Anna Hawkins and Taylor DaCanal with one each.Alexis Schlimm led the team in service points with 14, four of which were aces. Taylor Schlimm and Emily Gregory each had 13 service points, with Schlimm having one ace and Gregory three. Anna Hawkins had 11 service points with one ace and Lexie Meholic had eight service points with three aces, while Jessie McLaughlin had four service points and one ace.Taylor Schlimm had two blocks. Taylor Frank and Lexie Meholic had one each.The first game of the set found the Otto-Eldred girls moving out to a 9-6 lead. Elk came back to tie the score at 10-10, then took control of the game with 15-11 and 20-12 leads before going on to win 25-14.The second game was a hard-fought battle, as the Otto-Eldred girls made a great come-from-behind effort to win the game. Elk Catholic had taken a 17-10 lead, only to have the Lady Terrors battle back to tie the score at 20-20. The teams then exchanged points, and the score stood at 23-all before the Lady Terrors scored the next two points to win the game 25-23 and tie the match up at one game each.The third game found the Lady Crusaders jumping out to a very big 19-5 lead, only to have the Lady Terrors battle back to make it 20-6 and 21-12 before Elk won by a 25-14 score, taking a 2-1 lead in the match.The final game found the two teams battling evenly at the start. The score was tied several times before the Lady Terrors took an 8-5 lead. The Lady Crusaders tied the game at 9-9 and then started to pull ahead, going up 14-11, 17-13 and finally 25-14 to win the game and the match by three games to one to advance to Saturday's tournament."We are looking forward to the tournament on Saturday at St. Marys Area High School's Dutch Oven. We have films on all the teams that we will be playing and tonight we will study the films," said Gies. "If we hope to come out on top on Saturday, we will have to play very physical and eliminate mental mistakes. If we can play the way we did tonight, we will be in every match."