By: Amanda Crescenzo
For the first time in Garnet Valley history, Girls’ volleyball claimed victory in The District I 4AChampionship game, finally getting revenge for an earlier season loss.
Freshman Sarah Wood gave The Jags the final point to pull off the upset against the No.1 ranked, undefeated Unionville Longhorns in the District I 4A Championship game, winning 3-2. The Wood sisters, Sarah and Maddie, had a season-high of assists and kills. Sarah led the team in kills, having a high of 35 kills; her sister Maddie had 57 assists, including the game-winning pass to her sister to bring it all home.
Klaira Zakarian contributed ten kills, Captain Sarah Weins added six, and Kelly St. Germain with eight kills. While the Jags had a stellar offense to lead them to a victory, the Jags didn’t lack defensively. Libero Madison Snelgrove and Abby Hout tallied two aces each. Likewise, Weins and Abby Hendrixson handed out two blocks each to limit The Longhorn’s chances to retake the lead.
The Longhorns swept two sets in the match, but that was not enough despite the efforts of Unionville Libero Ava Van Deusen, setter Olivia Harper, Middle hitter Vivian Geiger, and outside hitter Madelyn Lowe.
Though a tough match for the Jags, it’s unquestionable that they have remained tough and tenacious all season long to dominate the central league as well as take 3rd place overall in the District I 4A bracket and retain an 18-1 record (the only loss being Unionville from an earlier season match-up). They had defeated other volleyball powerhouses like Plymouth Whitemarsh in the quarterfinal round, who sat at 2nd place with a 19-0 undefeated record until that undefeated record came to an abrupt end when the Jags appeared victorious, defeating them 3-0, advancing to the championship game. Captain Maddie Wood had 19 kills, 30 assists, and added two aces. Kelly St. Germain and Klaria Zakarian each tallied five kills, adding to Sarah Weins’s four and Abby Hendrixson’s three. All contributing to a true team win to forge ahead in the tournament. Plymouth Whitemarsh takes the 4th seed heading into the state tournament after Lower Merion defeated them 3-1; Lower Merion will be seeded 3rd.
The Jags aren’t quite finished with their rally yet. Starting next Tuesday, the first round of the PIAA State Tournament begins with 16 teams. Garnet Valley’s opponent is yet to be determined. The girls secured their bid to states after they defeated West Chester East High School in the District I Quarterfinals 3-0 , taking a sweep and another trip to the state tournament.
West Chester East’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed as Alexa Mork and Elliet Manning both had six digs each, while Mork led the Vikings in with eight kills and adding on to Lauren Cuskey’s five kills and Annie Kerns 3. Elliet Manning also had a high of 17 assists and provided one block to accompany Mork’s two blocks. Izzy Byrne contributed ten digs.
West Chester sat at 6th place in the 4A District I Bracket with an 18-3 record before losing to 10th place Downingtown West in a playback game to try and rebid a trip to states but fell to heartbreak after a close 3-2 match. Downingtown West takes the 5th seed heading into next week’s tournament after defeating Upper Merion in a close-fought game, winning 3-2.
The opening round of the PIAA State Tournament starts next Tuesday.