Girls Volleyball Place 2nd in WPIAL Championship


As Saturday morning turned into afternoon after nearly two hours of play at the 2023 WPIAL Class A Volleyball Championship Match at Peters Township High School, Bishop Canevin and Serra Catholic had each won 97 points.  


Point #195 decided the match in favor of Serra Catholic, which defeated a tough Bishop Canevin squad in four sets (23-25, 25-18, 21-25, 28-30) in what was probably the most evenly competed Class A Championship match in at least a decade.


Serra scored the first three points of the first set before kills from Emmie Maziarz and Ella Whalen cut their lead to one.  A combo block from Amari Elliott and Clare Ruffing tied the set at three.  Elliott, Whalen, and Dominique Panza added three straight kills for Canevin’s first lead at 6-5.  The set continued a back and forth pattern until Ruffing served two aces in a three-point service run for 15-13 Crusaders lead.  Serra scored six points out of seven to take a 21-18 lead.  A kill from Ruffing broke that run but two more Eagle points gave them a 23-19.  BC battled to the end of the set, as would become a theme in this match.  Maziarz and Ruffing combined for a block.  Then Clare sent back a solo block.  Emmie was credited with an ace when Serra committed a rotation violation. Down 23-24, a Canevin attack landed just past the back line, and Serra took the first set, 25-23.


Canevin started the second set with a 5-0 run.  Maziarz recorded two kills around her second combo block with Ruffing for the first three points of the set.  An Eagle attack error and a kill from Elliott completed the run and forced an early Serra timeout.  Serra cut the lead to two before a kill from Whalen and an ace from Hayleigh Loeffert raised the lead to 9-5.  Two more kills from Maziarz moved the lead to seven points before five straight Eagle points cut the lead to two points.  But just as quickly, Serra committed errors on four straight points and the lead was 18-12.  The lead was only 19-17 when a kill from Whalen put BC at 20 and sent Ruffing to the service line.  She served her third ace of the match and Elliott put away two straight kills to give Canevin set point.  After an error, the Crusaders closed out the set on a block from Panza and Whalen.  We were tied at one set a piece after the 25-18 BC second set win.


When a volleyball match is tied at a set apiece, the third set is obviously critical to taking control and, usually, winning the match.  After an ace from Maziarz gave Canevin a 3-1 lead, Serra scored seven straight points to take an 8-3 lead.  It was 11-5 when Canevin started another comeback.  A Panza kill off an overpass made the score 11-7.  Kills from Whalen and Maziarz preceded a block from Bailey and Panza.  Those three Crusader points made the score 12-10 and Canevin was back in the set.  Though Serra responded and increased it’s lead to 16-11.  But a kill from Ruffing and four straight Eagle errors tied the set at 16.  Canevin fell behind by two points again but kills from Elliott and Whalen tied the set again at 20.  But Serra won the next four points, and held on to win the set 25-21 and a two sets to one lead in the match.

In a match filled with tension and drama, the fourth set was a mini-series.


Errors dominated the first half of the set as both teams were aware of what was at stake.  Serra settled down first, recording three straight kills to take a 12-7 lead.  To nobody’s surprise by this time, Canevin fought back again.  A kill from Bailey and two from Ruffing cut the deficit to two points.  A kill from Elliott and Ruffing’s fourth ace of the match made the score 13-14.  Trailing 16-14, a kill from Whalen, a Serra attack error, and a kill from Panza gave Canevin a 17-16 lead.  A Maziarz kill had BC up 18-17.  But six straight Eagle points gave Serra a 23-17 lead needing only two points to win the match.  


Or, so we thought.


Two Serra attack errors cut their lead to three before a kill from their outside hitter put them at match point.  A combo block from Maziarz and Ruffing, their third of the match, saved one match point, and sent Emmie to the service line.  Elliott powered a kill through a double block to save another match point.  That led to an Eagles timeout, then came an attack error from Serra.  Then Amari dropped a roll shot in the middle of the court to tie the set at 24.  The teams then exchanged points as BC saved two more match points to keep the match tied at 25, and then 26.  Canevin took the lead at 27-26 on another Eagle attack error, but Serra tied it at 27.  Whalen swung cross court from the right side for a kill and a 28-27 lead, but the Crusaders could not convert their second set point.  Finally, after two kills from Serra, they had survived, winning the set 30-28, to take the match.


Ella Whalen led BC with 11 kills.  Amari Elliott and Clare Ruffing each had eight kills.  Emmie Maziarz added seven kills.  Ruffing also led the team with four aces and five blocks.  Maziarz and Dominique Panza each added three blocks.  Jade Bailey led BC with 30 assists.



Hey future Crusaders!


School's almost out and we know you'll want fun activities to add to your summer agenda... So what better way to spend your summer than with Bishop Canevin's Musical Theater and the Boys and Girls Basketball & Soccer Teams? We have a wonderful line-up of camps for students to pursue their passions and meet new friends! So REGISTER TODAY for Bishop Canevin's summer camps and secure a spot! 



Grade levels:

B&G Musical Theater: 5th-8th grade

B&G Soccer: 3-8th grade

Boys Basketball: 4-8th grade

Girls Basketball: 5-8th grade



For more details and registration CLICK HERE!