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Elyria Catholic Panthers cruise to the Division III Elyria District Final
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria Catholic’s Maryssa Kellick, center, and Karissa McGrath, right, block Trinity’s Dahlia Najja shot back at her in the second game of Tuesday night’s Division III District Semifinal match.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria Catholic's Karissa McGrath spikes the ball to score a point in the second game in Tuesday night's Division III District Semifinal match.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Trinity's Dahlia Najja, left, tries to tip the ball over Elyria Catholic's Rachel Duffield in the second game in Tuesday night's Division III District Semifinal match.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria Catholic's Rachel Duffield, left, and Brooke Nedrich go up for a block in the second game on Tuesday night's Division III District Semifinal match.
The Panthers put themselves in position to win their third straight district crown with a 25-18, 25-7, 25-17 win over the Trojans. Elyria Catholic ran its record to 21-3, while Trinity bows out of the tournament with a 15-10 mark.
Trinity never stood a chance in the first two games as the Panthers played nearly flawless on defense and at the net.
In game one, the Trojans had no idea where the ball was coming from as Marie Vasitas and Kit O’Shaughnessy kept the ball moving around at the net with eight different Elyria Catholic players registering kills in winning 25-18.
The Panthers never strung together more than four straight points at any time, but they also never let Trinity score more than two straight service points as Karissa McGrath and Rachel Duffield each picked up three kills in the game.
“I think we came out originally a little flat, but by game two they were ready to push forward,” Panthers head coach Jennifer Lee said. “We were ready to be done after game two.”
McGrath was just getting warmed up as the Panthers ripped off 11 straight points with the score sitting at 3-3 as McGrath accounted for four kills and two block-solo kills as Elyria Catholic ran the lead out to 14-3.
“We had have to come in and play to our full potential,” McGrath said. “Once we got our intensity up we had everything going on key (in the second game). If we play our game this should be our tournament, but we have to come out and give 100% every time.”
McGrath finished the night with a match-high 15 kills, two block-kills and two assist-blocks.
After McGrath sparked the 11-point run, Vasitas then added six service points in a seven-point run to turn the game into a rout.
The Trojans aided the Panthers with three errors; Vasitas had an ace, a kill by O’Shaughnessy and solo block-kills by Duffield and Brooke Nedrich.
“Karissa was definitely on fire, this was one of her heater nights,” Lee said. “She was pounding the ball beautifully and we did our best to keep feeding her the ball.”
As sharp as Elyria Catholic looked in the first two games, they were a little out of synch in the third game as the Trojans hung around trailing 13-11 midway through the contest with Kara Kovach and Jacquie Companey each picking up a pair of kills for Trinity.
That’s when McGrath helped the Panthers take control again with a couple of big kills to go with a tip-kill by Maryssa Kellick, a Trojan hitting error and an ace by Katie Janowicz who finished with 18 service points.
“In our conference you have to fight for every single win,” Lee said. “The girls are always prepared for that and when they don’t get it they can fall back on their heels. We are used to having to fight to keep our head above water.”
Trinity never got closer than four points the rest of the way as the Panthers set up a date on Thursday night at 7 p.m. against the winner of last night’s Cuyahoga Heights/Independence contest.
“During the week of practice we really worked on picking up the roll shot since we have had trouble with it at times and we knew they (Trinity) would use it a lot after we scouted them,” O’Shaughnessy said. “The defense picked up the roll shot for the most part and we really ended up playing well defensively tonight.”
Elyria Catholic 3, Trinity 0
Division III Elyria District Semifinal
Trinity (15-10) 18 7 17
Elyria Catholic (21-3) 25 25 25
HITTING — Elyria Catholic: Karissa McGrath 15 kills, Kit O’Shaughnessy 9 kills, Rachel Duffeld 5 kills; SETTING — EC: Marie Vasitas 11 assists, O’Shaughnessy 16 assists; SERVING –– EC: Katie Janowicz 18 points, Vasitas 13 points, Becca Pronesti 6 points; DIGS –– EC: Pronesti 12 digs, O’Shaughnessy 9, Janowicz 7, Duffield 7; BLOCKS –– EC: McGrath 4, Brooke Nedrich 4, Duffield 3.
Last Updated: 10/23/2012 11:57:12 PM EST