Bishop Canevin rallies to beat Riverview
Propelled by Robert Morris recruit Arden Fisher, the Riverview girls volleyball took the first game and nearly pushed its WPIAL Class A quarterfinal match against Bishop Canevin to the maximum of five.
Fisher, a 6-foot senior outside hitter, collected 39 kills, including several powerful smashes that hit a Bishop Canevin girl before she could prepare a proper defense.
But No. 3-seeded Bishop Canevin rallied to win three games in a row, including the clincher by two points, and eked out a 3-1 win over No. 6 Riverview on Wednesday night at Chartiers Valley.
Bishop Canevin will meet No. 2 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Thursday's quarterfinals.
Riverview fell short of earning the second trip in team history to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA playoffs. The Raiders accomplished both of those feats in 1989. The top four finishers in Class A qualify for the state tournament.
“The biggest thing was to slow down Arden Fisher,” Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Walters said. “We knew that coming in. We wanted to force the rest of their team to beat us. We wanted to keep them out of their system, so they couldn't hit us with Arden.”
Fisher, who plans to sign a Division I letter-of-intent this month, turned in a standout performance, with her kills accounting for 39 of Riverview's 87 points.
But Bishop Canevin shook off the slow start, did enough defensively and made fewer unforced errors than Riverview to avoid the upset. The Crusaders lost the first set, 25-23, but won the next three, 25-22, 25-16, and 26-24.
“Kevin (Walters) has a very sound team,” Riverview coach DeAnn Sloan said. “They are great defensively. They don't have a lot of size. I've got a couple of 6-footers. But Bishop Canevin puts up great defense. It's hard to find the floor against them.”
Riverview senior setter Alison Hodges contributed 42 assists.
Bishop Canevin's offense was more balanced, with junior outside hitter Ashley Grimm leading the Crusaders with 12 kills and senior setter/right-side hitter Katie Oliverio distributing 23 assists.
Sloan was pleased with the effort by the Raiders, who have made back-to-back appearances in the quarterfinals after a 10-year absence from the playoffs. Bishop Canevin has more recent playoff experience, including a loss in the 2010 WPIAL Class A finals.
“My players need to be proud,” Sloan said. “I wanted (a win), and they wanted it, but it's hard to be disappointed after where we've come from. When this group of seniors was freshmen, we were 1-13.”
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-224-2696.