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Bishop Canevin claims WPIAL Class A volleyball title

| Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, 2:45 p.m.
Bishop Canevin players celebrate their win against Oour Lady of Sacred Heart during the WPIAL 1A volleyball championship on Saturday Nov. 04, 2017 at Baldwin.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Bishop Canevin players celebrate their win against Oour Lady of Sacred Heart during the WPIAL 1A volleyball championship on Saturday Nov. 04, 2017 at Baldwin.
Bishop Canevin players celebrate their win against Oour Lady of Sacred Heart during the WPIAL 1A volleyball championship on Saturday Nov. 04, 2017 at Baldwin.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Bishop Canevin players celebrate their win against Oour Lady of Sacred Heart during the WPIAL 1A volleyball championship on Saturday Nov. 04, 2017 at Baldwin.

Last year, the players on the Bishop Canevin girls volleyball team stood in a line, some with tears in their eyes, watching Greensburg Central Catholic players receive their gold medals after losing to them in the WPIAL title game.

If there were any tears on Saturday, they were tears of joy.

The Crusaders swept OLSH, 3-0, in the Class A finals to win their third WPIAL title in five years.

For many of the Crusaders it was their first time on the floor for a championship. Junior outside hitter Alexa Malloy had 17 kills and Kylie Airsman added 12 kills.

“It felt great. It's definitely a different feeling when you win in three sets,” Malloy said. “I think we just came in with a different mindset that you can't take anything for granted.”

After taking the first set 25-19, Bishop Canevin trailed in the second 19-11 before scoring 14 of the last 17 points to storm back for a 25-22 victory. The Crusaders used a 6-0 run and a 4-0 run between one point by OLSH to get back into the set. During the comeback, Malloy had four kills from the back row, two aces and a pair of blocks.

“(Malloy) has been a steady hitter for us all season,” Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Walters said. “Her bar is so high that by the time she's a senior there aren't going to be many hitting records that she won't have. She does a great job and she's very athletic. She's the go to person for us when things get tight.”

Bishop Canevin scored the last five points in the third to close the match with a 25-22 victory.

OLSH was seeking its first title. Gianna Platt led the Chargers with eight kills and an ace.

“Everybody wants to get here. That's why you coach and why you play,” OLSH coach Mike McDonald said. “Once you get here you want to win, but the team that's going to play the best that day usually wins. It's rare that the best team doesn't win, and Bishop Canevin was the better team today. I thought all three games were good games. There were some great defensive rallies, and I thought every match was a close match, but we just couldn't close any of them out.”

Both teams advance to the PIAA tournament that begins Tuesday. Frazier defeated California, 3-1, in the Class A consolation match and also qualified for the state tournament.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.

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