Tuesday, November 2, 2021 | 10:44 p.m.
California had No. 3 Greensburg Central Catholic on the ropes on Tuesday in the WPIAL Class A women’s volleyball semifinals in Norwin.
The seventh-seeded Trojans, fresh off their loss to No.2 Mapletown, were ready to deliver the knockout blow, but the Centurions wouldn’t let it.
It was as if they had turned on a switch. After playing on his heels in the first two games, GCC showed their courage and rallied for a 3-2 victory.
After California took a 2-0 lead by winning the first two games 25-22 and 25-17, GCC assistant coach Erin Salas called the team and gave a warning shot.
“We started off slow,” said Salas, acting as a coach as head coach Angela Komoroski was on their honeymoon. “We weren’t playing our game and had to pick it up. “
In Game 3, the Centurions started to click as seniors Rebecca Hess, Grace Petnuch and Isabella Guerrieri began to dominate the net.
“In the first two sets we weren’t playing like we normally do,” Hess said. “We were slow and nervous. Before the third set, our coach told us to start playing as usual. We finally started to fight.
“We started talking more. It’s something we didn’t do in the first two games. We were playing scared.
The Centurions (16-3) recovered from a 5-1 deficit and caught up to California, 8-8, on three consecutive kills from Hess.
California (12-7) regained a 14-12 lead before the Centurions went on 13-2 to close the win, 25-16 on a kill by Petnuch.
“We jumped on them in the first two games, but we didn’t take advantage of it. California coach Renee Pascoe said. “We saw them cry after the second game. I told the girls before the third game that we had to jump on them and we could knock them down. But it didn’t work in our opinion.
In Game 4, it was Greensburg Central Catholic’s turn to turn the heat up, scoring a 25-14 victory, setting up an exciting Game 5 for the winner.
“I told them what we had to do and what they weren’t doing,” Salas said. “They did it and they played really well.”
California led 8-7 after a Tayla Pascoe kill, but GCC took the next five points on a block and kill from Petnuch and a dink from sophomore Emily Hess for a 12-8 lead.
A kill by Julia Kratzenberg senior and a winning kill by Rebecca Hess finished the Trojans, 15-13, and sent the Centurions back in the final at 1:30 p.m. Saturday to Robert Morris against No. 1 seed Bishop Canevin.
“They were hitting the ball a lot better, and we weren’t,” Pascoe said. “They did whatever they had to do.”
Salas said she expects Komoroski to be back for the final.
Bishop Canevin will be aiming for his fifth consecutive title and seventh in the past 10 years. GCC won the other three (2012, 2014 and 2016).
Keywords: California, Greensburg CC