Ford City falls short in school’s 1st trip to PIAA tournament
Ford City’s first and only PIAA Class AA volleyball appearance was short-lived.
The WPIAL champion Sabers fell 3-2 to Corry on Tuesday in a closely contested battle.
The Beavers broke a 14-14 stalemate with two quick points to sew up the victory.
Neither team had more than a five-point lead at any time during any of the five sets.
Corry (14-2) will move on to the state quarterfinals against Beaver on Saturday at a time and site to be determined.
Ford City, which won its first WPIAL title in the school’s final year, closes out with an 18-2 record.
“I’m very proud of this team,” Ford City coach Andrea Lasher said. “They played well and fought for it. It just didn’t go our way this time. I told them they better walk out of here with their heads up.”
Ultimately, all-state middle hitter Brooklyn Goodsel proved to be the difference. The 6-foot-2 Ball State recruit had 39 kills and 30 digs before a large turnout at North Allegheny.
“At the end of the day, our big gun was big,” Beavers coach Kelly Goodsel said. “Brooklyn’s a phenomenal athlete”
With the match tied at one set each, Ford City looked to be in control with a 22-17 advantage. But Goodsel took over, dominating the net to lead Corry to a 25-23 win and a 2-1 lead.
“Quite honestly, when they got up, they started serving a little easier,” Coach Goodsel said.
“That let us get into a system with her, and that set up a big problem for their defense.”
“We were hot and cold,” Lasher said. “Some things just didn’t go our way. Sometimes we didn’t attack well as I thought we needed to. But you have those games.”
Junior Justyne Lasher led the way for Ford City with 25 kills. Stephanie DiGregorio and Christina Davis had 17 kills, and sophomore Abbey DiGregorio had 59 assists.
The Sabers won the first set 25-21, when Corry was called for a double contact.
In the second set, the Beavers broke an 18-18 tie and finally prevailed 25-22 to take the set.
After falling behind 3-2, Ford City rallied to take the fourth set 25-21.
A tactical move had three different Sabers tap the ball over the net to a vacant area on the Corry side of the court to take command of the set.
Corry finished runner-up to Fort LeBoeuf in the District 10 tournament.
George Guido is a freelance writer.