The Morning Call

High-fly­ing Hawks go for state ti­tle

- By Dante Teren­zio Dante Teren­zio is a free­lance writer. Sports · College Sports · Catholic Church · Christianity · Religion · Bethlehem, PA · Pennsylvania · Bethlehem · Sacred Heart · Cumberland Valley High School · Eastern Pennsylvania Conference · Bellefonte · DuBois · Clarion

The Beth­le­hem Catholic girls vol­ley­ball team is fly­ing high.

From con­fer­ence play, to dis­tricts, to states, the Golden Hawks have been in full com­mand. But the jour­ney is not yet com­plete as Bec­ahi heads into the PIAA Class 3A fi­nals.

The Golden Hawks won states in 2014 and will look to add a se­cond ti­tle when they take on Dis­trict 9 cham­pion Franklin Re­gional at Cum­ber­land Val­ley High School at 3:30 p.m. Satur­day.

Bec­ahi ran through the East­ern Penn­syl­va­nia Con­fer­ence with a per­fect 12-0 record, drop­ping just four sets.

Af­ter sweep­ing both rounds of the Dis­trict 11 Class 3A tour­na­ment, Bec­ahi swept Car­di­nal O’Hara in the first round of the state tour­na­ment, then won in four sets against Pope John Paul II in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Beth­le­hem Catholic over­came an early deficit to win a four-set semi­fi­nal tri­umph over York Sub­ur­ban to punch its ticket to Satur­day’s cham­pi­onship match.

Here’s what to ex­pect from the Golden Hawks and the Panthers, as well as a PIAA Class A fi­nal pre­view.

PIAA Class 3A vol­ley­ball

Who: Franklin Re­gional (Dis­trict 7 Cham­pion) vs. Beth­le­hem Catholic (Dis­trict 11 cham­pion)

What: PIAA Fi­nals

Where: Cum­ber­land Val­ley High School When: 3:30 p.m., Satur­day

Head­coaches: Franklin Re­gional: Mike Fe­o­rene; Beth­le­hem Catholic: Kelly Brown Howthey­got there:

Franklin Re­gional: The Panthers have been noth­ing short of dom­i­nant in their first two rounds of the state tour­na­ment. They’ve eas­ily dis­patched Belle­fonte and DuBois Area in the first round and quar­ter­fi­nals, re­spec­tively. The team will con­tinue to look to star player Aly Kin­del­berger, as well as Re­nee Baldy and Ella Evans. Franklin Re­gional has also re­ceived strong per­for­mances from Kam­ryn Mar­cus and Sydney Bre­itkreutz in its run to the fi­nals.

Beth­le­hem Catholic: The Golden Hawks make their first state cham­pi­onship ap­pear­ance since 2014, when they won the tour­na­ment. Bec­ahi (17-0) was tested early in the semi­fi­nals against York Sub­ur­ban, but showed re­silience in a 3-1 win. Men­tal tough­ness is an at­tribute the Golden Hawks have shown all year, which they hope to carry into the fi­nals. MacKenzy Rug­giero, Rileigh

Cum­mings andJodi He­witt are Bec­ahi’s of­fen­sive weapons, while se­niors Kyleigh Brown and Em­maMask­iell are two of the top de­fen­sive play­ers in Penn­syl­va­nia.

PIAA Class A vol­ley­ball

Who: Clar­ion Area (Dis­trict 9 cham­pion) vs. Mar­ian Catholic (Dis­trict 11 cham­pion) What: PIAA Fi­nals

Where: Cum­ber­land Val­ley High School When: 10:30 a.m., Satur­day

Head­coaches: Clar­ion Area: Shari Camp­bell; Mar­ian Catholic: John Fallabel Howthey got there

Clar­ion: In their 15th straight state tour­na­ment ap­pear­ance, the Bob­cats eas­ily swept their first two op­po­nents this year. In the semi­fi­nals against Bishop Canevin, Kor­rin Burns and Erica Sel­fridge com­bined for 30 kills to pace the Bob­cats. Brenna Camp­bell is a highly tal­ented passer and Aryana Gir­van con­sis­tently con­trib­utes on of­fense and de­fense. Clar­ion will look to claim its first state ti­tle since 2012.

Mar­ian Catholic: Af­ter a two-year hia­tus, the Fil­lies are mak­ing the most of this fall’s state tour­na­ment. Fac­ing Sa­cred Heart Academy in Tues­day’s semi­fi­nals, Mar­ian Catholic saw a dom­i­nant two-set lead evap­o­rate. Backed by a solid fifth set ef­fort from Ash­lyn Kitsch, Rebecca Dzu­ranin andJami­son Wheeler, the Fil­lies held on to ad­vance to the fi­nals. Ta­tiana Ze­le­niak and El­iz­a­beth Sn­err lead the de­fense. Mar­ian won state gold in 2013.

 ?? RICH HUNDLEYIII/SPECIALTOT­HE MORN­ING CALL ?? MacKenzy Rug­giero is a key cog in Beth­le­hem Catholic’s of­fense. The Golden Hawks go for the state ti­tle against Franklin Re­gional Satur­day af­ter­noon.
RICH HUNDLEYIII/SPECIALTOT­HE MORN­ING CALL MacKenzy Rug­giero is a key cog in Beth­le­hem Catholic’s of­fense. The Golden Hawks go for the state ti­tle against Franklin Re­gional Satur­day af­ter­noon.

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