Crusaderettes roll Charleston Catholic in straight sets

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg Catholic’s Jenna Boice, right, hits the ball over the net during a high school volleyball match against Charleston Catholic Tuesday.

PARKERSBURG — Grace Pedersen, Gracie Lowers and Paige Stotts tallied four aces apiece here Tuesday night to help host Parkersburg Catholic sweep visiting Charleston Catholic in its season opener 25-18, 25-12 and 25-17.

The Irish of head coach Mary Beth Smith, who received eight kills from Elizabeth Kay, 10 assists by Holly Black and a pair of Hannah Casey aces, had leads in every set, but couldn’t stop PCHS from improving to 2-0.

Aaliyah Brunny and Lainie Ross tied for match-high kill honors with nine apiece for the victors, who also got a baker’s dozen digs by Lowers, 29 assists from Jenna Boice, five downed spikes by Madison Ross along with a trio of kills apiece from Leslie Huffman, Grace Wojcik and Beth Lowther.

Hard serving by PCHS, which returns to action Saturday at Parkersburg’s Snowball Invitational, led to several service errors. However, the Irish often had difficulty with their serve-receive.

“I rarely see my girls serving in the net,” admitted Weatherwax, whose squad led 5-0 in the opening set but trailed 11-9 after Chloe Clark had a kill with Abby Fizer at the service line. “We’re serving deep and at least making other teams make a decision. Of course, I’d like to see a minimum missed serve count.

“I’m glad that I can work some players in. We have a plethora of outside hitters. I was glad to be able to use all of them tonight. I like to mix it up. Anytime you can do that and get everybody comfortable in their position is a good thing for me.”

Kills by Brunny and Madison Ross followed by a Stotts ace closed the first set deficit, which was 16-10 after an ace by CC’s Sophia Veazey, to 16-13. An Irish attack error followed. After two more Brunny downed spikes, another kill by Madison Ross and one more ace from Stotts, the hosts pushed ahead 18-16. Boice’s ace later made it 20-17 and Lowers served for the final four points, which included two aces.

Charleston Catholic led 2-1 in set two following a Fizer stuff at the net and later at 9-6, but Lowther’s tip kill made it 9-7 and gave the hosts a side-out. That lead to six straight service tallies by Ari Nedeff as PCHS, which also got a second-hit kill from Boice in the spurt, took command.

A kill by Crusaderette Taylor Isaly evened set three at one-all and the hosts led for good at 4-3 following an Irish attack error on a would-be free ball. Pedersen’s pass to Boice resulted in a Lainie Ross smash on match point.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com