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Volleyball: CB South ousts Conestoga


Central Bucks South has had winning a first-round District One playoff on its to-do list for the last four seasons. Tuesday night, Oct. 22 on their home court, the 11th-seeded Titans finally got it done, downing No. 22 seed Conestoga, 3-1.

CB South emerged with the win, despite trailing 19-12 late in the first set.

The Titans got kills from junior Courtney Pohl, senior Carly Carroll and a block from sophomore Millie Grove to draw within three points before the Pioneers committed a pair of hitting errors to shave the lead to a single point.

Visiting Conestoga regained its composure in time to go up 22-20 but Pohl, who led the home team with 20 kills, recorded two more before the Pioneers put one over the back line to go down in flames 25-22 in the first set.

Despite trailing late in the set, Conestoga played aggressively, attacking the net and the back line with big swings.

“They are a really good team and they like to take big chances,” explained CB South head coach Kurt Godfrey. “I tell the girls all the time, ‘Big swings come with big mistakes, sometimes. Big swings come with big blocks, sometimes.’

“It’s a playoff match for them. They took some big swings. Some of them worked out for them; they got some really nice kills. They put the ball in some really nice places where we weren’t.

“But just like us, they made some mistakes, too.”

With the win, the Titans (18-5) advance to the Round of 16 Thursday night, Oct. 24 at No. 6 Hatboro-Horsham.

The biggest mistake Conestoga seemed to make was not winning the first set.

CB South took the momentum it gained in the opening game and converted it into a two-set lead, winning the second one by an identical 25-22 score.

The Titans went up 4-0 early on a kill by Pohl and maintained that edge all the way through, taking the set on a kill by Grove, who contributed 15 of them to South’s first district playoff win in five seasons.

Pohl led the way with five kills in the second game, followed by Grove, who chipped in with four. The Titans also got kills from senior Allie Burke, Carroll and an ace from sophomore Shannon Rector.

South’s winning ways did not carry over into the third set, however, as Conestoga went up 5-0 early and never trailed. While the Titans tied the match at 7-all, the Pioneers answered by taking five of the next six points to go up, 12-8. From there, the visitors maintained their lead, winning the set, 25-19.

“I think we made a lot of errors in that game and we lost energy because of all the mistakes we made,” explained CB South senior Lizzie Shirley, who contributed 41 assists and nine digs. “We needed to take the energy back and that’s what we did in the last game.”

Indeed, while the Titans did retake the momentum on the court in the fourth and final set, it wasn’t easy.

In another close match, Grove came up with a kill that gave CB South a two-point cushion at 16-14, then Rector came through with another ace, putting the Titans on top, 19-16.

Shirley set Pohl up for another kill to extend the lead to four, then a ball Courtney was only trying to dig went for yet another point. With her team trailing 23-19, a block by Conestoga cut the visitors’ deficit to three. However, the Pioneers committed hitting errors on the next two volleys, giving the game, set and match to CB South.

The final score: 25-20.

“We’re finally getting the program where we want it to be,” explained Godfrey. “We’ve set the culture and we’re finally starting to get into the program that we want.”

After the playoff win, the coach gave credit to his seniors, including Shirley, Burke, Carroll, McKenna Clow and Ashley Scott.

The libero, Clow chipped in with a pair of aces, two assists and 21 digs. Carroll came through with four kills, a block and a dig.

“These seniors that we have, even the ones who aren’t captains, are amazing leaders. Most of them are two- or three-year starters on varsity so they have a lot of experience and a lot of leadership that the rest of the team feeds off of.”

After getting swept in districts last year by Perkiomen Valley, the Titans returned to the court without seven seniors from last season including center-back Maddie Mauri and outside hitter Maddy Morrow.

The captains this season for CB South include Pohl, Shirley and Burke, who chipped in with six kills, four blocks and four digs. The future of the program at 5-foot-10, Grove added a pair of aces and five digs to the effort.

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