Fort LeBoeuf's Abby Rose tries to tip a ball over the net, but is blocked in the process by Conneaut's Angie Vicker, left, and Kristen Baker, right, during the PIAA Class AA volleyball semifinals. JARID A. BARRINGER/Erie Times-News
The Fort LeBoeuf girls volleyball team celebrates after beating Conneaut in the PIAA Class AA semifinals. JARID A. BARRINGER/Erie Times-News
The PIAA started conducting girls volleyball state championships in 1974. Until last fall, no Erie County team had ever won a girls volleyball state title. Fort LeBoeuf made history by defeating Delone Catholic and now the Bison are headed back to York with a chance at more history. District 10 has a total of eight state titles, but no D-10 program has won state titles in consecutive years. D-10 has claimed state titles in consecutive years with Cochranton in 2004 and Maplewood in 2005 along with Linesville in 2011 and Fort LeBoeuf in 2012. Fort LeBoeuf will need to beat Delone Catholic, again, on Saturday at 1 p.m. to win another state title. The Bison have six players back that played in last year’s state title match, including seniors Jolene Young
, Courtney Oberlander
, Abby Rose
, Alex Carroll
and Caitlin Ebert
along with junior Larissa Cass
•Fort LeBoeuf punched its ticket to York by sweeping Conneaut on Tuesday night in the PIAA Class AA semifinals. Each game was tightly contested as the Bison pulled out a 25-22, 27-25, 25-23 win. Both teams had their moments, but as Conneaut coach Tim Schleicher said after the match, Fort LeBoeuf didn’t make mistakes in key moments like the Eagles did. Sophomore Kaley Fucci came up big for the Bison with eight kills, while Cass collected 14. Young added six kills and nine digs, while Rose had 27 assists. Oberlander and Carroll were tough on defense with 19 and eight digs, respectively. Conneaut was just as tough with big-time performances all around. Challen Litwiler had 15 kills and 16 digs, and Kristen Baker had 11 kills and 14 digs. Fort LeBoeuf players mentioned that stopping Litwiler was their main gameplan on defense. Kim Litwin had 13 digs and Kristen Laird added eight, while Aliya Hutman finished with 30 assists and five digs.
•Cochranton will join Fort LeBoeuf in York as the Cardinals swept Bishop Carroll 25-18, 25-21, 25-21. The Cardinals will play Marian Catholic for the PIAA Class A championship at 11 a.m. Cochranton won its first state title in 2004 and like Fort LeBoeuf, the Cardinals are chasing their second title. Kendell Dickson had 20 kills and five blocks for Cochranton in the semifinal win, while Madison Bernarding was tough from the service line. Kassidy Dickson added seven kills for the Cardinals. The match started almost a half hour late because of a late arrival by Bishop Carroll. The Huskies were delayed after being stuck behind a car crash and a train.
•Click here for video highlights from the Fort LeBoeuf-Conneaut instant classic, and click here for video interviews with Fort LeBoeuf after the match. As always, we will have live coverage of the state championships Saturday and news and notes leading up to the matches.