In three games, Holy Redeemer's aggressive play staked the Royals to a lead.
And each time, Delone Catholic's Allie Mondorff stepped to the service line.
And each time, good things began to happen for the Squirettes, who used all three changes of momentum on Saturday at Laureldale to advance to Tuesday's PIAA Class AA semifinals.
"It's been a while. It gets tiring after a while jumping, but it was fun. I liked it," Mondorff said among a happy group of Squirettes after their 25-22, 25-20, 25-22 sweep of the District 2 champions.
The Squirettes sent Holy Redeemer, the Wilkes-Barre school created by the combination of Bishop Hoban and Bishop Hannan, to its first and only loss of the season.
In turn, the Squirettes, who beat Berks Catholic in five games for the District 3 crown, advance to oppose District I champion Pope John Paul II. That team ousted District 3 runner-up Berks Catholic by scores of 25-17, 26-24, 25-19.
Moments after Saturday's match, the undefeated Squirettes just were happy to clear another hurdle in the Royals, who had stopped District 4 champion Wellsboro in the first round.
"We're not very strong at blocking. I think a lot of teams know that by now because we're a short team. It is hard to block girls like that, especially when the set is that high," Delone Catholic libero Hannah Lawrence said. "We're waiting on it. It took us a lot to adjust to their sets because they were so high, so once we got the hang
Even so, the Squirettes found a team which matched their intensity much of the time, something which Delone Catholic head coach Jason Leppo knew would happen.
"Watching them warm up, you're like, 'Wow, these kids are athletes,'" Leppo said. "They can jump, are physical and physically strong too. ... When a hitter gets going, you always have the advantage."
That happened for Delone's opponent early in each game on Saturday. Led by 36 kills combined from Sarah Warnagiris and Nicole Slavoski in the match, Holy Redeemer held edges of 15-10 in the first game, 15-11 in the second and 4-2 in the third.
And then Mondorff stepped up.
In the opening game, she served five straight points, helped by kills from Cheyenne Atland, Cambria Wierman and Maddie Comly, to put Delone ahead to stay.
The situation was similar in the second game. Holy Redeemer led by four when Mondorff began to serve. Six consecutive points ensued, including back-to-back aces, to give Delone an edge it would not lose.
The situation was less pivotal in game three. Mondorff served one ace in a five-point run. Holy Redeemer rallied to tie the game at 12-12, but Mondorff then served seven in a row later, turning a 17-15 edge to a 23-15 bulge.
Of course, Mondorff's serve wasn't the only key. She issued 28 assists while Wierman produced 18 kills. Mondorff, Lawrence and Wierman also combined for 46 digs to spearhead the defense.
The combinations were too much for the Royals, but head coach John Kablick Sr. said his team also hurt its own cause.
"We gave up 12, 13 and 16 points, 16 the last game," he said. "We can't give a team nine points to score for themselves. You have to make a team score 14, 15 points. All year long, we've been giving up 10 and under, points given up. That forces the other team to score 14-or-15 for themselves.
"That didn't happen today."
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