Gannon stuns Clarion women’s volleyball in PSAC playoffs

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The celebration of winning a conference championship was short-lived by the Clarion women’s volleyball team.
Clarion won the PSAC West title Saturday after defeating Slippery Rock and having Cal U lose to Gannon.
Clarion went into the PSAC playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the West and took on the No. 4 seed in Gannon.
Clarion won the first set before dropping the next three and the match 3-1.
In the first set, Clarion won 25-18 and ended the set on a 9-1 run.
The crowd at Tippin Gymnasium, which was in a “Blue Out,” appreciated the team’s efforts.
Head Coach Jen Mills appreciated the crowd’s enthusiasm throughout the duration of the match.
“It was awesome. I think the energy was great.” She continued, “I appreciate it probably more than they know.”
The second set saw Clarion start off well against Gannon.
The turning point of the game the match was when Clarion led 11-6 and Gannon called a timeout.
From that point forward in the game, the defending PSAC champions outscored the Golden Eagles 19-10.
Coach Mills thought the timeout is what really changed the fate of the game.
“I think we had them in the second [set] and we kind of stopped playing hard,” Mills said.
Clarion was in contention to take the third set, but Gannon had other ideas.
After trailing 20-17, the Golden Knights yet again rallied to come back and take the set from Clarion.
All of the sudden, the PSAC playoff ride for Clarion was in jeopardy.
Gannon controlled the tempo in the fourth and decisive set, gaining a 20-14 advantage.
Clarion trailed 24-17 and then sparked the crowd just a little bit as the team threatened a run of its own.
However, the Golden Eagle comeback was stopped short at 20, and Gannon won the set 25-20 and the match 3-1.
Mills said the loss came because of poor passing and movement.
“We couldn’t pass well all night, even the set we won. That’s our fault.”
For as poor as the passing was for Clarion, Mills credited Gannon for taking them away from the game plan.
“They were successfully able to keep us out of system,” Mills said.
Clarion now has to wait to see if it gets a bid in the NCAA Division II tournament for the fifth consecutive season, something Mills thinks her team will get.
Mills is hoping this lights a spark under the PSAC West champions.
“I know we’re a better team than that, and I know we’re tired and exhausted, but that’s not an excuse for letting the little things go,” She continued, “I think this will sting enough to hopefully make us pick it up a little bit.”
Senior Emily Steward had 14 kills and 14 digs for Clarion, while junior Laura Subject paced the offense with 35 set assists.
Senior Carlie Bieranowski had 11 kills and 13 digs, while sophomore Morgan Seybold contributed 26 digs.

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