With seven sophomores and a first-year head coach, Bishop Gorman’s girls volleyball team was a bit of an enigma entering the 2018 season.
But after Friday’s impressive outing against host Coronado in the Class 4A Desert Region title match, it’s clear the Gaels have unfinished business.
Gorman used its dominant front line to down the Cougars, 25-15, 25-19, 25-15.
The Gaels’ march continues at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Southern Regional final. Gorman (36-4) will face Mountain Region champion Palo Verde (30-7) in the Southern Nevada final. The winner will receive a bye into the semifinals of next week’s state tournament.
“It’s been a great season for us, but we still have work left,” Gorman coach Gregg Nunley said. “Everything we do has a purpose, and they have carried out the mission.”
Friday’s mission was simple — attack the middle of Coronado’s defense. And the Gaels did just that from the opening serve.
In the first set, Katie Sullivan’s kill pulled Coronado to within 19-15. It was the final Cougar point of the set as the Gaels got three kills from sophomore Angelina Starck during a 6-0 run.
”We have plenty of talent on this team,” said Starck, who had 10 kills. “It’s great to win the regional, but we have more to do.”
The second set was a carbon copy of the first, as the Gaels used a late scoring run to take a two-set lead.
Bishop Gorman stepped on the pedal in the final set, outscoring the Cougars, 10-3 down the stretch to grab the title.
“This team has a lot of fight in them, more grit than even I realized early in the season,” Nunley said. “They never waste energy over anything, it’s always positive.”
Tommi Stockham had 16 kills, four digs and an ace for Gorman while Starck added 17 assists. Reese Rossnagle had eight kills and two blocks for Gorman.
Sasha Bolla led the Cougars (26-10) with 14 kills, three digs, two aces and two blocks. Morenike Ajayi had nine digs, and Emily King added eight digs for the Cougars.
“Not knowing what to expect when the season started this is a huge accomplishment,” Nunley said. “It’s certainly satisfying, but it’s not the ultimate goal. We won this step, not the big prize.”