Thanks to a strong block led by Francesca Manz and Emma Kirst, Bishop Gorman defeated host Green Valley 25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20 on in the Division I girls volleyball state play-in match.
Manz finished with 12 kills, 18 digs and two blocks, and Kirst added 12 kills and three blocks for the Gaels, who defeated last year’s state runner-up.
Buoyed by its strong defense, Gorman stormed out to an 8-2 lead in the first set. The 6-foot-1-inch Manz and 6-4 Kirst set the tone for the match.
“I thought we dominated at the net tonight,” Gorman coach Ed Van Meetren said. “We really put up a big block and were consistent with it all night long.”
Gianna Ruggeroli contributed 11 kills, 11 digs and two blocks for the Gaels, who also got 41 assists and two blocks from Emma Filosi.
For Green Valley (27-9), Bridgette Dwyer had 12 digs, seven kills, six blocks, three aces and one assist. Dwyer and Nikki Drost were key components for the third set victory.
Drost added 23 kills and nine digs for the Gators, who also got 13 kills, six digs and two aces from Shanna Olsen.
Gorman (29-8) will face Coronado (29-6) in the state semifinals at 7:15 p.m. Friday at Green Valley.