Blue Devils finish second in District 6-A volleyball

For the second straight year, the Bellwood-Antis Lady Blue Devils were perfect into the District 6-A championship volleyball match. And for the second straight year, the Lady Colts from Northern Cambria headed by Ashley Hogan dealt the B-A girls their first blemish of the season.
With Hogan, who will be playing for Maryland University next year, leading the way by dominating at both the net and on serve, Northern Cambria (20-0) won in three straight games 25-14, 25-15 and 25-5 to claim their second straight district title.
With the semifinals and finals being played at the Altoona Fieldhouse on Saturday, Bellwood-Antis (20-1) had to play earlier in the morning, defeating Penns manor in three straight games in a 10 a.m. match and then came back at noon to face Northern Cambria, which defeated the Conemaugh Valley girls at the same time.
“Our girls were really prepared to play Penns Manor in the semifinals,” explained Bellwood-Antis volleyball coach Stephanie Burner. “It was tough to play a good team in the semifinals and then have to play a quality team like Northern Cambria in the championship, back-to-back, especially with two starters out due to injury. We will regroup and prepare for states. We are all looking forward to the state playoffs again this year.”
Hogan is the daughter of Northern Cambria coach Mike Hogan. Northern Cambria is tough both mentally and physically and finished second in the state last year with a strong senior group back this year.
Bellwood-Antis was able to take a slim early lead in the opening game against the Lady Colts, but Northern ran off seven straight points and then pretty much dominated for the remainder of the match, jumping out to a 10-1 advantage in the third game to put the Lady Blue Devils away, despite an outstanding effort by the B-A girls, who were led by Lauren Carter.
Both Bellwood-Antis and Northern Cambria will enter the PIAA state volleyball playoffs.
The Lady Blue Devils, who were fifth in the state in 2004, will play North Catholic at Franklin Regional High School on Tuesday.