Pope John Paul II, Upper Merion capture state openers

(1-2) Pope John Paul II 3, (12-1) Cardinal O’Hara 0 – Chelsea Harvey (23 assists, 2 kills), Sarah Ward (10 kills) and Simone Sparano (13 digs) led the way as the Golden Panthers reached the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals with the straight-sets win Tuesday in the opening round of the PIAA girls’ volleyball tournament at Bishop McDevitt.
Also for PJP (14-6), which moves on to face (3-1) West York (22-1) in the state quarterfinals Saturday (time and site TBA), Mikaela Monroe (8 digs, 2 aces), Hailey Spotts (5 kills), Hannah Tulli (7 kills) and Lexi McMonagle (3 assists, 3 aces) had strong showings.
The Golden Panthers, who prevailed by scores of 29-27, 25-22 and 25-20, had also topped O’Hara in the opening round of the 2017 PIAA tournament.
West York advanced with a 3-0 shutout of (2-1) Greater Nanticoke Tuesday.
(1-3) Upper Merion 3, (3-2) Exeter 1 – The PAC champion Vikings reached the PIAA quarterfinals by grounding the Eagles in four sets, 25-23, 25-10, 23-25, 25-23 at Wyomissing.
Up next for Upper Merion (23-1), which also topped Exeter 3-2 in the 2017 state opener, in the PIAA quarterfinals Saturday (site and time TBA) is District 11 champion Parkland, a 3-0 winner over (3-4) South Western Tuesday.