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Celtics shock Patriots 3-1 in non-district volleyball win

Celtic Mairin Guilfoyle serves one of her 11 aces in Roanoke Catholic’s 3-1 win over PH Tuesday night.

The Roanoke-area volleyball hierarchy has some new company. Move over guys, Roanoke Catholic has validated its membership.

In an impressive come-from-behind effort, the Celtics put on a clinic Tuesday night at the Roanoke Catholic gym, knocking off AAA Western Valley District front-runner Patrick Henry 3-1.

This one was no fluke.

After a close first game that saw PH rally to close out a 25-20 win, the Celtics came to life and kept the talented Patriots on their heels the rest of the evening. Catholic gave PH fits with its uncanny ability to execute their digs and set for front-line kills to sweep the final three games.

No small feat considering PH setter Caroline Brailsford and power-hitter Sarah Miller are two of the best on the local volleyball front.

After the opening game setback, Catholic raced out to a 10-2 lead in game two. PH never got closer than five before the Celtics won 25-14 to even things up.

Game three saw the Celtics break open a 15-13 lead by scoring six straight points in route to a 25-18 victory. Things stayed close through much of game four, before Catholic went on a late run for the clinching 25-20 win.

Although Catholic won the independent school state volleyball champioship in 2011, this was unchartered territory for the Celtics and their program that has exploded under head coach Aaron King, a former assistant at River Ridge powerhouse Hidden Valley.

     Senior Mairin Guilfoyle led the Celtic front-line attack with 18 kills, while sophomore teammate Alexandra Arnold added 11. Guilfoyle also scored with 11 service aces.

    Anne Deer anchored the Roanoke Catholic defense with 24 digs, with Arnold bringing 21 shots off the floor. Ava Perez had 34 assists and 5 kills for the Celtics.

    Individual statistics were not available from PH immediately following the game.

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