Oct. 25—CUMBERLAND — Fort Hill concluded its regular season with a sweep over St. Maria Goretti on Tuesday.
"We finally put it all together," Fort Hill head coach Jordan Fradiska said. "We played the way we were supposed to all year, and that's the outcome."
The Sentinels (6-9) won the first two sets 25-14 and the final set 25-19.
"We didn't play well, we played a little slow and sluggish," Goretti head coach Will Hill said. "It was our last game of the season, the girls looked tired. But all in all we had a good season. We went 10-6, way better than we did last year."
Fort Hill controlled the first set from the start and never trailed. The Sentinels led 6-1 early capitalizing off three errors from the Gaels (10-6).
Up 12-6 after Liz O'Neal set up Jovie Breitfeller for a kill, Fort Hill went on an 8-4 run for its biggest lead of the set at 20-10.
"I preach to those girls, that first set is very important," Fradiska said. "They came out, they talked, they played as a team. They passed well, we were firing on all cylinders. That's the way we can play."
Goretti committed four errors during the run including three in a row.
The Sentinels outscored the Gaels 5-4 to end the set, winning it on an error.
The Gaels struggled with errors in the first set, committing 13 including three service errors. Fort Hill committed seven including two on serves.
"Being tired, last game of the season, that had to account for a lot of errors," Hill said. "We worked on a lot of the stuff, and it seemed like we didn't have the fundamentals tonight."
Goretti kept the second set close at the start and led 5-4 after an ace by Molly Haines.
Fort Hill took the lead for good on an ace by Talia Young at 7-6.
"We gained confidence, once we gained that confidence we knew we could come back," Fradiska said. "We put it all together."
The Sentinels took control and went on a 12-4 run to lead 19-10.
Liz O'Neal set up Breitfeller for a pair of kills and Brea O'Neal recorded a pair of aces during the run.
Fort Hill ended the set on a 6-4 run and won on a service error.
"These girls have been practicing hard lately," Fradiska said. "They know it's the end of the season and they've been putting the good work in. It showed and I'm proud of them. They bounced back and let's see how we can take this momentum into the playoffs."
Early in the third set, two Gaels collided and one fell to the court. After leaving the game with an injury, it seemed to spark Goretti.
The Gaels led 10-4 midway through, capitalizing on five Sentinels' errors.
"It seems that after the injuries happened, they all came together," Hill said. "But we still fell a little short."
Fort Hill responded with a 10-4 run to tie it at 14. Breitfeller recorded three kills during the run, two off assists by Liz O'Neal.
After going back and forth, the Gaels retook the lead at 17-16 on a kill from Breylynn Scott off a Sydni Smith pass.
Four straight Goretti errors gave Fort Hill a 21-17 lead. The Sentinels ended the game on a 4-2 run and clinched the sweep on an ace by Sofia Ottaviani.
"They went out there and had fun," Fradiska said. "I've been saying it all season, we've been letting a lot of good teams off the hook. When we put it all together, we can be dangerous."
Breitfeller finished with 17 digs, 10 kills, two assists and an ace for Fort Hill. Liz O'Neal recorded 17 assists and two kills.
"Liz played great, it's her last night as a senior," Fradiska said. "Jovie is always dependable."
Talia Young added 10 kills, four blocks and three aces.
Smith led Goretti with eight kills, seven assists, an ace and a block. Kylie Knight added eight assists and three kills. Scott recorded eight kills and a block.
Fort Hill traveled to Hagerstown last Monday to face Goretti. In both games this season, the home team won in a sweep.
"Our energy was down and it seemed like they had all the energy from us," Hill said. "It was a totally different team."
The Sentinels will find out their playoff seeding and opponent later this week.
Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Email him with scores and story suggestions at email@example.com.