PEABODY — When it comes to tourney time, seedings don't always mean an awful lot.
The Bishop Fenwick volleyball team found that out in the quarterfinal round of Division 2 North playoffs when 15th seed Bedford pulled off a stunning upset victory in three sets Tuesday night in the Crusaders' home gym.
The Buccaneers will move on to face host Danvers in the sectional semifinals Thursday (5 p.m.), and the Falcons were on hand to scout their next opponent. It will take another big upset for the Buccaneers to move on to the North final.
"We didn't play well," said Bishop Fenwick (14-6) head coach Samantha Kelly. "After it was over I told my girls the better team won. If they show up they should give Danvers a good game, but if not I think it should be an easy win (for the Falcons).
"They were killing us on the serves, and their setter (Gabriella Zovko) was unbelievable. Hard to believe she's only a freshman. What great hands she has."
The first set was the closest, with Bedford prevailing 25-20. Although it was tied twice in the early going, Fenwick never led. They trailed by seven points, 21-16, but rallied to close the gap to 22-20 before the Buccaneers put it away.
The visitors took the second set, 25-13, scoring seven points in a row to race out to a 16-7 lead. Bedford scored six points in that set with Zovko serving.
"This was a great win for us," said Bedford (14-5) coach Lisa Predaina. "We had so many girls step up. Our middle hitter Lauren Harrell is a sophomore, and our setter a freshman. They're young but talented. Outside hitter Michaela Schmidt was on fire with kills, too; she shined in her best match of the season.
Bishop Fenwick fell behind 4-0 in the third set, but rallied to tie it at 5-5 before Bedford scored the next five points and wound up winning, 25-16. Schmidt had two kills in a row before the Crusaders closed the gap to 22-14 when Natalia Scolaro was serving.
Annie Murphy had three kills for Fenwick, Brynn Bertuci came up with five blocks, and captain Bethany DeMarco finished with 15 digs.
"Overall, it was a good season and we finished second in the Catholic Central League," said Kelly. "We're a very young team so a lot of girls will be returning including Murphy, who has done a great job at right side hitter."