Initially, Tuesday’s girls volleyball match unfolded in almost perfect fashion for Richland High School senior Logan Roman.

Richland took the first set against Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference rival Bishop McCort Catholic and built a 4-2 advantage when play was halted in Game 2 at the Rams’ gymnasium.

Roman had just recorded her 1,000th career assist. She received a commemorative volleyball and a bouquet of flowers, then walked to the top row of bleachers where Roman hugged family members before play resumed.

Richland went on to win the second set, then built a huge lead in the third game. But Bishop McCort Catholic spoiled the celebration with an impressive three-set comeback to win 14-25, 17-25, 25-13, 25-21, 15-6.

“We’ll bounce back,” Richland coach Dave Livingston said. “That was a little bit of a setback but these girls found ways to dig deep.”

The Rams surrounded Roman after the match and she posed for photos after recording 21 assists to push her career total to 1,012.

“It’s really great,” Roman said of reaching the milestone with the 4-6 Rams. “I really didn’t think I’d ever get this far even just playing since 10th, 11th and 12th grade. I really couldn’t do it without my passers and hitters.

“Our serving went really well and we were just having a good time in the first two games,” Roman said of the quick start. “That’s what brought us together as a team.”

Bishop McCort Catholic took the third game, but appeared to be at a significant disadvantage after trailing 4-0, 9-1 and 14-4 in the fourth set.

The 5-5 Crimson Crushers reeled off 11 straight points to lead 15-14. There were ties at 15, 16, 17 and 18 before Bishop McCort moved ahead to stay in a 25-21 win. After some early back-and-forth action in the fifth game, Bishop McCort won 15-6.

“Our girls picked up their defense, made aggressive serves and just didn’t quit,” Bishop McCort Catholic coach Missy Raho said. “Our season has gone a lot of five games and our girls just don’t quit. They want to win. If they start slow, we pick it up and we want the win. Our intensity grows.”

Senior Ally Diamond had 25 assists to lead the Crimson Crushers. Senior Julia Horwath had eight kills, two blocks and seven aces. Senior Tressa Mack had nine kills and junior Bailey Shriver had five aces.

“I’m confident in our girls’ talent,” Raho said.

Junior Madison Sciarrillo had 14 kills and senior Tierney Beebout had 10 kills for Richland. Senior Emily Karl had five aces.

The assist milestone represented the biggest moment of the night from a Rams’ perspective.

“That was huge for us,” Livingston said. “It’s been a long time for Richland to have somebody reach a milestone like that and Logan has been working extremely hard her whole career to get to that. It was an exciting night, even in a loss. It really pumped up the kids.

“Her work ethic makes her special. She’s a smart setter. She never quits on anything, and she has tenacity you can’t teach.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.

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