Erie-area teams moved one step closer to bringing home championships Tuesday night as both the Gannon University Lady Knights and Villa Maria Lady Victors earned impressive postseason victories.
36-0 Gannon advanced to the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Final Four with a 70-66 victory over Tusculum at the St. Joseph Civic Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. With the victory, the Lady Knights advance to a national semifinal game against the winner of Tuesday night's late contest between Emporia State (24-5) and Michigan Tech (30-2). The game will be broadcast Wednesday on ESPNU. The time of the game has yet to be announced.
If Gannon is successful in the semifinal game, it would advance to the Division II National Championship game against either Franklin Pierce (31-1) or Fort Lewis (32-3) which will be broadcast Friday live on ESPN 2.
The defending PIAA Class AA champion Lady Victors moved within one game of a repeat with an easy 65-38 victory over Avonworth at Meadville Area High School. With the victory, Villa Maria moves on to the Class AA championship Friday afternoon at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center. Tip-off is schedule for 12 p.m.
Waiting in the championship game will be a familiar foe - the York Catholic Fighting Irish. The Victors defeated the Irish in last year's championship, 56-51, behind 20 points from Notre Dame-bound senior Kayla McBride.