Crawford Country volleyball teams compete in District 10 tournament

May 20—CONNEAUT LAKE — Multiple Crawford County volleyball teams competed in the PIAA District 10 quarterfinal round on Saturday at Conneaut Lake Middle School. Saegertown, Meadville, Conneaut, Cochranton and Cambridge Springs all participated.

Saegertown sweeps Mercyhurst Prep

Saegertown, the second seed, faced off against Mercyhurst Prep, the seventh seed in the first match of the day. The Panthers swept the Lakers 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-16) to advance to the semifinals.

Saegertown took control of the game quickly and didn't let go. The Panthers showed their strengths on the way to a quick win.

"We played well," said Saegertown head coach Justin Johnson. "I thought our ball control wasn't quite where I wanted it to be, but we played with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement and I was happy to see that."

Collin Jones, Cody Huson and Grant Anthony led the Panthers on offense. Jones led the team in kills with nine. Huson was right behind him, scoring eight. Anthony tallied five, with Jackson Scott leading the team in assists with 30.

The Panthers played a well-balanced game, playing well on defense too. It was not easy to get points on them, and kills were hard to find for the Lakers. Even if Mercyhurst Prep got a few runs, it didn't last long enough as the Panthers built leads early, allowing them to get away with playing more aggressive later in the match.

Saegertown served well too, allowing it to control the pace of the game and prevent Mercyhurst Prep from gaining any sort of momentum to change the tide of each set.

"We got some good serves today," said Johnson. "We have some players jump serving, getting it into their repertoire a little bit. Offensively, we were really clicking. We got some kills from everybody today. We had a really balanced attack and I think that's gonna help us down the road."

On the defensive side of things, Huson and Scott led the team, with both totaling five blocks.

Saegertown advances to the semifinals, taking place on Wednesday, with time and location to be announced. The Panthers will take on the third seed, Cochranton.

Meadville continues regular season success

Meadville defeated Rocky Grove 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-12). Continuing their dominance, the Bulldogs showed no mercy against the Orioles, playing the same way they have all year — fast and with unrelenting offense.

Max Decker, Tymir Phillips and Kellen Ball led the Meadville offense. Decker led the team in kills with 11. Phillips tallied ten, with Ball scoring seven. Jack Brown played as the set-up man, totaling 34 assists.

"I thought we took care of business," said Meadville head coach Nick Bancroft. "We passed the ball a whole lot better than we had and we did what we needed to win, which is all we ask for."

Meadville controlled the pace of the game, playing sound defense to back up its strong offense. The Bulldogs had several key serves as well, stifling the Orioles attempts at getting easy sets to attack back.

"We have to keep serving tough," said Bancroft. "We did a good job at keeping them out of system and limiting our errors. We just have to focus on keeping that and our passing clean throughout the playoffs."

The Bulldogs are the No. 1 one seed in this tournament after an undefeated regular season. It's not uncommon in sports for the top seed or the so-called best team to get ahead of themselves and underestimate an opponent. However, Meadville isn't taking anyone lightly.

"For the last four or five years we've had that target on our back," said Bancroft. "We just come in and work hard, play every game like it's our last night to play. That's how we've done it all year."

With this win, Meadville advances to the semifinals, where it will face the fourth seed, Fort LeBoeuf on Wednesday. Time and location for the game has not been announced.

Conneaut falls to Fort LeBoeuf in close series

Conneaut lost to Fort LeBoeuf 3-2 (25-16, 22-25, 14-25, 25-13, 11-15) in the closest match of the day. In a back and forth affair, the Eagles were stout on defense and played solid on offense too, but the Bison got hot at the right time and Conneaut wasn't able to come back.

The match started out good for Conneaut, taking the first set solidly. However, one of the Eagles players landed oddly after going for a kill, causing an unfortunate injury. But, the Eagles were able to put that behind them and play a solid game.

"I think we played well," said Conneaut assistant coach Jennifer Klink. "There were some things I wish could've gone a bit differently, but I think the boys played well. We don't have a lot of experience in the playoffs and we showed that we can fight."

And fight the Eagles did. The Eagles defense played a strong game, finding good digs on difficult serves and kills to swing their offense into action, allowing them to get the ball in their possession and control the pace of the game.

Tristan Shelatz, Charles Woods and Carson Alsdorf led the Eagles attack. Shelatz was swinging hard from the outside, tallying 16 kills. Woods scored eight kills and Alsdorf scored five, tying with Nicholas Garcia. Brevin Klink led the team in assists with 38.

Shelatz led the team in digs as well, totaling 14. Robert Gowetski was second with nine.

"They have continued to get stronger with every game," said Klink. "We've battled some injuries, including that one tonight and that definitely hurt us, but for the team to come together and rally back anyway says a lot about where the program is headed."

Conneaut fought valiantly, but it just wasn't enough to move on to the semifinals. But, there is no reason for the players to hang their heads.

"The boys pulled themselves out of it. They came together and said we're going to play our hearts out, and I think they did that," said Klink.

Cochranton edges out Cambridge Springs

Cochranton defeated Cambridge Springs 3-1 (25-13, 19-25, 25-19, 25-21) in Saturday's match.

In a match that was closer than the final score showed, Cambridge Springs played the Cardinals hard.

"It was a battle," said Cambridge Springs head coach John Turner. "I just told the players before the game that they were capable of playing with Cochranton. They (Cochranton) are well coached, they play scrappy. But we came in there and we played well."

The Cambridge offense heated up throughout the match, causing Cochranton to make mental errors that the Blue Devils took advantage of.

"Cambridge had a good match today," said Cochranton head coach Rob Cierniakoski. "They really made us work today, it was a good game."

The beginning set was Cochranton's best. The Cardinals offense played fast, slamming kill after kill, overwhelming the Blue Devils' defense. But as the night went on, Cambridge Springs found the rhythm it had been searching for, and played a tight game on defense, allowing it to take the second set.

But, the Cardinals bounced back and got back into system on offense, closing out the last two sets after building tempo on offense throughout.

"I think Dawson (Carroll) really stepped it up," said Cierniakoski. "Other guys did too. But Dawson in my opinion, is an all-state player and he really controlled the match in sets three and four."

Carroll, Noah Cummings and Brady Rynd led the Cardinals' offense. Carroll led the team in assists with 45, scoring six kills as well as five aces. Cummings led the team in kills with 21, Rynd right behind him with 18.

Parker Schmidt, Darrin Peterson and Isaiah Simpson led the Blue Devils on offense. Schmidt led the team in kills with 17. Simpson scored nine kills and Peterson led the team in assists with 28.

Ian Anderson led Cambridge's strong defense, leading the team in digs with 11.

"A couple of balls this way and that way, and we're still playing game five," said Turner. "There's no shame at all. It's great to see them battle the way they did. Everybody thought this game was just going to be three and over, but the team really came back to win the second game and showed Cochranton we can play with them."

Cochranton advances to the semifinals, where they will play the second seeded Saegertown Panthers on Wednesday. Time and location is to be announced.

Trevor Teubner can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at