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Meadville, Saegertown set for volleyball championship

Meadville and Saegertown will play for the District 10 Class 2A boys volleyball championship today at Allegheny College at 6 p.m.

The two have met twice this season with Meadville (16-0) beating the Panthers (14-2) both times. Saegertown took one set in each match.

“They are very familiar. They are solid all the way around. You can’t key on just one guy. They have other great players other than Luc,” Saegertown head coach Justin Johnson said. “The key will be trying to serve them into positions that they are out of system on their attack. We need to be aggressive and go at them and see if we can put some pressure on them early on.”

Meadville and head coach Nick Bancroft is not taking the Panthers lightly.

“We have to serve them tough and keep them out of system,” Bancroft said. “Most of their offense comes from their pin hitters, and we have to be able to slow them down.”

Saegertown seniors Collin Jones and Sam Draa, who had 10 and nine kills in last week’s semifinal round, lead the Saegertown offense along with outside hitter Cody Huson. Freshman Jackson Scott runs the offense at setter with Grant Anthony and Spencer Keefer seeing a lot of time in the middle. Mason Allio is the starting libero with Westin Baker seeing time at the service line.

The Panthers beat Cochranton 3-0 in the semis to advance to the District title game for the first time since playing Meadville in 2019.

Meadville is back in the D-10 championship after missing last year. The Bulldogs swept Fort LeBoeuf in last week’s semifinals.

The Bulldogs have numerous options on offense. Sophomore Luc Soerensen is a 6-feet 8-inch game changer at outside hitter. Parker Gosnell and Max Decker also hit from the pins for the ‘Dogs. Tymir Phillips, Kellen Ball and Ben Fiely rotate in the middle with Jacob Graham and Luca White running the back row. Senior and Mount Union commit Jack Brown is the point man at setter.

“We need to be more precise with our first contacts. If we are able to establish the middle and keep them guessing where the ball is going, we are tough to stop,” Bancroft said. “And as always, we have be better on defense at the net and behind the block.”

The winner will play the WPIAL No. 2 seed on Tuesday and the loser will play the WPIAL champion.

In the latest poll from the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, Meadville is ranked No. 5 and Saegertown No. 7.

“Make no mistake we are very happy we are playing bonus volleyball. But are going in there believing we can win,” Johnson said. “We’ve prepared by going to great tournaments and seeing a lot of teams similar or better than Meadville and we have competed very well.

“But the pressure is certainly on them. We will see how we play the underdog role.”