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Saegertown edges out Cochranton 3-2

Apr. 5—SAEGERTOWN — In a back and forth affair, Saegertown proved that they could hang with the big dogs. Or in this case, birds, in a 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 18-25, 25-15, 15-10) win against Cochranton Thursday night at Saegertown High School.

The game started off slow, with good defense being played by both sides. Both teams struggled with serves in the first set, but Saegertown stayed slightly more consistent, which was the difference throughout the whole match.

The Cardinals came out strong in the second and third sets, thanks to strong offensive play by Brady Rynd and Noah Cummings. Rynd and Cummings led the Cardinals with 25 and 16 kills respectively, with Dawson Carroll totaling 45 assists.

Saegertown regrouped in the next two sets and staged a comeback after winning the first set.

"In the fourth set, we stole the momentum away from them," said Saegertown head coach Justin Johnson. "We passed and served very well in the fourth set."

Saegertown entered the fifth set on fire, getting a few points ahead of Cochranton with just a few more serves needed. However, the serving bug bounced back onto Saegertown, nearly giving the Cardinals a chance to come back.

"In the fifth set, we got a couple point lead and we served four balls into the net in a row," said Johnson. "But, we pulled it together in the last part of that 15-point set. With two teams as even as we are, a 15-point set could be anyones'."

Saegertown's offense was led by Collin Jones, Sam Draa and Jackson Scott. Jones led the team with 12 kills, with Draa right behind him with nine. Scott scored six kills, and also tallied 17 assists.

Cochranton played with momentum for most of the night, but the Cardinals lost some steam in the fourth set, and were unable to come back from a five point deficit.

"We missed seven serves in that fourth set and so they were able to run away with that and take that momentum into the fifth set," said Cochranton head coach Robert Cierniakoski.

Cochranton made several great plays on defense to get the ball back in their possession, but too many mistakes on serves made it difficult for Cochranton to establish a consistent offensive presence.

"I think we settled into the game in that second and third set, gained some momentum at the end of the first set," said Cierniakoski. "Maybe if we don't give them a lead at the end of that first set, get that win, maybe we don't allow it to go to extra sets."

Cochranton and Saegertown will be headed to NorthEastern High School on Saturday for a tournament. After that, Saegertown will play Conneaut on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at home. The Cardinals meanwhile will be traveling to Ft. LeBoeuf for a game on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Trevor Teubner can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at trevor@meadvilletribune.com.