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Saegertown gets back to business, sweeps Seneca in opener

Sep. 6—SAEGERTOWN — The Saegertown volleyball team showed little to no rust in its season opener on Tuesday and got back to its winning ways of 2022.

The Panthers swept Seneca 3-0 (25-15, 25-6, 25-13) in a non-region match at Steve Scott Gymnasium. Saegertown led sets by large margins such as 10-2, 23-4 and 8-2 in its rout of the Bobcats.

After official practices for several weeks heading into Tuesday's match, the Panthers were ready for real competition.

"It's been a long preseason with not having any matches. A lot of teams have had matches already and we've gone to watch some. We did have a tournament over the weekend so that got us ready for (Tuesday)a little bit," Saegertown head coach Justyn Greco said. "It's been a long haul these last few weeks. They've been working hard. I was pleased with their effort tonight. I didn't know a whole ton about Seneca because they're not in our region, so it was go out and play our ball."

Saegertown's brand of ball consisted of a strong effort at the service line, a consistent attack and a determined defense.

The Panthers opened the first set on a 10-2 run. Seneca began to stack points but never got closer than six in the set.

In the second, Saegertown was flat-out dominant. The Panthers trailed 2-1, then took the lead at 3-2 and didn't look back. Everything clicked with big blocks from junior Brywn McLaughlin, kills from Rhia Paris, Alyssa Arblaster and Lyndzee Amory as well as clutch digs from Kacie Mook and Rylie Braymer. The end result was a second set 25-6 win.

The third and final set was a bit closer, but Saegertown controlled the set and match from start to finish.

Junior Lindsey Greco totaled 24 assists, five digs and four kills in the match. Paris and McLaughlin also stuffed the stat sheet. Paris had seven digs, five kills and two aces while McLaughlin added seven kills, five blocks and three aces. Arblaster and Amory had seven and four kills, respectively, while Braymer led the defense with eight digs and three aces.

"There is always room for improvement. Overall I was pleased. We were a little out of sync in the first set. I think it was some early jitters," Greco said. "We were a little bit hesitant passing the ball. Just some early jitters and a couple hitting errors, but we cleaned it up."

Saegertown is 1-0 and will play Mercyhurst Prep in another non-region match on Thursday.

"It's a much larger team. They're bigger with very good blockers. This team (Seneca) was kinda scrappy, not that Mercyhurst Prep isn't, but they can pound the ball with big hitters. We're gonna focus on defense, defense, defense at practice to get ready."

Following Mercyhurst Prep the Panthers have another non-region match against Fort LeBoeuf before opening its region schedule against Titusville on Sept. 15.

Alex Topor can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at atopor@meadvilletribune.com.