McDowell’s volleyball team surprises No. 3 Seneca Valley at home


Members of the McDowell men’s volleyball team were tired of the same old routine during the PIAA playoffs.

Meet a WPIAL powerhouse with Division I rookies in the first round and lose in three or four sets.

The Trojans wiped out years of frustration on Tuesday by playing with a high level of energy to win a PIAA first-round game for the first time in 17 years.

Andy Trost and Daniel Easly dominated at net to lead McDowell to a 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22 win over Seneca Valley, the state’s No. 3 team, at Paul Goll Gymnasium.

“Nothing like a good return on investment,” Trost said of McDowell’s loss to Seneca Valley in the PIAA first round last year. “We had a lot of good seniors last year, and I felt bad because I didn’t play well when they were with us. I wanted to move up a gear this year. »

McDowell (14-2) advances to the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday against Philadelphia-area Pennridge.

Andy Trost, McDowell

The Trojans played with energy early on as they used a solid block at the net to build momentum.

“Our blocking was the best it’s ever been,” Trost said. “We put up competitive serves consistently and our passes had great goals.”

Seneca Valley was loaded with big hitters, including 6-foot-6 southpaw Nate DeGraaf, a rookie from Lewis, Illinois, and 6-4 senior Dawson Ward. The Raiders also feature UCLA rookie Coleman McDonough, a 6-foot Libero. DeGraaf and McDonough were named to the all-state team last year.

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“We were able to keep him out of his hands (McDonough) with our service reception, which was important because he’s a great passer,” McDowell coach Dan Hering said. “We kept them out of the system with a nice block in the front row and the back row filled in the gaps.”

McDowell rolled through the first set and kept the momentum going in the second because every time one of the Raiders’ heavy hitters killed one or two, the Trojans responded with a three- or four-run run.

Nick Malina, McDowell

“We knew if we got momentum early on it would carry over throughout the game,” said Nick Malina, who had 14 digs. “They have big hitters and good players, but so do we. Our outside blockers closed the blocks so they couldn’t swing at us and had to start rolling shots.

Seneca Valley eventually settled in to win the third set, but the Trojans didn’t panic.

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“We knew we had to shut it down because we’ve been swept away by Meadville in the past and we knew we couldn’t let that happen again,” Trost said.

The Trojans ramped up the energy even more in the fourth set and closed out the victory to earn a trip to the PIAA quarter-finals for the first time since 2005. McDowell reached the PIAA semi-finals this season -the.

Daniel Easly, McDowell

“They were No. 3 in the state and we were No. 10, so it’s an obvious upset,” Easly said. “We came in with confidence and started our shots early. We let them know we were here and playing at home helped a lot. The big difference was getting our block started because we knew where they were shooting.

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Trost had 19 kills and five digs, while Easly had 13 kills and eight digs. Mark Sanford added five kills, Aidan Probst had eight, Deke Patton had seven digs and RJ Nagg had 42 assists and 14 digs for the Trojans.

“Seneca Valley is a quality team with guys in D1,” Hering said. “The boys came in and executed the game plan defensively against their big hitters. Last year we struggled, but I think we matured in this game. The boys remembered what it was like and didn’t back down this year.

Meadville rolls into PIAA opener

In Meadville, the Bulldogs dominated Ambridge in the first round of PIAA men’s volleyball with a three-set sweep on Tuesday.

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Meadville (18-0) heads to the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday against WPIAL runner-up Notre Dame du Sacre Coeur.

Jackson Decker, Meadville

The Bulldogs won the first set 25-14 before holding off the Bridgers 25-20 in the second. Meadville completed the sweep 25-10.

Jackson Decker again led the Bulldogs with 18 kills while adding seven digs. Julian Jones added 11 kills and nine digs. Mitch McKain added nine kills and Caden Mealy had 38 assists and seven digs.

Cochranton sweeps away Montour

In Wexford, Greyson Jackson dished out 33 assists as the Cardinals knocked out the WPIAL champion in a Class 2A PIAA men’s volleyball first-round game on Tuesday at North Allegheny High School.

The Cardinals won 27-25, 25-10, 26-24 over the Spartans (12-6), who recently won their fourth WPIAL title. Kyle Hoffman led Cochranton with 12 kills, while Jaiben Walker had eight kills and Andrew Custead added 10 digs.

Cochranton advances to the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday against powerhouse York Suburban.

End of preparatory lacrosse season

The Cathedral Prep lacrosse team’s season wrapped up Tuesday night in a PIAA Class 2A first-round game at Mercyhurst University.

After the Ramblers lost to Quaker Valley 14-4, senior defenseman Josh Kanne reflected on Prep’s past and looked to the future.

“My freshman year, we lost D-10,” he said. “It pushed me to be better than I’ve ever been. I started going to the gym, I started playing lacrosse more and I started getting bigger, better and more strong. I hope it will do the same for these (young) guys because there is a lot of potential here.”

The preparation finished 3-15 in 2019, during Kanne’s freshman campaign. Three years later, it was 15-6.

The Quakers (17-2), second in District 7, presented a physical challenge to the Ramblers. Quaker Valley certainly looked bigger and stronger as a whole and an injury to one of Prep’s star senior forwards, Jake Conrad, made matters worse.

“(Conrad) is obviously a dynamic player,” said preparation coach Andrew Smykowski. “It changed the game plan a bit for us. We had young guys come forward. They had big shoes to fill.

“(Quaker Valley) are a great physical group. They’re a good team. I think we’ll see them again at some point.”

Ryan Voll scored twice to lead the Ramblers.

“We gave it our all and played our best,” Kanne said. “It’s just a shame the result.”

McDowell loses in the 3A opener

The McDowell (8-9) boys’ lacrosse team also saw their season end Tuesday night when they fell to Shady Side Academy in the first round of the Class 3A PIAA Tournament.

The Bulldogs advanced to the quarterfinals with a 15-4 win.

Conneaut Girls Lacrosse Falls

In Bridgeville, the Conneaut women’s lacrosse team was overwhelmed by a strong start from Chartiers Valley in a PIAA Class 2A first-round contest. The Colts opened the contest on a 7-0 run and finished a 17-4 win to advance to the quarterfinals.

This concludes the District 10 lacrosse season.

Contact Tom Reisenweber at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ETNreisenweber.


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