Both the State College girls’ soccer and girls’ volleyball teams advanced to the state tournament with victories on Saturday. Take a look:
State College punches ticket to PIAA tournament
MEADVILLE A hot serve helped deliver another big win for the State College girls’ volleyball team.
Never miss a local story.
The Lady Little Lions delivered a dozen aces Saturday afternoon at Meadville High School to sweep away McDowell 25-10, 25-13, 25-15.
The win returns State College (15-3) to the PIAA Class 4A tournament, Tuesday for a first-round match against either Seneca Valley or Hempfield Area, who were meeting for the No. 3 spot out of District 7 on Saturday. The Lady Little Lions advanced to the state semifinals last season, beating both District 7 teams along the way.
“I thought we attacked the ball pretty well and the defense was pretty solid,” coach Chad Weight said. “We played, a good, solid match.”
The 12 aces — paced by Jess Irwin’s five, plus more that put the Trojans off balance — helped deliver the win.
“I think we for the most part served pretty tough,” Weight said. “We were hitting our spots, and kids were getting after it. When we do those things and we do them well, that makes us pretty tough.”
The Lady Little Lions also got 10 kills from Kate Lachendro and seven from Leah Henderson, with 16 assists for Henderson and 10 for Kacy Sekunda. Katie Finlan picked up 13 digs.
Weight didn’t have much of a scouting report, beyond what he saw in beating McDowell last season, but he knew he had a strong serve and strong defense to carry the team.
“They didn’t get a ton of attack opportunities,” Weight said. “We got them out of system a lot, and when they (were in system) they did a pretty good job of getting around our block, but our defense did a solid job.”
Lady Little Lions heading to states
HOLLIDAYSBURG The State College girls’ soccer team on Saturday found out that practice does, indeed, pay off.
On a perfectly placed ball from Josie Garrigan, State College’s Payton Porter netted an overtime goal to solve Erie McDowell, 3-2, and put the Little Lady Lions into the PIAA Class 4A girls’ soccer tournament for the first time since 2014.
“We’ve been working on that play all week,” State College coach Doug Bates said. “When you’ve been working on something in practice, then it’s executed perfectly in a game, it’s a beautiful thing — especially when it’s the game winner.”
Bates was also quick to praise his defense, especially Esther Seeland, whom he said really shut down McDowell’s main spread up top.
After winning its 10th straight District 6 title, the Lady Little Lions will advance to the state tournament for the first time in three years. State College lost to McDowell 1-0 in both the 2016 and 2015 subregional games.