Little Lions sweep Trojans in play-in match

A huge night for Tyler Snyder led to a huge night for the State College boys’ volleyball team and the continuation of its season.

Snyder put down 14 kills on a nearly flawless night of hitting in the Little Lions’ 25-14, 25-21, 25-18 victory over McDowell in a PIAA Class AAA play-in match.

The win sends State College to the PIAA first round Wednesday to meet the third-place team out of District 7. Plum and Bethel Park were battling Friday night with the winner taking the other spot.

Leading the way was the senior outside hitter. Snyder registered his kill total on .706 hitting, making just one error, and also serving up three aces.

“He just had a night, had one of those nights,” State College coach Kim-Li Kimel said. “It was nice for (setter) Brandon (Kuruzovich) to see that and get the ball where it needed to go.”

Kuruzovich directed the offense with his 34 assists, also finding John Weakland for 10 kills and .667 hitting and the team’s outside hitters tore through the Trojans’ defense.

After the first two sets, Snyder was error free and hitting .900.

“It was insane to watch him play,” Kimel said. “I think McDowell had some trouble making the block out at the pins, and he has the ability to just jump and hang, so Brandon was just smart enough to send the ball out there and let him contact it high. They had a hard time (with that).”

Weakland and Gabe Avillion each posted a pair of blocks, Noah Christie had eight digs with Aaron Cymbor adding six digs and two aces and Peyton Stark also had a pair of aces.

Scott Tillotson also was solid from the service line, missing just one of his 13 attempts to help push the offense.

“He can swing a game our way,” Kimel said. “Teams can have trouble with his serves. It’s just a really solid serve.”

With the Trojans (5-6) dominated by the Little Lions, Kimel was glad her team didn’t relax.