The State College girls’ volleyball team locked up a spot in the PIAA championship tournament Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Little Lions (20-0) swept away McDowell 25-14, 25-17, 25-13 in a PIAA Class AAAA subregional at the Altoona Fieldhouse.
The win puts State College into the opening round of the state tournament, with a match against Hempfield, of Greensburg, the third-place team from District 7, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Central Cambria High School in Ebensburg.
Unlike the District 6 title match on Wednesday, when the Lady Little Lions held off a pesky Altoona team in four tough sets, they cruised to the win Saturday.
“We played much more relaxed than we did Wednesday,” State College coach Chad Weight said. “We played a lot more free. We played better because we played freer.”
The relaxed feeling led to confidence at the service line, with 16 aces. Rachel Fedorko and Avery Cymbor led the way with four apiece.
The hitters also had a productive time, with Keira Scharf and Alli Henderson notching 10 kills each as the team hit .300. Taylor Kuruzovich helped direct the offense with 28 assists.
“We served well,” Weight said. “We hit well.”
The defense was paced by Laura Hildebrand’s nine digs, with seven each from Cymbor and Katie Finlan.