Cochrantron’s Leann Bortner-Yasay (22) skies for a kill attempt during the Cardinals’ showdown with Region 2 rival Cambridge Springs on Tuesday. Cochranton ran its Region 2 match winning streak to 53 straight, and its Region 2 game winning streak to 71 games in a row.

Meadville Tribune

CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — Beating Cochranton is a formidable task even at full strength. It becomes increasingly difficult when missing three of your best players.

That was the situation Cambridge Springs faced going into Tuesday’s Region 2 clash with the unbeaten Cardinals. The result: a 25-8, 25-12, 25-7 victory by Cochranton.

Cambridge Springs played the contest minus all-state outside hitter Aria Johnston, all-District 10 libero Stephanie Baer and defensive specialist Nicole Becker. Spa head coach Rob Schmidt would not discuss the reason for their absence or whether or not they would return this season.

“It’s a disappointing thing for them,” Cochranton coach Marci Malliard said.

On a positive note, the Lady Cardinals extended their region winning streak to 53 straight matches dating back to Oct. 14, 2003. The sweep also gave the Cardinals a winning streak of 71 in games played.

Cambridge Springs was the last team to take a game from the Cards in region play. That came on Oct. 13, 2005.

For the Cards, though, yesterday’s match was anything but perfect.

“I wasn’t always real pleased with what we were doing with the ball on our side of the net,” Malliard said. “That’s pretty much all I care about. And with (Baer, Johnston and Becker) on the floor that would have made a difference and you never know what would have happened with them causing more errors.”

One thing Cochranton did do extremely well was serve the ball. The Cardinals did not have a single service error in the contest and finished with 16 aces.

Lauren Dalton led the way with five aces, followed by four from Ashley Lippert, three from Leirin Baker and two from Shelly Hill. That prevented the Spa from getting its offense going consistently.

“We served tough,” Malliard said.

Offensively for the Cards, Dalton paced the team with eight kills and also added two blocks. Hill and Bortner-Yasay had six kills each with Bortner-Yasay adding a pair of stuff blocks. Baker finished the game with 22 assists.

For Cambridge, Alex Sauers had six kills. Kami Bauer handed out 15 assists.

Cambridge Springs did win the JV match in three games behind a Cochranton effort Malliard was very disappointed in.

“I would like to have played some of my younger kids (in the varsity match), but their JV match was horrid,” Malliard said. “That’s a spot they have to earn out there; not a spot I’m going to give them. That was a perfect opportunity to have some of my younger kids get some experience.

“That’s the team we need to take care of for next year. Not this team out here. That was a little disappointing.”

Cochranton has seven seniors on its varsity squad.

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