This is supposed to be Meadville’s season.
The Bulldogs are equipped with four talented seniors, of course, including a pair of returning all-District 10 nods.
But for a moment Wednesday night it looked as though the Bulldogs would fall short of those expectations. And for the second year in a row, it looked as though Harbor Creek would provide the ammunition.
Unlike a year ago, this year’s Lady Bulldogs proved they can overcome adversity.
Harbor Creek rallied back from a two-game deficit to force a fifth and deciding set and appeared to have all the momentum on its side. But the Bulldogs pulled it together in the end to earn a 25-11, 25-21, 19-25, 23-25, 15-8 win in the District 10 Class AA girls volleyball quarterfinals on Wednesday at the House of Thrills.
“Oh my goodness,” Meadville senior outside hitter Leah Jones said. “After the first game I felt like we all felt pretty confident going into it. But I don’t know.
“This has happened more than once over the season. We make one mistake and it leads to another. Then we have to start digging ourselves out of holes that we create. But I know that we wanted that so bad and we couldn’t let it end like that.”
The Bulldogs did come on strong in the first set and proved they were on a mission. Meadville’s dynamic duo of Jones and Monica Jackson were simply unstoppable and helped Meadville jump out to a 19-5 lead over the Huskies, coached by Conneaut Valley graduate Ryan Smock.
Meadville seemed to be in complete domination. In Game 2, though, the Bulldogs just sneaked by for a 25-21 win. The next two sets, Meadville would rather forget.
“It seemed like an us against the world kind of thing,” Meadville coach Tammy Webber said of Games 3 and 4. “We just couldn’t string enough positives together to get something going. Every time we’d do something positive there would be a negative to come along or (Harbor Creek) would do something positive.
“We just couldn’t get back in a groove.”
It wasn’t until midway through the fifth set that something clicked.
Harbor Creek took a 3-0 lead in the deciding set. A pair of hitting errors by the Huskies pulled the Bulldogs to within one and they tied it up on a kill by Jackson. Meadville and Harbor Creek were tied two more times until Meadville took the lead for good on another attack error.
“I know that we all felt that we could do so much better than that,” Jones said. “We know it’s disappointing. The important thing is we pulled through it and did what we had to do.”
The Bulldogs advance to today’s semifinals where they will face Region 4 rival Conneaut at 8 p.m. Meadville and Conneaut split during the regular season and shared the region crown.
This is supposed to be Meadville’s season.
District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs
Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
“Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.
Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback
The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.
District 1 dominates at East Regional
Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.
Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time
With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.
Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal
There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.
Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise
Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.
Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske
Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.
District 1 looking forward to bigger goals
The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.
Meadville's magical season comes to an end
The state run is over for the Meadville Junior League All-Stars.
Guess they’ll just have to content themselves with a District 1 championship, a Section 1 championship and an incredible turnaround from the year before.
AP source: Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1
The Cleveland Browns may soon learn whether they’ll have Josh Gordon this season.
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- District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs