Meadville Tribune

Sports

November 1, 2012

Crawford County goes 4-0 in quarterfinals

MEADVILLE — 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.

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