Meadville Tribune

Sports

May 19, 2012

BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Bulldogs stop Trojans to cap perfect region slate

May 19, 2012 7:00 a.m. — Meadville junior Matt Izbinski laced a hard spike down the line, and so ended the regular season for the Bulldogs boys volleyball team — with a 3-1 win over McDowell, and a 9-0 run through Region 1. It all summed up on Friday night at the House of Thrills.

“It’s a great bunch of kids to work with,” said Bulldogs coach Ron Newman following his team’s 25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 25-10 victory over the Trojans. “As a first-year head coach, I’m blessed to have such a nice bunch of kids to work with, parents included.”  

Now it’s on to the District 10 tournament, which gets underway Tuesday back at Meadville Area Senior High School. Meadville — which is 11-1 overall — will enter as the tournament’s No. 1 seed.

“We needed a match like that, against a big, big-swinging team,” Newman said about the Trojans. “They’re bigger than we are. We had to play some defense, get some blocks up. We still have to work on our blocking.

“We needed to put it all together,” he added. “And in the fourth game, we put it all together. That’s the way they can play.”

The ’Dogs indeed housed the Trojans in game four, going on a 10-0 scoring run at one point, taking a 16-4 lead en route to the 25-10 final.

The first three games were a little more nip-and-tuck. McDowell (6-4, 5-4 Region 1) was able to utilize it’s height advantage at the net to win the second game. In one and three, though, the Bulldogs gutted out victories.

Senior Travis Jensen had a big match for the Bulldogs. It was his first complete match after returning from a knee injury. He played two of three games against Conneaut Valley earlier in the week. Last night, he was in all four and made big contributions in each, finishing the night with six stuff blocks, 11 digs and 23 assists.

“He’s only had three practices with us,” said Newman.

Chris Allegretti also played a big role for the ’Dogs, leading Meadville with 15 kills while adding nine digs. Tom Leech added a 10-kill, 10-assist double-double. And Izbinski finished with six kills, including the match-closer.

In the back row, Alex Minnis brought up 19 digs. Sam Wyman had 11.

The victory marked four in a row for Meadville while playing without a consistent rotation.

“The last four matches we had four different lineups because of injuries,” said Newman. “And we’ve still got injuries.”

Meadville’s most lingering personnel question involves junior Tyler Minnis. He had an emergency appendectomy this past Saturday. His ability to participate in the D-10 tournament is unclear.

 “We’ll know Tuesday or Wednesday if Tyler will be able to play,” said Newman.

“Now we get to work our new lineup for (Tuesday). Back to the drawing board.”

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