Meadville Tribune


May 30, 2014

Cards face No. 1 Ambridge in PIAA quarterfinals

MEADVILLE — It’s a series of seldom-viewed videos on YouTube. Yet, it’s provided a key for Brad Custead and the Cochranton boys volleyball team as they get set to take on Ambridge in the second round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs.

The match is slated to begin today at 1 p.m. at Slippery Rock High School.

Ambridge is the No. 1 team in Class AA, according to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. Yet, the three-time WPIAL champion Bridgers (12-1) are not untouchable.

The proof of that is in the above-mentioned YouTube videos. They depict the match between Ambridge and Beaver County Christian that was played on May 6.

In the first video, Game 1, Ambridge can be seen blowing BCC off the court, using its mix of tall and experienced senior hitters, like 6-foot-5 Penn State recruit Lee Smith; 6-4 St. Francis University recruit Brandon Buck; and powerful 6-2 middle Dan Zajac.

Then over the course of the next few videos, Beaver County starts to hold its ground. The Eagles start putting some successful blocks in front of Ambridge’s hitters, and the back row starts to bring shots up off the floor, providing their own crew of hitters with a chance to attack.

In the end, BCC comes away with an exciting 3-2 victory over Ambridge. It was Ambridge’s only loss of the season thus far. And it all started with defense.

That’s got to be music to the Cardinals’ ears.

“I watched the fifth game,” said Custead. “What Beaver County Christian did was play defense on (Ambridge). And that started to frustrate them and it made them make mistakes.

“That’s what we’re going to try to do, make them make mistakes.”

Cochranton (14-1) happens to be coming off one of its strongest defensive efforts of the season this past Wednesday, which it employed to defeat WPIAL No. 3 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in five games in the opening round of the state tournament.

“OLSH was a solid team,” said Custead. “They played very good offensive volleyball. And that brought us back to our roots of playing defense. And that was a good thing, with us playing Ambridge next.”

Among the defensive stars for Cochranton in the OLSH match was Logan Herzberger, who had 13 digs and five blocks; Josh Vanderhoof with 11 digs and eight blocks; Chad Eisenhooth with 11 digs and Connor Staudt with seven blocks.

Herzberger also had a strong game on offense, knocking down a team-high 16 kills. Vanderhoof had eight kills. Staudt recorded seven.

Those YouTube videos turned out to be a good scouting tool for the Cardinals. The only time Cochranton and Ambridge were in the same tournament was at the Northeastern Tournament earlier this season. That tournament spread 40 teams throughout a number of different venues. Cochranton never got a chance to see Ambridge play in person.

Yet, the Bridgers were already known by reputation.

“They’re solid,” said Custead. “I do know that they’re extremely good. They’ve got a strong offense and they pass the ball very well.”

Ambridge went on to solidify its reputation by picking up its sixth WPIAL championship in seven years with a second-straight title-game victory over Derry Area last week. Then the Bridgers ousted Saegertown from the state playoffs with a sweep in the first round on Wednesday.

Now it’s time for the Cardinals to see if they can, like Beaver County Christian, block out the Bridgers.

“This is what we’ve been building for,” said Custead. “At the beginning of the season we knew that if we made it this far into the state playoffs we would be facing Ambridge. And here we are. We did what we could do. And we knew this was going to be one of our big opponents if we wanted to move on to the next level.”

Text Only
  • Mitchell Wood FCV’s season comes to an end

    The end of an era.
    So it was with French Creek Valley dropping a 5-4 decision to Albion Post 567 in the Region 8 Tournament at Northwestern High School on Wednesday. For several key players, it was the last time they would put on the blue uniform for head coach Brandon Crum.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville falls to NA in Junior League state opener

    The Meadville Junior League All-Stars spent all baseball season perfecting the art of winning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rookie CB Gilbert signs with Browns

    Justin Gilbert’s got his contract with the Browns. Now he needs a starting job.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bills Camp Bills QB, coach differ on offense’s performance

    Bills quarterback EJ Manuel and coach Doug Marrone had widely conflicting assessments on how the offense performed on the third day of training camp.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV tops Cochranton to advance

    French Creek Valley kept its stay in the Pennsylvania Region 8 American Legion Tournament alive on Tuesday in impressive fashion.

    July 22, 2014

  • Kinter and Neff Error-free defense, hitting propel District 1 to state title

    When Tom Brunot, Doug Hecker and Mark McKissock agreed about a month ago to take on a Senior League softball team they felt fairly confident in their team’s ability to defend its turf with a state championship on the line.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV falls to Millcreek

    It may go down as one of the oddest games in Region 8 history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Meadville captures Section 1 title over DuBois

    For anyone confused about all the fire truck sirens and honking car horns that echoed through the streets of Meadville around 5 p.m. on Sunday, here’s the explanation:

    July 22, 2014

  • District 1 showcases 'D' in victory

    A strong defense up the middle is often where championship teams are born. The District 1 Senior League softball team certainly fills the bill.

    July 22, 2014

  • Trevor Smith St. Marys tops METS to win title

    When it’s two good teams going head-to-head in the game of baseball, sometimes a simple bad bounce can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament

The latest proposed expansion plan for the Crawford County Courthouse potentially would eliminate the former Tarr Mansion on Diamond Park to make room for a county administrative building. Should the 1860 mansion be demolished?

Leave it alone because it’s historic.
Try to incorporate it into the proposed expansion.
It’s too far gone to save, but it’s memory may be preserved with an artifacts and photo display within the proposed courthouse complex.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide