2013 Girls Volleyball Player of the Year: Challen Litwiler
School: Conneaut Area Senior High School
Position: Outside hitter
Vitals: Litwiler had a way of leaving a lasting impression on each and every opponent she and the Conneaut Lady Eagles faced in 2013. The 5-foot-8 star finished the season with 300 kills, 248 digs and 45 service aces. She helped lead the Lady Eagles to a share of their second Region 4 title in as many years, the school’s first District 10 team title and just a win away from playing for a state title. For her career, Litwiler, who helped Linesville win a state title and shared Tribune Player of the Year honors with her sister, Amber, in 2011, finished with 1,512 kills, 795 digs and 148 aces.
Season highlights: Litwiler turned in a number of highlights throughout the year. There were a few, though, that really helped set her apart. Remember the Eagles’ match against Meadville at the House of Thrills back on Sept. 17? Ironically, that night Litwiler turned in the fewest number of kills in a dual match for the season. She did her damage elsewhere, namely the service line, where she tallied eight of the Eagles’ 17 service aces on the night. Litwiler actually served three straight aces at one point during the match. She couldn’t be touched. Then there’s the postseason. … In six postseason matches, Litwiler had a double-double in all but two, including a 26-kill, 27-dig performance in a four-set win over Indiana in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
What the coach says: “I guess overall she did a lot of things throughout her career,” Conneaut coach Tim Schleicher said. “But it got a lot tougher for her. Not only with moving up to Class AA the last two years, but she got a lot of attention. Even with all the focus, she really put up a great season and was the go-to player for us. To be able to do what she does when you are getting all the attention from the other team is great.
“Challen is a special special player.”
What we say: From the first time The Meadville Tribune covered Litwiler during a Little League softball game and witnessed a ball leave her bat and travel well over the fence in left field, it was evident she was going to be a star someday. She has not disappointed. Whether it’s basketball or volleyball, Litwiler has proven to be one of the most talented female athletes Crawford County has ever seen. By the end of her career, Litwiler could very well belong to two distinguished lists with 1,000 kills in volleyball and 1,000 points in basketball.
2013 Girls Volleyball Player of the Year: Challen Litwiler
Breese closes career with second straight title
Sam Breese now knows how it feels to be perfect.
Breese finished with an undefeated season record of 35-0, with win No. 35 being the sweetest one of all.
The Lakeview senior stared into the face of the pressure that comes with defending a title, and made the Giant Center in Hershey feel like home. Undeniable talent and an incredible determination are the hallmarks of Breese’s approach to wrestling, and for the second straight year, he can call himself a champion.
McLane’s Wheeling comes up short in final
On a night when six wrestlers repeated as PIAA Class AAA champions, Chance Marsteller and Thomas Haines stole the show.
Marsteller, of Kennard-Dale, and Haines, of Solanco, became the 11th and 12th four-time gold-medal winners in Pennsylvania history. Marsteller (166-0) also is the first four-time champion to complete his career without a loss since Cary Kolat (1989-92) and the fourth overall.
Serra outlasts Cardinals
For the second time in as many days a basketball team from Cochranton High School played a private school from the WPIAL, put forth a valiant fight, but ultimately had its heart broken.
On Friday, it was the Cochranton boys team, which fell to Vincentian Academy 95-85.
Breese lone local to reach Class AA finals
A busy and entertaining Day 2 of wrestling at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey came and went, as did the dreams of a gold medal for a handful of local wrestlers.
The one local wrestler that doesn’t apply to is Lakeview’s Sam Breese, who had the Giant Center crowd in aw during his two matches Friday. The two bouts equated to two wins, which means a shot a defending his championship.
Lee, Wheeling survive Day 2 in Hershey
Ehrin Lee’s smile following his quarterfinal win Friday at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships told the whole story.
Lee has had his eyes on the state championships all season long, and just getting there wasn’t enough. The Titusville 160-pounder has wrestled like one of the best grapplers in the state during the tournament thus far, and his 3-2 overtime win over Northampton’s Bobby Fehr proved that if nothing else, he’s one of the four best wrestlers in his weight class.
Cards can’t slow Vincentian
The starters on the Cochranton boys basketball team probably slept like logs on Friday night.
They left every ounce on the hardwood of Meadville High School’s House of Thrills, going up against the high-intensity attack of Vincentian Academy in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
McLane rolls past Neshannock
Sarah Jay has made a habit of presenting her players with in depth scouting reports prior to each and every game.
But the report she handed them on Neshannock, the Lady Lancers’ first round opponent in the PIAA Class AA playoffs, was nothing like they had seen before.
Class AA first round filled with highs, lows for locals
It was a day full of highs and lows for the 11 local Class AA wrestlers on the opening day of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey.
For some, it was business as usual, and for others, the atmosphere of a crowded Giant Center proved to be a little much. By the time the preliminary and Round 1 consolation rounds were finished, eight wrestlers are still alive, with state wrestling experience proving to be invaluable Thursday morning.
Lee, Wheeling stay in hunt for Class AAA state title
A win is a win, and when it comes to the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships, as long as your score reads higher in the end, it really doesn’t matter how you get there.
During the preliminary round of the tournament Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey, the six local qualifiers certainly had mixed results, but in the end, two wrestlers are still in the championship bracket, exactly where they want to be.
Cards look to slow down Vincentian
“The best way to sum it up is,” said Cochranton head coach Scott McCurdy, “it’s like they’re down five and there are 30 seconds to go. Only, they play like that for the entire 32 minutes.”
McCurdy is talking about the Vincentian Academy boys basketball team, which employs a style that’s ... well ... calling it up-tempo just doesn’t seem to suffice.
- More Sports Headlines
- Breese closes career with second straight title