Meadville Tribune

Sports

April 22, 2014

Devils sweep Tigers

GUYS MILLS — Just six days earlier, the Cambridge Springs boys volleyball coaching staff sat on the sidelines at Saegertown High School perplexed and disappointed as they watched the Blue Devils give away opportunity after opportunity.

On Tuesday night, those same coaches sat on the sidelines of another fellow PENNCREST School District gymnasium full of smiles as they watched the Blue Devils put together one of their finest performances of the season.

Cambridge Springs pulled to within a game of Saegertown for first place in Region 1 with a 25-22, 25-15, 25-22 sweep of Maplewood last night at the Wood Shed.

The Blue Devils improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Region 1. Maplewood fell to 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the region.

“I think man for man that we can be as good as any team in the league,” Cambridge Springs head coach Rick Welker said. “But we just refuse sometimes to make that step up to that point.

“We’ve got the hitters. Our blocking has improved. If we can focus on eliminating the unforced errors, the bad serves and goofy, ‘You got it, I got it,’ situations, then these guys are fun to watch.

“We, as coaches, enjoyed watching them (last night) from the bench. They did a lot of positive things and hopefully we can continue.”

A big positive, again, for the Blue Devils was their blocking game and defense. Middle hitter Devin Walker was a force, tallying seven blocks on the night. But another key factor for Cambridge Springs was the pressure it created on the offensive side of the ball, particulary in the final two sets.

In Game 1, Maplewood rode the swing and block of middle hitter Miller Peters, who tallied three kills and two blocks in the opening set, and had the lead until late. In Game 2, though, Peters had just one kill attempt. The end result was a dominant 25-15 victory and a two-set advantage for the Blue Devils.

“In the first game we were riding Miller Peters and then …,” Maplewood coach Bill Wooley said. “And when the wind went out, we couldn’t get it going again. It was a downfall from there.”

Again, credit to the Devils’ offense and Maplewood’s inability to get off clean passes.

“We didn’t pass well,” Wooley said. “And when you don’t pass, you can’t run your offense. That’s what it boils down to.”

Meanwhile, the Devils were feeding off the momentum.

“I think when we are playing like we did (last night) and having fun, we are one of the best teams in the district,” Cambridge Springs’ outside hitter Tyler Fiely said. “Hopefully we keep continuing to improve and get better.”

Fiely led the Blue Devils with nine kills followed by Austin Porter with eight kills. One of Porter’s kills in particular drew high praise from his coaches when he was a bit out of position with his body facing toward the crowd and his swinging arm almost flush with the net.

Luke LeSuer had seven digs and Robbie Spence five digs. Jarred Ferris dished out 30 assists.

For the Tigers, Dustin Delo led the way with six kills followed by Evan Mehok’s five kills. Mehok also had 11 digs as did Dane Barker. Miller finished with four blocks and four kills, three of which came in that first set.

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