It wasn’t something even head coach Tammy Webber could explain. For two games, Meadville looked sensational and ready to contend for the Region 3 girls volleyball championship. Then the next two … Well, again unexplainable.

Meadville jumped on Wilmington with wins of 25-23 and 28-26. The Greyhounds, however, rallied back with a pair of easy 25-12 and 25-16 wins and a thrilling 15-13 win in Game 5 to take the win Thursday at the House of Thrills.

“Those third and fourth games were a big letdown,” Webber said. “Too many unforced errors. I don’t know. I don’t even know what to say. I just don’t know.”

Meadville and Wilmington put on quite the show in the first two games. In the opening set, neither team led by more than four points at any given time.

Meadville had the lead through much of the first game, which featured eight ties, but surrendered that lead late on a service error that put Wilmington up 16-15. The Greyhounds extended that lead to three (19-16) on a kill by Chalyn Kaufman.

But Meadville answered with four straight points, including a pair of aces by Britni Williams to take a 20-19 lead. The Bulldogs held at least a share of the lead the rest of the way.

Wilmington answered in the second game by jumping out to an 8-1 lead. But Meadville rallied back to for a 17-17 tie on a kill by Kayla Kittka. Meadville and Wilmington tied it up six more and were within game point four times before a pair of kills by Victoria Severo sealed the deal, giving Meadville a two-game advantage.

But that is when the unexplainable happened.

Meadville was never in the third or fourth games while Wilmington’s Susan Miller and Allie Cioffi helped the Greyhounds seize control.

Miller and Cioffi combined for 17 kills through those two sets. Meanwhile, the only real offense the Bulldogs came from dumps by setter Carly Higham. Add in three service errors and a handful of net violations and the third and fourth games were just pure trouble for the Bulldogs.

“You saw it all and then all of a sudden it was like, ‘Where did it go?’” Webber said. “I don’t know. I’m kind of speechless.”

Meadville didn’t go down without a fight.

Wilmington jumped out to another big lead in the fifth set, going up 5-1. But Meadville didn’t let the Greyhounds slip away this time and rallied from four points down late at 14-10 to just one 14-13. Meadville’s 12th service error put that rally to an end.

“They probably missed a handful of serves the whole match and we missed five times that,” Webber said. “We can’t do that, especially in the fifth game.”

Wilmington improved to 2-0 and 1-0 in Region 3 with the win, while the Bulldogs fell to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the region.

“This is year No. 6 for me,” Wilmington head coach Amber Marett said. “When I took over the program it was really run down. Slowly, slowly, slowly we’ve been building and (the players) have put the time in.”

“We’ve missed the playoffs by one game each of the last two years,” she continued. “They’re not going to let that happen this year.”

Severo led Meadville with 21 kills. Alyssa Pears added 15. Higham finished with 11 kills and 45 assists.

For Wilmington, Miller had 15 kills and Cioffi had 12.



Lisa Byers can be reached at 724-6370, ext. 277 or by e-mail at lbyers@meadvilletribune.com.

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