Bulldogs stay undefeated with sweep of Blue Devils

May 9—Meadville took care of business in the boys volleyball team's 3-0 sweep (25-9, 25-14, 25-12) of Cambridge Springs on Wednesday.

The win at the House of Thrills pushed the Bulldogs to 10-0 in the region and 13-0 overall.

Meadville opened the first set with a 10-5 lead before closing on a 15-4 run to close the first. In the second, Cambridge Springs opened hot.

The Blue Devils led 6-2 and trailed 11-10 before a string of errors and Meadville's firepower blew the set open. The 'Dogs finished with an explosive 14-4 run.

"It was early in the second but we were up by three or four. Then we made mistakes, the unforced errors that we are trying to cut back on," Cambridge Springs head coach John Turner said. "We had some good digs, good volleys and then unforced errors back-to-back-to-back and that's what's been hurting us all season."

Meadville, ranked No. 5 in the state in the latest poll from the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, flexed its offensive weapons in the match.

Kellen Ball and Ben Filey hammered seven and six kills, respectively, in the middle. On the outside, Max Decker and Parker Gosnell each had seven kills. The result was a very balanced Meadville attack, which made defending it challenging.

"I thought they stayed focused all night and didn't make a lot of mental errors," Meadville head coach Nick Bancroft said. "I felt like we could have worked a little harder when the ball wasn't in our hands, but overall I was pretty happy with the service line, passing the ball and offensively I thought we looked alright."

The 'Dogs took a 14-2 lead in the final set before cycling in backups. Sophomore outside hitter Luc Soerensen is currently training in Anaheim, California, for a tryout with the 2024 U.S. Boys U19 National Team. With the 6-foot 8-inch Soerensen away from the Bulldogs, it's allowed for other athletes to gain valuable reps.

"Max Decker and Brennen Decker have been getting a lot more opportunities. Senior Alex Burgess is also getting a few more opportunities and I think they've been doing a good job," Bancroft said. "Max has been doing a really good job. He had a great tournament with a lot of reps and still has some things to get better at, but these are really important reps for him right now. He's really filling into a nice role."

The Bulldogs will compete at the Shaler Tournament on Saturday before closing the regular season at Cochranton on Tuesday.

Cambridge Springs dropped to 5-5 in region play and 6-8 overall. The Blue Devils will host Rocky Grove on Tuesday for their season finale.

Turner said the Devils have steadily improving as the season's progressed, but he'd like to see a jump before the playoffs.

"Our serving has improved 100 percent from the beginning of the year. It's everything else, and don't get me wrong they have improved, but we need that next jump," Turner said. "We have to believe that we can do it."

Alex Topor can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at