Warren opened its volleyball season on Tuesday night with a strong three-set victory over Cranberry, 25-14, 25-12, 25-23, at Warren Area High School.
After quickly cruising to wins in each of the first two sets, the Dragons faced some adversity as the Berries battled point-for-point throughout the entire third set. The Berries came out of a timeout and rattled off six straight points to take a 16-15 lead, their first of the match. Warren jumped back out to a two-point lead, and the teams exchanged points the rest of the way, with the Dragons squeaking out the set, and the match.
Rachel Lasecki finished with nine kills for the Dragons, while Allie Morrison and Valerie Latimer each had five. Latimer also added four aces. McKenzie Merenick finished with 13 digs and Teah Bines had 26 assists.
Times Observer photo by Jonathan McAfoos
Valerie Latimer (19) and the Lady Dragons celebrate a point during a 3-0 victory over Cranberry on Tuesday at Warren Area High School.
Dragons coach Mike Dolan was pleased with the way his team opened the season.
"We played pretty consistent," Dolan said. "We controlled the ball and had a lot of attacks. Cranberry started playing nice defense, and we transitioned well. If we can put a few more balls away, we can be more effective on attack as the season goes on."
The junior varsity team also won its match, 25-17, 25-21. Tori Paris had five kills and Jen Daugharthy added three. Haley Nelson finished with six aces with Megan Wortman adding four.
The Dragons (1-0) will hit the road for the first time on the young season when they travel to Mercyhurst Prep on Thursday.
Youngsville 3, Tidioute 0
The Youngsville Eagles started out their season Tuesday night with a dominating victory over the Tidioute Community Charter School Bulldogs, 25-6, 25-14, 25-6, at Youngsville High School.
Youngsville came out strong in the first set, but battled with momentum issues during the second when Tidioute kept the Eagles evenly matched.
The two teams exchanged points while Tidioute stayed slightly ahead. Youngsville regained their momentum, moving ahead of the Bulldogs to finish out the set.
Despite a strong effort by Tidioute, the third set ended with Youngsville on top throughout, bringing the Eagles to victory.
Youngsville's Kennedy Cratty led both teams with nine kills while Julie Jameson added another six. Judi Lewis, of Youngsville, notched eight aces. Kennedy Cratty was also attributed with four blocks and Tidioute's Anna Lindemuth had three.
"For our first time out, the girls played pretty well," said Youngsville coach Bev Fox. "We had a letdown in the second game, but overall they served pretty well. We have more experience this year. The girls played together last year, so the experience is there."
Youngsville also took the junior varsity matchup 25-11, 25-8. Elyssa Horn of Youngsville led the team with seven aces with five more added by Karrie Baker and Marissa Byler.
Tidioute goes home on Thursday to take on Bethel Baptist, while the Eagles head to Cochranton next Tuesday.
WCCS 3, Erie Bethel 0
Warren County Christian School (WCCS), the defending New Penn Christian Conference champion, swept Erie Bethel in its home opener Tuesday night. The Lions dominated all three sets, bringing the final scores to 25-8, 25-16, 25-13.
WCCS came out strong in the first set, beating Bethel quickly.
While points went back and forth throughout the sets, the WCCS momentum kept the Lions ahead. Kaitlin Weidner finished with 13 aces, while Allyssa Kerr added eight and Caitlin McCall landed five. Weidner also earned 14 assists and Desirae Kerr notched three of her own. Kerr led the team with seven kills, and McCall had the team's only three digs.
The WCCS meets Jamestown on Friday for their second home game of the season.
Johnsonburg 3, Sheffield 0
The Lady Wolverines dropped their season opener against Johnsonburg in three sets Tuesday night, 20-25, 18-25, and 16-25 at Sheffield High School.
Sheffield (0-1) will take on Bradford in a home match on Thursday.
"We had a couple kills, and a couple decent serves," said Sheffield coach Traci Vile. "We just fell apart. Maybe it was the first-game jitters."
The Lady Wolverines' junior varsity squad lost the opening set 18-25 before winning set number two 25-23. Johnsonburg claimed the third set to win the match, 15-11. Julia Vile had 16 service points in the loss for Sheffield.