ERIE, Pa. – This one was a year in the making.
A year after finishing as the District 10 runner-up, Warren ground out a 3-2 (25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 19-25, 15-11) win over Meadville for the D10 Class 3A volleyball championship.
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“Truly, I can’t believe we just won,” Warren’s Summer Lucks said in her Cole Orthodontic Associates player interview. “We’ve been working for it ever since this summer and honestly it just feels surreal right now.”
See Lucks’ full Cole Orthodontic Associates interview:
The first set showed just how evenly matched these two teams were, with neither able to string together more than two consecutive points through the first 20 points of the set.
Warren got the first run and took a 20-14 lead. Meadville closed the gap to 23-20, but the Dragons held off the rally and an Alexia Bowers kill gave Warren a 25-21 win and a 1-0 lead.
The Dragons looked poised to take a 2-0 lead in the second set, leading 21-17. Meadville had other ideas as the Bulldogs ended the set with an 8-0 run to win it 25-21 and knot the match at 1-1.
“We were talking about confidence (between sets),” Warren coach Mike Dolan said. “We felt that we folded a bit in that second set, but they’re a good team. So we weren’t too down on ourselves. We knew we were not gonna come in here and sweep them. So we talked about staying confident, staying on it”
See Dolan’s full interview:
Warren controlled most of the third set and rolled to a 25-15 win to take a 2-1 match lead.
Meadville grabbed a 3-point lead early in the 4th set and though Warren closed the gap on multiple occasions, the Bulldogs responded. The Dragons finally broke through to take an 18-17 lead.
Meadville answered right back with a 5-0 run to go up 22-8 and went on to win the set 25-19 to send it to a fifth set.
Warren jumped out to a 4-1 lead to start the fifth, but Meadville answered right back to go up 5-4. The Dragons came back to take a 9-7 lead, then pushed the advantage to 11-7.
The Dragons took a timeout after the Bulldogs closed the gap to 13-11. The timeout worked as Warren won the next two points and its first D10 title since 2018.
A game that featured plenty of firepower with Meadville’s Emma Parks and Ellie Kellick and Warren’s Kylie Fehlman, Alexia Bowers, and Maddy Jones, was ultimately decided on the defensive end as nine players recorded double-digit digs between the two teams.
“We both are scrappy teams, we have a lot of hitting power, but we definitely needed to hit the floor, too,” Warren’s Lily Newton said in her Cole Orthodontic Associates player interview. “There’s a lot we needed to do to win that.”
See Newton’s full Cole Orthodontic Associates interview:
Kendall Mealy and Sydney Holt led the way defensively for the Bulldogs with 35 and 33 digs, respectively. Gabby Revel had 13 digs and six blocks, and Elliott Schleicher had 11 digs and ran the offense with 39 set assists.
Parks had 23 kills and 13 digs and Kellick had 10 kills.
Lucks finished with 37 digs and four assists. Sophie Walker had 10 digs and three aces, and Lindsay Madigan had 22 digs, four aces, and ran the offense with 49 set assists.
Jones had 13 kills, 10 digs, and three aces, Bowers had 12 kills, Fehlman had 13 kills, and Newton had six kills.
Warren will host the No. 2 team from the WPIAL (District 7), either Hampton or North Catholic (the championship game is Nov. 4 at 3 p.m.) on Tuesday, Nov. 7.