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State Volleyball sweeps Baldwin in PIAA volleyball opener

By Kenny Varner

BELLEFONTE – They never flinched.

The State College Volleyball team came out with it’s A-game and looked like they were going to have an easy time with their first round opponent Baldwin Tuesday in the opening round of the PIAA State Volleyball Championship.

The Little Lions opened the first game, winning 25-12.

However, the Highlanders would give State College all they could handle as the Lady Little Lions won the final two games 25-23 and 26-24.

In both games, the Lions has to fight back from a late deficit to pick up the win.

In the first game, the team was led by a 4-point service run by Kacy Sekunda which was followed very directly with a three point runoff by Kate Lachendro.

“Typically we are a very slow starting team. We came out with guns a blazing,” State College coach Chad Weight said. “We played really well. In the second two sets, I just don’t know. We stopped doing the things that made us successful in the first game.”

But the Lady Lions knew how to get things done and didn’t panic under the pressure.

With the 1-0 victory, things got a little tighter in game two, State College fell behind early by a 6-point deficit at 11-5.

However, State College would chip into the Highlanders lead little by little, cutting it to 12-8 before Erin Lutz would take her place behind the service line and spark her teammates into making the comeback a reality.

She posted seven service points in a row, putting her team up by three, 15-12.

But like most strong teams, Baldwin was able to bounce back from the long play on defense and get hot from the serving line as well, tying things at 16.

With a side out and a service point from Jess Irwin, the Lions took back the service advantage and the lead at 18-16.

But the two would go toe-to-toe down the stretch tied at 22.

However, State College got a crucial side out and a critical service point from Lutz to help seal the deal down the stretch, winning 25-23.

In the final contest, it would be another back and forth battle for most of the contest.

It looked as though the Highlanders were going to pull the victory, leading State 24-23 with the ball.

State College’s defense stood tall once again, like it did in the previous game and was able to get the ball back on a spike by Sekunda.

Sekunda followed her clutch hit with some clutch serving from the service line, rounding out two consecutive points en route to the sweep and hard fought 26-24 victory.

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