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Lady Panthers continue run for state title on Saturday

By Sam Hetrick, news editor

The score is 14-13, game-point. You are in the fifth set. Seconds go by as you are a point away from winning the D10 Championship against one of the best teams in the state. You have butterflies in your stomach. The ball is served, a pass here, a pass there. Finally, you see your teammate spike the ball to win the championship match. The score is 15-13. The crowd is screaming. Everyone is going crazy. You’ve done it; you’ve won the D10 title.

This is what the Saegertown girls volleyball team felt on November 5 when they defeated Cochranton in five sets to become the D10 champs. The last D10 title for the ladies was in 2010, so this victory has been a long time in the making.
Before the volleyball season, the girls wondered if they would even have a season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now they are headed to the state quarterfinal match against Bishop Canevin on Saturday.

Senior Dixie Kindervater blocks a hit at a recent match. The ladies take on WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin on Saturday, Nov. 14.

This year’s team is led by three seniors: Ava Jones, Amber Costello, and Dixie Kindervater. All three fill critical roles: setter, libero, and main hitter. The juniors include (all-state player) Brittany Houck, Averie Braymer, Abby Kirhady, Kami Fuller, Mollie Prysbrowski, and Aidenne McLaughlin. These ladies compiled an impressive 10-1 record in the regular season.

According to captain Ava Jones, the strength of the team lies in their ability to cooperate. “We all get along well and can pick each other back up when needed,” Jones said. “We communicate well, and we know our strengths as well as our weaknesses so we can balance out the court.“

Looking ahead to Saturday, Assistant Coach Tim Houck thinks Bishop Canevin’s 7-1 record makes them a good match-up for the Lady Panthers. “I’ve watched video on them,” Houck said. “I think they’re similar to us and teams we’ve played. If we play well, we’ll have a good chance of beating them.” Jones agrees: “As long as we communicate well, hustle, and use the skills we have, we can win,” she said. “It’s all about our mindset and attitudes during the game. If we are having fun we are unbeatable.’

The match will begin at noon at Bishop Canevin, which is located in the Carnegie neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Details for the livestream will be posted to all Panther Press media as soon as they are available, and you can follow the action at @PantherPressSHS on Twitter.

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Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School

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