Meadville aims for PIAA gold after 3rd straight District 10 Class 2A volleyball title

·2 min read

Meadville won its third straight District 10 Class 2A championship and now sets its sights on another potential deep run in the PIAA tournament.

It fell just short last year, losing in the state final to Lower Dauphin.

The Bulldogs stormed to an early lead in their four-set win over Crawford Country rival Cochranton during Thursday night's championship match at Maplewood High School. Jackson Decker led the way with 24 kills and six digs as Meadville won 25-9, 23-25, 25-17, 25-23.

Jackson Decker, Meadville
Jackson Decker, Meadville

"It was a good atmosphere," Bulldogs coach Nick Bancroft said. "It was a packed house. People were right on top of you in the stands. It was a fun environment. We didn't really make an error in the first set. We took all the energy and never gave it back."

Julian Jones, Meadville
Julian Jones, Meadville

Julian Jones added 17 kills and nine digs, Cameron Schleicher had six kills and Caden Mealy made 48 assists.

Bancroft's first group of freshmen are now seniors after he began leading the program in 2019 when the Bulldogs won District 10 and PIAA titles. The second season, in 2020, there was no District 10 championship contested due to COVID-19. The next two seasons have resulted in D-10 titles.

The senior class includes Jones, Schleicher, Mealy, Braden Bosco, Mitch McKain and Codey Deeter.

Caden Mealy, Meadville
Caden Mealy, Meadville

After a trip to the state finals last year, and its four-set loss to Lower Dauphin, Meadville has high aspirations in 2022. Bancroft said his team has done a good job focusing on each match in front of it.

"We had a lot coming back," Bancroft said. "They did have high expectations. I think they've got a pretty good head on them that its one game at a time. We can't look past Ambridge on Tuesday night. If we continue to play great ball and do what we need to do, I do like how things look right right now. Their mindset right now is good.

"We had a sour taste all summer long. The guys started coming to open gyms in October and 6 a.m. workouts all winter long. They're ready to go."

The Bulldogs (17-0) will open PIAA tournament play on Tuesday night at home when they host Ambridge at 6 p.m.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Meadville 3-peats as District 10 Class 2A volleyball champion