Volleyball teams route Seneca Valley in home opener


The girls’ JV and varsity volleyball teams played their home openers on Sept. 13 against the Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles. The sea of red fans got their first glimpse of the teams who are trying to match their impressive 2021 regular season records. Both teams had winning records and the varsity squad went on to make a deep playoff run before getting edged out in the state semifinals.  

To kick off the evening, the JV made easy work of the Screaming Eagles in a decisive straight set home opener win. The team was clicking on all cylinders as they perfectly executed several different offensive sets and easily stifled the Seneca Valley offensive attack. “I think a lot of us were nervous at first because it’s the beginning of the season and also our first home game. By the end of the game we were very comfortable and we felt really good about how we played,” sophomore Serena John said.

Riding the JV momentum, the varsity team got out to a quick 6-2 start and forced an early Screaming Eagles timeout. This timeout proved to favor the Patriots as they went on a 10-3 run to extend the first set lead to double digits. They would soon finish off the set 25-7 with some help from a plethora of Screaming Eagle unforced errors. The spiking was the biggest weapon for the Patriots as they had over 44% of their 18 kills in the first set.

With the Patriots resting multiple starters for the beginning of the second set, it was tightly contested as the Patriots could only grab an 8-5 lead and were in need of a quick spark to solidify the set. This spark came when junior Allie Botha served up three consecutive aces and extended the lead to 12-5 before a Seneca Valley timeout. The team would go on to serve six aces in the set and would easily win 25-10.

The final set went back and forth as both teams were exchanging points and were deadlocked at 7-7. This would quickly change as the Patriots went on a 9-1 run and would finish the match 25-10. The team got a flash at what the future holds as freshman Taran Su contributed with an ace off the bench.

“We lost a large amount of teammates since last year so we had to learn how to play with a lot of different and new people. We were able to adjust quickly and work really hard as a team to compete against other schools and win together,” senior Miranda Saenger said.

The team had 14 aces and 18 kills in the game with 50% of the kills coming from Saenger and junior Daniella Oyekola. Botha and Saenger both lead the team with four aces and the team had eight different players record an ace.

 Trying to maintain the undefeated record, the team goes to Blair today and returns home to face Springbrook on Sept. 20. “We looked pretty strong and I’m glad to see a lot of people contributing well and a lot of fans coming out tonight,” coach Mary Malinauskas said.