Saturday, June 3, 2023

SC sweeps D-6 rival Altoona

The State College boys’ volleyball team can feel a little more confident about its postseason hopes, scoring a pair of 3-0 sweeps including of its top District 6 rival and seeing a more balanced offensive attack.

The Little Lions served up a dozen aces and dispatched Altoona 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 April 21. Brayden Kuruzovich and Jett True led from the service line with four aces each, and Sam Li added two. Kuruzovich also had 11 kills on 29 swings to go with seven assists, Kieran Leahey had six kills and 16 assists, and Li added four kills on 25 swings.

The numbers showed more balance compared to the first meeting between the teams on March 31, when Kuruzovich had 28 kills on 61 swings in a five-set contest, and they had 47 kills as a team.

“We’re trying to get Brayden to be more efficient,” coach Larry Campbell said. “We’re needing the other guys to step up. That will make a difference.”

The win also gives some confidence for the third meeting between the rivals May 17 in the District 6 Class 3A final, although the team also would have to progress through the District 3 tournament to earn a bid to the PIAA bracket.

“It’s good to beat Altoona both times,” Campbell said. “Depending on how our record shakes out, our whole playoffs may be just the D6 title.”

State College also swept Chambersburg 25-17, 25-19, 25-12 April 26, again with a balanced offense. The team was paced by 10 kills and 14 assists for Kuruzovich, nine kills and 17 assists for Leahey and seven kills for Niko Kaladaria. True delivered three aces and two blocks, and six digs each came from Leahey and Jackson Gross.

More challenges lie ahead, hosting Cumberland Valley on April 28 and the Little Lion Invitational on April 30 with many of the state’s top teams converging on State College.