BUTLER TWP — There was no rest for the weary Tuesday night, but a win was in the cards for Seneca Valley’s girls volleyball team.
The Raiders’ hectic schedule brought them to Butler for a Section 1-4A clash, which Seneca Valley took with a 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 sweep.
“We played a lot of sets last weekend at the Cumberland Valley Tournament, then we lost in five sets to West Allegheny (Monday),” said Seneca Valley coach Karen Martini. “Our girls are tired and some of them don’t feel well, but we’re getting there. We played better tonight than we had been playing.”
Seniors Hannah White and Emily Devlin helped keep the Golden Tornado at bay all evening. Devlin tallied five kills in the first set, which saw the Raiders withstand a 6-0 run from the Tornado that cut SV’s lead to 16-15. Devlin dropped three kills down the stretch and Kiara Carrasquilla added a pair.
“Once we get into a rhythm, get into the flow of the game, it’s hard for other teams to get us out of it,” said Devlin, an outside hitter who earned section, WPIAL and state honors last season. She has verbally committed to play at Robert Morris University.
Maria Lucas had two kills and Tabitha Walker and Hope Fiorina combined for three aces to help Butler jump out to a 7-2 lead in the second set. But four service errors, including ones on back-to-back possessions late, hindered the Tornado’s chances.
After winning its first section meeting of the season against North Hills Sept. 12, Butler has now dropped four straight to Shaler, Pine-Richland, North Allegheny and Seneca.
“Our girls are still learning how to win,” said Tornado coach Meghan Lucas. “It’s a meat-grinder of a section when you’re going up the No. 1, 2 and 3 teams in the WPIAL. It’s not an excuse, but it is tough mentally and something we’re trying to get over.”
White had five of her team-leading 14 kills in the third set, the closest one of the night. Butler pulled even at 21 following four combined kills from Heidi Gross and Alyssa Eyth. The Raiders regained possession, scored two points — one on a kill from Devlin — before a Tornado service error ended the match.
Julia Gibson led Butler with eight kills. Gabby Lucas added 19 digs.
Maddie McDonough had 20 digs for the Raiders.
Devlin ended the match with 13 kills. She is one of SV’s four captains, along with Brooke Lawson, McDonough and White.
“We look to Emily for leadership,” said Martini. “When she does come out of the game, we sometimes find it hard to remain focused and our cohesiveness slows down. It’s something we’re working on.”