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Connellsville's depth on display in win over Albert Gallatin

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 12:27 a.m.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Connellsville's Brianna Stouffer (13) and Molly Bauer (19) attempt to make a block during a match against Albert Gallatin on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 at Connellsville Junior High.

At the beginning of the season, Connellsville coach Casey O'Brien surveyed his roster and was thrilled with the overall depth the Falcons possessed.

On Tuesday, that depth was on full display as the Falcons used a mix of starters and bench players to post a three-set victory over visiting Albert Gallatin, 25-9, 25-15, 25-10, in a Section 2-AAA match played at Connellsville Junior High.

“What (this match) represents is how deep we are,” O'Brien said. “I can throw in our whole lineup from top to bottom in multiple positions, and we pretty much don't skip a beat.”

The key to Connellsville's victory over the Colonials was a fast start. The Falcons (5-2, 4-2) jumped out to big leads in each set, which allowed the home team to play with a little less stress.

It also afforded O'Brien the opportunity to get a number of girls some quality playing time. It's something he believes will help the team when the matches get bigger and tighter later in the season.

“When we get in the tough games, this will help us,” O'Brien said. “If someone happens to not be at their best, we can adjust into something else.”

A number of Falcons played well in the win over the Colonials. Emily Means led Connellsville with 19 assists and four aces. Emma Bell recorded 13 digs and Abbie Siecinski slammed down seven kills. Molly Bauer was strong defensively with four blocks.

While Connellsville enjoyed the fruits of a deep lineup, the same cannot be said for the Colonials (3-7, 0-5).

“Our starting middle hitter rolled her ankle and was out, and our starting setter has the flu, so that doesn't help,” Albert Gallatin coach Sue Lengvarsky said. “We're still trying to figure some things out.”

The Colonials, despite enduring the lopsided loss, had several solid performances. Tyler Peebles recorded seven assists and one ace, and Jaclyn Thomas added eight digs. Kristin Sroka contributed five kills.

The Falcons face a tough test Thursday when they open the second half of their section schedule with a home match against Upper St. Clair. Connellsville used the match against Albert Gallatin as a way to keep a number of players sharp.

“We try to set our own goals,” O'Brien said, noting that the Falcons were able to work on specific serves and offensive calls. “We put the pressure on ourselves.”

Albert Gallatin also plays Thursday when it travels to Peters Township.

Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com.

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