There once was a time when York Suburban boys' volleyball coach Jamie Evans had to talk to his players about keeping their emotions in check.
Those days seem like ages ago.
Evans now has a team that blends a nearly-perfect mix of confidence, talent and experience.
These days, when things get a little antsy, Evans doesn't worry. And why should he? He's coaching the No. 1-ranked Class AA team in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association poll. The 2012 Trojans have demonstrated that, even when things snowball against them, they know it won't last for long.
On a Senior Night that honored the program's eight upperclassmen, Suburban started slow. To no one's surprise, that didn't last long. The home team rallied
The three-game whitewash also completed a perfect York-Adams League season at 11-0. The Trojans didn't drop a single league game this season. Suburban also clinched the outright league title and the top seed in next week's league playoffs. The Trojans will face the winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal pairing between Dallastown and Central in next Thursday's semifinals.
"I had to talk to them a couple times last year about attitude and temper and how it doesn't equate in volleyball," Evans said. "When you act like that, it doesn't work. We had moments of that last year as juniors, but how far they've come and the maturity in their play -- I think that's been a huge advantage."
The home crowd was into the match early when the seniors were announced and took the court in a pregame ceremony with their parents. It continued during the player introductions and grew to its loudest when Lucas DuMars took the court for the first couple of points.
"Having the fans cheer like that ... I think they play a little harder when someone else is on the court," Evans said.
DuMars, a standout for the Suburban
"Every year it was, 'I'm coming out coach,'" Evans said. "He was just dedicated to basketball and I get that. He's friends with a lot of guys on the team."
DuMars finally honored his promise this year and took his role seriously when others probably wouldn't. As a first-year player, he played and practiced almost entirely with the junior varsity squad. So when he took the court Tuesday, everyone was excited.
"He's a lot of fun out there," said Ted Hinnenkamp, one of DuMars' teammates and
After the Trojans rebounded from an early 2-0 hole, they took charge when the match was knotted at 20-20. Suburban won five of the final six points, the last one on a Hinnenkamp kill.
Spring Grove, which had to win in order to have a shot at making the six-team York-Adams League playoffs next week, played hard but was outclassed by a better team, according to Rockets' coach Bill Hahn.
"A team like that who spreads the offense from side to side, that really exploits our middles," Hahn said. "With a team like Suburban, they have a ton of hitters so you can't really focus on one guy."
That balance was evidenced on the stat sheet. The Trojans received five or more kills from four different hitters. Hinnenkamp led the way with 12 kills, while Jaryd Eshler tallied 10. Both Fred Gard and Jacob Kauffman each smashed five kills.
Setter Kody Deiter dished out 32 assists while picking up five digs, an ace, a kill and a block. Gard led the defense with 11 digs.
Spring Grove was paced by Aaron Hoff's 13 kills. Setter Drew Blecher dished out 20 assists to go along with eight digs, while libero Dalton Hall finished with 11 digs.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.