DALLASTOWN -- The Delone Catholic girls' volleyball program achieved a first on Tuesday night.
When you consider the Squirettes' rich tradition in the sport, that's something that people are bound to notice.
Now, after a thrilling two-day journey in the York-Adams League Tournament, the Squirettes can call themselves league champions for the first time.
After surviving a grueling five-game match against Susquehannock in the semifinals, Delone rallied from a 2-0 hole in the finals against South Western to claim a 18-25, 16-25, 29-27, 25-16, 15-12 victory at Dallastown High School Tuesday night.
"A program like ours, that has been so good for so long, anytime you do something as a first ... you're really accomplishing something," Delone coach Jason Leppo said.
And to think, the Squirettes were precariously close to joining the list of standout Delone teams that fell in either the finals or semifinals of the league tournament. The Mustangs, who swept Central York in the other semifinal, had two chances to sweep their Hanover-area rivals in a back-and-forth Game 3.
"It seemed like every other year we would always get second," Delone senior Allie Mondorff said. "We could never get to that point where we could just go, and this year, I don't know what it is, but we can all come together and we just did it. It was amazing."
Mondorff had a big impact on her team's triumph. The setter/outside hitter dished out 37 assists to go with 14 digs and seven kills against South Western. Teammate Cambria Weirman led the Squirettes with 17 kills to go with 13 digs. Cheyenne Altland finished with eight kills and three blocks, while libero Hannah Lawrence paced the Delone defense with 27 digs.
Those performances were much needed after the Squirettes lost senior Ali Smith to an ankle sprain in their semifinal victory over Susquehannock (25-15, 25-18, 21-25, 25-27, 15-10). Smith was helped off the court and immediately went to the emergency room before returning to the bench midway through Game 1 of the finals.
While she was unable to help her team on the court, Smith did her best to inspire the team after the Squirettes fell into their 0-2 hole vs. the Mustangs.
"She was on her crutches screaming and yelling," Mondorff said. "It was just an intense moment where we looked at ourselves and went, 'we have to do this.' She totally deserved to be on that court and it just sucked that she couldn't."
While Delone was actually the team that played 10 games Tuesday night, it was the Mustangs who appeared to tire as the contest wore on. South Western only plays eight players regularly and Coach Cathy Harman felt her team didn't have much left in Games 4 and 5.
"We could have finished them off," Harman said. "We had them. I do know that Game 3 was pivotal, but I do know that we have eight players and they have 18 or whatever. We had no rest and we ran out of gas."
Erin Harman led the Mustangs with 22 kills in the setback. Setter Mariah Krumrine finished with 43 assists, while middle hitter Holly Arey tallied 11 kills, seven blocks and nine digs. Libero Sarah Bortner finished with 34 digs to lead the South Western defense.
The Mustangs, who fell by 3-1 and 3-0 scores to Central during the regular season, managed to find a way to reverse course against the Panthers in the semifinals. Their 25-18, 25-18, 25-23 victory demonstrated that they are a team that nobody can count out despite previous results.
"We were much more consistent," Harman said of the semifinal victory. "They played much more relaxed and they played with each other so much better than we did the night before."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.