Susquehannock’s Laura Savin, left, and Brittney Fitzgerald block a shot from Central York Thursday night.Susquehannock swept the Panthers, 26-24,
Susquehannock's Laura Savin, left, and Brittney Fitzgerald block a shot from Central York Thursday night.Susquehannock swept the Panthers, 26-24, 25-21, 25-12. (BIL BOWDEN -- For The York Dispatch)


GLEN ROCK -- While the Susquehannock girls' volleyball team may not be the most experienced or the most physically imposing club in the York-Adams League, the Warriors may very well be the league's best team.

They placed a pretty strong claim on that moniker Thursday night against Division I rival Central York.

In a matchup of the top two teams in the District 3-AAA power rankings entering the showdown, the Warriors saved their best for last. Susquehannock broke open late ties in both Game 1 and Game 2 before dominating the Panthers in Game 3 to complete an impressive 26-24, 25-21, 25-12 sweep on Dig Pink night.

"They're a very good team," Central coach Nate Ocasio said. "You have to tip your hats to them. They're an excellent team and they played very well tonight."

The Warriors used a strong service game and a gritty defense to thwart a Panthers squad that was looking for revenge after dropping its previous regular-season showdown vs. the Warriors in four games.

"Those are the cornerstones of our program," Susquehannock coach Rob Marrison said. "We're not the tallest team around and I think people overlook us. But these kids have worked their butts off in practice and it showed here tonight."

The home team led throughout Game 1, but the Panthers were able to even the score on four instances, the last coming at 24-24. The Warriors, however, got back-to-back kills to capture the first game.


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Central appeared to be in good shape to even the contest after taking a 14-9 lead in Game 2. After a timeout by Marrison, the hosts responded with a 6-0 run to get back into it.

"We were able to come back with a good service run," Marrison said. "I think from there on we started to gain the momentum."

Ocasio agreed.

"They have excellent ball-control and they're a defensive-minded team," he said. "They pride themselves on keeping the ball off the floor."

Halle Murdock, center, and teammates Bethany Miller, left, and Kelly Franz, right, celebrate their sweep of Central York.
Halle Murdock, center, and teammates Bethany Miller, left, and Kelly Franz, right, celebrate their sweep of Central York. (BIL BOWDEN -- For The York Dispatch)

Players such as Laura Savin, Abigail Bentz and Kelly Franz have helped Marrison, who coached their older sisters. The experience of growing up, watching and learning from their siblings has helped to offset their youth. Bentz is a junior, while Savin and Franz are sophomores.

"It's kind of cool to be a coach and last this long and see all the siblings come through the program," Marrison said. "I can tell that the younger sisters that have come into the gym, that their older sisters have beaten up on them with volleyball, because they already sort of know how to play the game and they've been around enough to see a lot of volleyball. So that's kind of neat."

Savin is hoping to distinguish herself from her sister, Caroline, who graduated last year. The older Savin was noticeable as a 6-foot-plus middle hitter. Laura Savin doesn't quite have her sister's height, but she makes up for that in agility, as well as with her serving prowess.

"We get along really well on this team," Savin said. "Everybody kind of knows each other's moves, and our defense is just so good on this team. And coach focuses on defense."

That was evidenced on the stat sheet. Five different Warriors -- Abbey Barnhart (21), Bethany Miller (18), Abigail Bentz (10), Laura Castriota (10) and Kelly Franz (10) -- recorded double figures in digs.

Bentz led Susquehannock in kills with 11 to go with 12 assists. Franz led the offense with 17 assists.

Naya Cheatem led the Panthers with 13 kills, while libero Alexis Biesecker tallied 12 digs. Setter Erin Dobbeck dished out 19 assists.

Susquehannock improved to 9-0 in the division, while Central fell to 7-2.

Notes: The Warriors have raised in excess of $2,200 so far with their Dig Pink fundraiser. In its fifth year, Marrison said the team has raised more than $10,000 for the Side-Out Foundation, an organization that unites volleyball players and coaches to work toward a goal of furthering breast cancer awareness.

"You can't imagine the work that goes into this," Marrison said. "And they do this every year. This is the fifth year that we've done this. It's about $2,000 to $2,500 a year that we raise, and they do a good job. The kids are all into it. Whatever they can do to (raise) money, they're out there hustling for it."

Part of the Dig Pink fundraiser included the crowning of the Prince of Pink, which went to the male student who raised the most funds. Steven Martinez was crowned the Prince of Pink after raising more than $250.

OTHER GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL

YORK SUBURBAN 3, KENNARD-DALE 0: At Suburban, the Trojans won the York-Adams Division II match, 25-15, 25-11, 25-21. Kayla Gibbs led the Trojans with 12 kills and 13 digs. Also for Suburban, Emily Miller had 15 assists and seven digs, Georgia DuMars had 12 assists and nine digs and Maura Brehl had five aces, four kills and seven digs. For the Rams, Marlaine McConville had six kills, three digs and three blocks, Katie Leftridge had six digs, three aces and three blocks and Brooke Davis had six assists and three digs. Suburban won the JV match, 25-17, 25-14.

WEST YORK 3, RED LION 1: At Red Lion, the Bulldogs rallied for a 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-22 triumph. Amanda Sides (15 kills), Shaina Robinett (16 digs, nine kills), Olivia Drawbaugh (37 assists) and Alexis Harbold (30 digs) led West York. Red Lion's leaders were Lindsey Blevins (15 kills, 12 digs), Marley Vebares (16 digs, seven kills), Julia Pandolfino (15 digs) and Brooke Daugherty (33 assists). Red Lion won the JV match, 26-24, 25-18.

NORTHEASTERN 3, YORK HIGH 0: At Manchester, the Bobcats won the York-Adams Division II match, 25-8, 25-8, 25-9. Maddy Reichard led the Bobcats with 18 kills, 10 digs and five aces. Also excelling for the Bobcats were Kylie Cotroneo (four kills, nine digs), Holly Shuemaker (four kills) and Courtney Miller (three digs). For the Bearcats, Paola Ramos had two kills and two digs while Kaliah Walker had eight digs and Cheyenne Bradford had two blocks. The Bobcats improved to 7-1 in the division. Northeastern won the JV match, 25-9, 25-18.

SPRING GROVE 3, DALLASTOWN 0: At Spring Grove, the Rockets rolled to a 25-18, 25-10, 25-7 triumph. Samantha Bollinger (10 kills), Brooke Osborne (18 assists, nine digs) and Savannah Yingling (13 digs) paced Spring Grove. Dallastown's leaders were Becca Flinchbaugh (10 digs) and Toni Coppas (12 assists). Spring Grove won the JV match, 25-22, 25-3.

YORK CATHOLIC 3, FAIRFIELD 0: At Fairfield, the Irish won the York-Adams Division III match, 25-11, 26-24, 25-12. Maggie Allen led the Irish with 10 kills and four digs. Also for the Irish, Natalie Stewart had 27 assists and six digs, Catherine Isherwood had five kills and eight digs and Liz Miller had nine kills.

HANOVER 3, BERMUDI AN SPRINGS 1: At Hanover, the Hawkettes rallied for a 17-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 win. Renee Drawbaugh (13 digs, five kills, seven aces), Shelby Barnes (11 kills, seven digs) and Kelsey Staub (30 assists, seven digs, four aces) led the winners. Madyson Whitcomb (15 kills), Madison Itterly (11 digs) and Gabrielle Emeigh (13 digs, 15 assists) led Bermudian. Hanover won the JV match, 25-15, 20-25, 15-13.

DELONE CATHOLIC 3, YORK TECH 0: At Spry, the Squirettes won the York-Adams Division III match, 25-17, 25-6, 25-15. Katie Laughman, Lilly Singleton and Karigen Emig each had six kills for the Squirettes. For the Spartans, Savannah Grimes had six blocks. Delone improved to 8-0 in the division. Delone won the JV match, 25-7, 25-5.

NEW OXFORD 3, EAST ERN YORK 1: At New Oxford, the Colonials captured a 25-22, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23 victory. Bonaire Berry (25 assists, five aces) and Brooke Krebbs (nine kills) led the winners. Eastern's leaders were Lauren Reichard (16 kills, 10 blocks, 11 digs, five aces) and Lauryn Snyder (27 assists, five digs). Eastern won the JV match, 25-21, 25-21.

WAYNESBORO 3, LIT TLESTOWN 2: At Littlestown, the visitors won, 25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-10. For the Thunderbolts, Taylor Nicol had 23 kills and seven digs, while Lauren Slater had 39 assists and 13 digs. Waynesboro won the JV match, 24-26, 25-14, 15-13.

SOUTH WESTERN 3, DOVER 0: At Dover, the Mustangs triumphed, 25-21, 25-16, 25-20. Holly Arey (13 kills, 11 digs), Erin Harman (22 kills, nine digs), Hannah McMaster (36 assists, seven digs) and Tori Sager (23 digs) led the winners. For Dover, Bayleigh Hoffman (17 kills, 14 assists, 12 digs), Lauryn Messner (24 assists, six digs) and Natalie Seitz (14 kills, 10 digs) were the stat leaders. South Western won the JV match, 25-21, 25-20.

-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.