There are a lot of high school boys' volleyball teams that have one or two big hitters that an opposing team can focus on stopping.
What can make a team great, however, is when it has more than just two weapons at its disposal.
York Suburban is just such a team.
Dover and their acting head coach, Chris Kraft, found out just how dangerous that York-Adams League-leading Suburban can be Thursday night.
The Trojans had four different starters reach double digits in kills (Fred Gard, Jaryd Eshler, Jacob Kauffman, Ted Hinnenkamp) against the Eagles. That versatility was tough to combat and the home team swept past Dover, 25-22, 25-13, 25-20.
Suburban improved to 9-0 in the league with just two league matches
"Their setter puts the ball where it needs to be," said Kraft, who filled in when head coach Chris Kennedy missed the contest for personal reasons. "They have five or six weapons out there and there's not a lot of weaknesses."
The Trojans have a trio of big, booming hitters in Kauffman (10 kills), Hinnekamp (15 kills) and Eshler (18 kills).
Some of the most important kills on the night, though, came from Gard, who makes a living away from the net. The four-year starter (13 kills) was able to sneak more than just a few volleys inside the back line for points in the clutch. Those kills frustrated the Eagles because they stopped several Dover chances to piece together runs.
"We've been successful for most of the year because we're able to get runs of five, six points at a time," Kraft said. "It's hard to get runs on a team like that."
Both teams battled back and forth in a Game 1 that wasn't decided until late. Setter Kody Deiter served three straight points during an opening 4-0 run, but the Eagles rallied to take leads of 9-8 and 10-9.
That last lead, however, was the final time the visitors would have the edge the rest of the game. A kill from Eshler sent Deiter back to the service line and the Trojan senior made the Eagles pay with four-straight points.
Kraft's team made a late charge to cut it to 24-22, but Gard finished things off with a kill to put his team ahead.
"Especially with our team, once we get the intensity up where everyone is yelling and screaming ... you really can't stop it," Gard said.
That summarized perhaps the team's first defining moment since ascending to the top of the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class AA state poll this week. With Dover jumping out to a 9-6 lead in Game 2, Suburban coach Jamie Evans called a rare timeout to try to stunt the Eagles' momentum.
And just how did the Trojans respond? Decisively, to say the least.
The home team came back from the 60-second hiatus almost a completely different outfit. Suburban scored the next seven points to take a 13-9 lead. The home team continued to play its style and finished on a remarkable 19-4 run to go up 2-0.
"That was definitely (a defining moment) for this year," Gard said. "So far at least, I guess."
Evans usually allows his experienced squad to play through rough spots, so when he takes a timeout it's significant.
"Sometimes I just need to get the team to calm down and take a breather," he said. "I just had to remind them how good our passing is. It goes away from time to time and that's the one thing we've been working on and trying to make that more consistent."
Dover played the first half of Game 3 without standout Ryan Lamparter, who came down on an ankle and immediately went down in obvious pain. Fortunately, the Juniata-bound senior was wearing an ankle brace and he was able to return, albeit without his powerful jump serve.
The Eagles were led by Ean Julius' nine kills, while Lamparter and Tyler Lehman each finished with eight kills. Setter Brandon Krone dished out 23 assists, while libero Tyler Wiley had eight digs.
Deiter finished with 38 assists to go along with four kills, four blocks, eight digs and two aces for Suburban. Eshler led the team with 16 digs, while Gard had 10 digs.
OTHER BOYS' VOLLEYBALL
CENTRAL 3, KEN NARD-DALE 0: At Fawn Grove, Spencer Ortmyer pounded 13 kills to help power the Panthers past the Rams, 25-21, 25-19, 25-15. Dylan Hose supplied six kills, two blocks, 37 assists and two aces for Central, and Dan Hamme delivered seven kills and one block. Nate Ellis (nine kills, three blocks), Dylan Tessier (five kills), Donald Walters (seven kills, one block) and Will Caldwell (12 digs) led K-D.
DALLASTOWN 3, NEW OXFORD 0: At New Oxford, the Wildcats won, 25-4, 25-17, 25-13. Barrett Wingard led the visitors with 15 kills, four digs and three blocks. He got a lot of support from Derek Peiffer (21 assists, three digs), Eric Swartz (five digs, five kills) and Justin Barnett (four digs, three aces, six assists). For the Colonials, Tyler Steckbeck had six digs and five kills, while Ross Starner had six assists. Dallastown won the JV match, 25-14, 25-15. Dallastown improved to 7-3 in the York-Adams League.
SUSQUEHANNOCK 3, EASTERN 1: At Wrightsville, the Warriors won, 25-20, 25-15, 20-25, 25-22. Thomas Bonitz led the visitors with 10 kills and 12 digs. Jon Rouse (30 assists, 11 digs, six kills, three blocks), Alex Miller (seven digs, six kills) and Thomas Michels (31 digs) also excelled for the Warriors. For the Golden Knights, Bryan Sloat had 33 assists, 12 digs and four kills, while Sandon Eaton (18 digs, 15 kills, four aces) and Tyler Himes (31 digs, six kills) also filled up the stat sheet. Susquehannock won the JV match, 25-17, 25-22.
SPRING GROVE 3, RED LION 2: At Spring Grove, Aaron Hoff led the Rockets to a 25-15, 25-20, 19-25, 18-25, 15-8 victory with 20 kills, four blocks and three digs. Drew Blecher (40 assists, four kills), Dalton Hall (27 digs) and Derek Forbes (10 kills) also had big nights for the Rockets. For the Lions, Dan Longnecker had 28 assists and 11 digs, while Dylan Horne had 11 kills and three digs and Alex Keller had nine kills, four blocks and six digs. The Rockets won the JV match, 19-25, 25-17, 17-15.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.