EMIGSVILLE -- Central York's run to the championship at Saturday's Dallastown Invitational was a great experience for the Panthers' volleyball team.
But it also provided a little bit of fuel for rival Susquehannock.
The Warriors read up on all they could find regarding the Panthers' triumph that concluded with a three-game victory over West York in the finals. While that may not have helped Susquehannock on the court, it certainly helped to get the Warriors focused before their match against the Panthers on Tuesday.
The Susquehannock girls pulled out victories late in Game 2 and Game 4 to earn a 25-23, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22 triumph at Central York High.
"The mental aspect has been the story of our year so far," Susquehannock coach Rob Marrison said. "We start to take mental breaks, and that's a good team that we were facing here tonight. I think we just got lucky there at the end because they definitely had the momentum there in Games 3 and 4."
The Warriors (3-0 in Division I) raced out to a 12-2 lead in Game 2 and appeared headed for a possible sweep. Central, however, stormed back to take a 23-21 lead, only to see the visitors claim the final four points to escape with a 2-0 advantage.
"We just got away from the basics of what we've been doing in practice," Central coach Nate Ocasio said. "That's all it was. The first two games we didn't stick to what we do, and in Games 3 and 4 we got more comfortable and that was the difference."
After the Panthers (2-1 in Division I) dominated Game 3, the home team cruised to an 18-14 lead in Game 4. That's when Susquehannock junior Abigail Bentz turned the tide for her team with a clutch kill. The setter/outside hitter saw a huge hole in the middle of the court and dumped a set into it to cut the lead to 18-15. That ignited an 11-4 spurt that concluded with a game-ending ace that was initially ruled out before it was ultimately decided to be on the line.
"Oh my gosh," said Bentz, who finished with 21 kills and eight assists. "The weight was just lifted off of our shoulders after that. She called it out and then in ... it was just so intense. We wanted to win so bad."
Bentz, one of the leaders of an unusually large 12-girl varsity squad, admitted that the whole team really looked forward to meeting the Panthers, especially after Central's showing Saturday.
"We knew how excited that they were after winning the Dallastown tournament," Bentz said. "We're all sitting there in English class going through the (Internet) reading the (story online)."
Perhaps the biggest area of concern for Ocasio was his team's serve-receive. The Warriors had 12 aces, most of which came in Games 1 and 4.
"We just have to be more consistent," he said. "And that's the bottom line. If we can pass, we'll win. We're dominant up front and have some really good attackers, but if you can't contact pass it doesn't matter."
Naya Cheatem led the Panthers with 15 kills. Setter Erin Dobbeck dished out 22 assists.
Kelly Franz led the Warriors with 25 assists, while libero Bethany Miller tallied 25 digs.
OTHER GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL
SPRING GROVE 3, DALLASTOWN 0: At Dallastown, the Rockets rolled, 25-18, 25-17, 25-21. Mia Bennett (13 kills), Brooke Osborne (32 assists, nine digs) and Savanna Yingling (16 digs) led the winners. Dallastown was paced by Kat Forry (13 digs), Megan Clinton (11 assists) and Becca Flinchbaugh (six kills). Dallastown won the JV match, 16-25, 25-22, 17-15.
EASTERN YORK 3, NEW OXFORD 0: The host Golden Knights won, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23. They were led by Erin Kalke (13 digs, five kills), Lauren Reichard (11 digs, six kills), Allie Crumling (14 digs) and Lauryn Snyder (13 assists). Bonaire Berry (18 assists) and Alexis Hufnagle (11 kills) led New Oxford.
NORTHEASTERN 3, YORK HIGH 0: The visiting Bobcats won, 25-7, 25-14, 25-8. Northeastern was led by Maddie Reichard (seven kills), Alissa Wertz (five aces, four digs, three kills), Katlyn Rode (seven aces) and Whitney Brown (15 assists). In JV action, Northeastern won, 25-13, 25-7.
YORK SUBURBAN 3, KENNARD-DALE 0: At Fawn Grove, Emily Miller and Georgia DuMars combined for 23 assists to help the Trojans sweep the Rams by the identical score of 25-20. Morgan Lehman delivered seven kills for Suburban and Maura Brehl recorded five kills and 16 digs. Olivia Pastelak (21 assists), Marlaine McConville (nine kills, 13 digs) and Lauren Ciccitello (12 digs) led K-D. Suburban won the JV match, 25-16, 25-9.
BERMUDIAN SPRINGS 3, HANOVER 2: At York Springs, the Eagles won, 18-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-7, 15-9. Madyson Whitcomb led the Eagles with 15 kills and 15 blocks. Teammate Madison Itterly had 15 digs and seven kills. For the Hawkettes, Shelby Barnes had 18 digs and 14 kills. Bermudian won the JV match, 25-23, 25-22.
DELONE CATHOLIC 3, YORK TECH 0: At McSherrystown, the Squirettes cruised, 25-4, 25-14, 25-12. Sarah Senft led the Squirettes with five kills and three aces. For the Spartans, Adrianna Beattie had five digs, three kills and three blocks. Delone won the JV match, 2-0.
SOUTH WESTERN 3, DOVER 2: At Hanover, the Mustangs won, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 15-10. Erin Harman led the Mustangs with 20 kills and 29 digs. Teammate Holly Arey had 14 kills and 24 digs. For the Eagles, Bayleigh Hoffman had 20 kills, 15 digs and 12 assists, while Natalie Seitz had 25 digs and 13 kills and Lauryn Messner had 25 assists and nine digs.
YORK CATHOLIC 3, FAIRFIELD 0: The host Irish won, 25-15, 25-13, 25-9. Natalie Stewart (18 assists) and Meredith Beecher (seven kills, seven aces) led York Catholic.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.