The nearly annual influx of talented volleyball players from York County to Lebanon Valley College began in 1987, the year Wayne Perry took over as head coach of the women's program.
"We got our first players out of West York, then York Catholic," Perry said by phone earlier this week. "Jennifer Carter and Shay Lentz were from West York and Gretchen Harties was from York Catholic."
So many players from York County have gone through the NCAA Division III LVC program that there's a high probability that someone from the area has had a hand in each one of Perry's 26 seasons, during which he's compiled a 518-302 career record.
"York County is my No. 1 (recruiting) spot. It always has been, always will be," Perry said. "We have more kids from there than any other area. Delone Catholic and West York have been especially good producers for us over the years."
Which brings us to this fall season for the Flying Dutchmen, who have compiled an impressive 17-3 overall record following Wednesday night's win over Elizabethtown.
The Lebanon Valley roster features five players from York County. The eldest of the bunch, sophomores Allie Garrett (Spring Grove grad) and Emily Sides (West York) are starters. Freshman Rachel Moltz (Susquehannock) and Morgan Webb (Central York) are seeing significant action off the bench, while freshman Carissa Stottlemyer (West York) has been used sparingly.
"I feel like we can relate to each other because we know where things are (in York)," Garrett said of her teammates from York. "Like last year I had Steph (Klunk, a Spring Grove grad). She came from my high school, too. It is kind of nice relating back to memories."
Success: Three years removed since winning its last Commonwealth Conference championship and appearing in the NCAA tournament, LVC is off to one of its best starts in program history. And this is coming off a 19-15 season in 2012. All the more remarkable is the fact that the Dutchmen have won with what Perry describes as the youngest roster of his career. The starting lineup is made up of one senior, two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.
"Well, we were sort of thinking this would be a rebuilding year but the chemistry on the team is such that we are playing well," Perry said.
"All of the girls are so nice. We all just get along so well. We all just have this special charisma," Sides said. "I've been playing since seventh grade and I've never been on a team like this before."
LVC improved to 5-0 in conference play with Wednesday's win over E-Town, which had entered the contest 4-0 in conference competition. Just LVC and Stevenson remain as the two unbeatens in the Commonwealth Conference. They're set to meet Oct. 22.
"I think being such a young team we have so much to look forward to," Sides said. "We want to be the best we can. I think we have what it takes to go really far."
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.