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Young Dallastown girls' volleyball team tops Delone Catholic on road

Ryan Vandersloot
For the York Dispatch
Dallastown Head Coach Joe Ramp during girls' volleyball action at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Dallastown girls’ volleyball coach Joe Ramp might not have an all-state hitter the caliber of Tesia Thomas on his roster this year. Few teams, if any, around the area can boast   such a luxury.

What Ramp does have is something that many other coaches crave — versatility.

With two capable setters, several outside hitters, a big middle blocker and the ability to play those players at different spots, Ramp is looking forward to what his up-and-coming squad can do this year.

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After splitting their first six contests, the Wildcats had an opportunity to prove themselves against a worthy opponent Monday evening. And the squad put on a show, beating a talented Delone Catholic team in four sets on the road.

Facing a Delone side that is ranked among the top 10 teams in Class 2-A in the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association poll, the Wildcats dropped the first set but rallied to claim the next three en route to a thrilling 23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-15 triumph.

“We have eight girls, and any of them can play at any position, which I like,” Ramp said. “I don’t necessarily like having that one alpha but instead having a more solid team so that other teams can’t just point to what we’re going to do or where the ball is going to go to.”

The Dallastown girls certainly kept the Squirettes on their toes throughout the night. If they weren’t getting kills from middle hitter Kira Lynch (seven kills) or outsides Erica Werner (nine), Olivia Oppedisano (five) and Sofia Okronley (five), the setters were causing mayhem with dumps that often found the sweet spot in the Delone defense.

Okronley, a senior, led the Wildcats with six aces on the evening, and she  combined with freshman Annabell Criswell to dish out 36 assists. Oppedisano, also a senior, tallied three aces in the victory.

“We have three seniors, but everyone else is underclass,” Ramp said. “It’s a very talented roster, and if they can put their minds to it, this could be a very special team.”

If Ramp gets his wish for a long run into the District 3 Class 4-A playoffs, his team will have to become even more special. Games like Monday’s against a quality foe   will be helpful in that regard.

So, too, will league matches against teams the caliber of Central York, defending 3-A state champ Spring Grove and undefeated South Western, a team the Wildcats encountered Tuesday night.

“We have a learning curve, for sure,” Ramp said. “Sometimes we’ve shot ourselves in the foot and that comes along with the experience piece. We still have a lot of girls out there that are playing a lot of their first varsity time. So, we’re kind of just figuring things out as we go.”