The York Catholic girls’ volleyball team has been anxiously awaiting the moment when they would finally take down the powerhouse Delone Catholic Squirettes.
Since 2008, the Irish have tried and tried and tried again, only to come up short time after time vs their parochial rivals.
Turns out, the York Catholic girls just needed a little Hope.
Thursday night, they found that hope in sophomore standout Hope Leavy-Gaskins. Playing in her first year since transferring into the Irish program from Hagerstown this past May, the YC outside hitter helped the Irish take down their longtime rivals.
Leavy-Gaskins had a terrific night, finishing with 12 kills — including the match-winner — to go with four aces to help York Catholic claim a thrilling 21-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-22 triumph.
Both teams are now 6-1 in York-Adams Division III and tied for first place. Delone is 10-2 overall, while York Catholic is 9-1. The loss avenged a 3-1 setback to Delone in McSherrystown to open the season.
“We’ve been working for this since my freshman year,” York Catholic libero McKenna Walker said. “Before this year we said ‘this is the year this is happening.’ I’ve been wanting this for so long.”
Leavy-Gaskins played a big role, but she had a good deal of help. Bella Kepner tallied a team-best 15 kills in the victory, while Walker registered 23 digs, six assists and three aces.
“It’s nice to have a kid like Hope,” York Catholic coach Phil Autrey said. “She really just fit in right away.”
Walker was all smiles when talking about what Leavy-Gaskins brings to the team.
“She came in and it didn’t take her long to fall in love with us,” Walker said. “She loved it here and we’re all really happy to have her.”
Delone takes first game: While the Irish pulled off what may be considered an upset, there were certainly times when it looked like the Squirettes were about to do what they’ve done every time they’ve squared off with Irish over the last decade — turn it around.
They did it in Set 1 after the Irish raced out to a 15-10 advantage. But the serving of libero Lauren Trummer helped quickly unsettle the York Catholic serve-receive while enabling Delone to finish on a 15-6 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
“They know how to win these type of games,” Autrey said of Delone. “They’ve done it many, many times before.”
Irish bounce back: Not this time, however. Leavy-Gaskins came up with big kills and aces when her team needed them the most. While Leavy-Gaskins is just a sophomore, Walker is almost ready to put her teammate at the top of the list when ranking the best players in the York-Adams League.
“Definitely,” Walker said of Gaskins, who has a booming kill and a killer jump serve. “I think she’s going to be there and she’s only a sophomore.”
Rare Delone loss: Delone coach Jason Leppo had never lost a Division III contest before Thursday.
“It was just the luck of the draw as to where she wound up," Leppo said of Leavy-Gaskins. "She’s a great kid. I’ve gotten to know her and her family ever since they moved here.”
After a few seconds, Leppo brought to light the true significance of what Thursday’s result meant for him and his club.
“I guess we have a rivalry now,” he said.
Another meeting? Autrey and Walker certainly hope so. While one win in the regular season is a big accomplishment, doing it a second time in the same season would be an even bigger one.
“We’ve been getting closer year after year, so this was kind of the year when we found the crack in the dam,” Autrey said. “But I’m sure we’ll see them again either at counties or districts. It’s a shame that (District 3) only gets one team into states.”
Maddie Clabaugh led Delone with 11 kills, while setter Katie Kohler dished out 19 assists.
Eastern York 3, New Oxford 0: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights won, 25-17, 26-24, 25-17. Sarah Moore led the Golden Knights with 12 kills and four digs. Also for Eastern, Katie Lehman had 22 assists and nine digs, Morgan Dobbeck had four kills and six digs and Abby Smith had five kills. For the Colonials, Madison Young had seven kills and six digs. Eastern won the JV match, 2-0.
Central York 3, Northeastern 0: At Central, the Panthers won, 25-17, 25-17, 25-15. Sydnie Johnson led the Panthers (8-0 overall, 7-0 York-Adams Division I) with seven kills, five blocks and three aces. Also for Central, Jenna Arganbright had eight kills and three aces, while Linnea Prudell had 22 assists, eight digs and three kills. For the Bobcats, Lauren Kelly had four kills and seven digs, while Jade Shellenberger had 15 assists and five digs. Central won the JV match, 2-1.
Dover 3, Red Lion 0: At Dover, the home team rolled, 25-15, 25-17, 25-20, to improve to 8-3 overall and 6-1 in York-Adams Division I. Dover's leaders were Chayce Hofman (14 kills, six digs), Emma Davis (12 kills) and Abby Diehl (32 assists). Leading Red Lion were Cassidy Crowe (11 digs), Katie Thompson (11 kills, nine digs) and Maddie Grim (nine digs, 15 assists). Red Lion won the JV match, 2-0.
Susquehannock 4, Gettysburg 0: At Glen Rock, Jon Lippy led the York County Warriors to the victory by scoring two goals and adding one assist. Also for Susky (11-2 overall, 7-1 in York-Adams Division II), Ben Wilson and Nathan Weldon each scored one goal and added one assist, while Mason Kaifer added one assist and goalie Griffin Kaifer made eight saves to record the shutout. Susquehannock won the JV match, 2-0.
South Western 2, Dallastown 0: At Hanover, Sean Quinn and Casey Slater scored the South Western goals. Brandon Hole had eight saves for Dallastown, while Joe Stevenson had seven saves for South Western. South Western is 6-2-2 overall and 4-2-2 in York-Adams Division I. Dallastown fell to 6-4-1 and 4-3-0. The Mustangs won the JV match, 1-0.
West York 9, Dover 0: At West York, Aidan Clark led the Bulldogs by scoring five goals and adding one assist. Also for West York (9-2 overall, 6-1 York-Adams Division II), Noah Murray had two goals and two assists, Adam Hersey had one goal and two assists and Colby Goodling had one goal and Justin Stough and Tarren McGladrie each had one assist. West York won the JV match 4-0.
Northeastern 2, Central York 0: At Manchester, Noah Hartzfeld and Ryan McElwain scored goals to lead the Bobcats. Antonio Damian added an assist. The Bobcats are now 7-4-1 overall and 6-3 in York-Adams Division I. Central is 4-5-2 and 3-4-1. Northeastern won the JV match, 1-0.
York Catholic 3, Littlestown 0: At Littlestown, the Fighting Irish improved to 7-4 overall and 7-2 in York-Adams Division III. Ben Bullen scored twice for the Irish, while Nick Demarco also scored. The JV match ended 1-1.
Red Lion 4, Spring Grove 0: At Red Lion, the York-Adams Division I leader improved to 7-1-1 overall and 7-0-1 in D-I.
West York 5, Dover 4: At Dover, the Bulldogs outscored the Eagles 3-1 in the second half to secure the victory. Alexis Miller and Allie Becker led the Bulldogs by each scoring two goals and adding two assists. Also for West York, Gabby Smith scored one goal. For the Eagles, Kacie Hoppel had one goal and one assist, while Allie Staub and Kylie Firestone each scored one goal.
Red Lion 5, Spring Grove 1: At Spring Grove, the visitors improved to 7-3 overall and 6-1 in York-Adams Division I.
Dallastown 2, South Western 0: At Dallastown, the Wildcats improved to 8-3-1 overall and 5-2 in York-Adams Division I.
Dallastown 4, Spring Grove 2: At Spring Grove, the Wildcats improved to 8-4 overall and 7-1 in York-Adams Division I. Camryn Eveler and Madi Strayer led the Wildcats by each scoring one goal and adding one assist. Zoe Heath and Lily Cantabene each scored one goal apiece for Dallastown. For the Rockets, Lauren Guise scored one and added one assist, while teammate Lindsey Snyder scored one goal. The JV match ended in a 0-0 draw.
Kennard-Dale 2, Eastern York 0: At Wrightsville, McKenna Channell scored both goals for the Rams. Mikayla Hostler had seven saves to record the shutout. Eastern won the JV match, 2-0.
Red Lion 3, Gettysburg 0: At Gettysburg, the Lions improved to 8-4 overall and 7-2 in York-Adams Division I.
Wolf leads Rams to first-place finish: At Littlestown, Collin Wolf took first individually in 19 minutes to lead Kennard-Dale to a first-place team finish. Also for K-D, Caleb Bakalyar took third, William Holz took fourth and Paul Traeger took fifth. Littlestown took second as a team, followed by Dover and Biglerville. Tyler Rackley took second to lead the Eagles.
Hogan sets new course record to lead Eagles: At Littlestown, Hannah Hogan set a new course record of 20:38.85 to lead Dover to a 3-0 day. Also for Dover, Emily Hogan took second, while Kaylee Renfrew took fifth. Kennard-Dale came in second as a team. Delaney Barts took third for K-D, while Megan Thomas took fourth. Littlestown and Biglerville did not have enough runners to compete as a team.