Sometimes it just takes a little "pep talk" from a coach to get a high school girls' volleyball team going.
That was the case Tuesday night at West York High School when the Bulldogs played host to Eastern York in both teams' York-Adams Division II opener.
The Knights raced out to an early lead in Game 1 and seemed in control. But a timeout called by West York coach Joe Ramp seemed to get his team sailing in the right direction. Once the Bulldogs got going, there was little the visitors could do to stop them.
The Bulldogs rallied from a 17-12 deficit in Game 1 by winning 13 of the final 16 points. Their surge continued in two dominating performances in Game 2 and Game 3 and the home team claimed an important season-opening 25-20, 25-17, 25-8 triumph.
"Our coach told us that we needed to pick it up," West York senior Amanda Sides said. "Then I think all of us recuperated and realized that it was time to start picking it up."
Sides, the only returning starter from last year's Division II co-champion squad, and Kate Tate teamed to carry the Bulldogs late in Game 1. Tate nailed a pair of aces to get her team going before Sides added another ace that drew West York back to even at 19-19.
That set the stage for sophomore Trilby Kite, who served out the contest using a pair of aces before an Eastern hitting error finished off the comeback.
"We lost six seniors from last year," said Sides, who led her team with eight digs to go along with five kills and three aces. "So we have a whole new lineup to build from. We have some pretty solid players coming up from our JV team (who lost just two games last year), but it's still a huge change for us."
While the Bulldogs settled down before cruising to a sweep, the Knights showed glimpses of a squad that Head Coach Bill Hahn hopes to whip into a threat in Division II down the road. Eastern was able to tally seven aces on the night as a team, including three from libero Natalie Grim. That showed Hahn a glimmer of how good his team can be when it's on a roll.
But then there were long stretches, including a 7-0 run by West York to start Game 3, that made it clear there is still a long way to go for Hahn's team.
"This is a group that has limited varsity experience," said Hahn, who is in his first year leading the Eastern program after many successful stops as a coach for both boys' and girls' volleyball teams across the York-Adams League. "The girls are very coachable, but right now they're still trying to gel as a unit."
Setter Liz Pyles led Eastern with seven assists while Madison Anslow and Brianna Wells each tallied a team-best three kills.
The Bulldogs, who finished with 15 aces on the night as a team, were led on the attack by freshman Julia Rill. Rill tallied a game-high seven kills to go with two aces and one dig. Setter Trilby Kite dished out 18 assists, four of which went to 6-foot-1 middle hitter Marisa Krinock.
OTHER GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL
South Western 3, Dallastown 2: At Hanover, the Mustangs prevailed, 25-10, 25-19, 24-26, 19-25, 15-5. Hannah McMaster (23 assists, nine digs, six kills),Tori Sager (14 kills, 19 digs), Summer Small (13 kills), Bonna Sheehan (13 assists, 12 digs) and Madisyn McMaster (17 digs) paced South Western. Dallastown's leaders were Emma Mason (33 assists), Toni Cappas (12 kills, 10 digs), Paige Childs (13 kills) and Kat Forry (25 digs). South Western won the JV match, 26-24, 20-25, 16-14.
Central York 3, Dover 0: At Dover, the Panthers swept the Eagles, 25-11, 25-13, 25-12. Emily Poole (nine kills) and Emma Saxton (15 assists) sparked Central. Katie Kann (five digs) and Abby Diehl (four assists, three digs) were the Dover leaders. Central won the JV match, 25-16, 14-25, 15-9.
Spring Grove 3, New Oxford 1: At Spring Grove, the Rockets needed four games to get past the Colonials 25-19, 18-25, 25-17, 27-25. Kendra Miller paced Spring Grove with 13 kills and three aces. Lexi Yingling led all players with 21 digs for the Rockets, while Josie Attig finished with a match-high 26 assists. Kortni Krzysko finished with a team-high 15 digs for New Oxford, while Wren Berry added a team-high 19 assists.
York Suburban 3, Gettysburg 0: At Suburban, the Trojans triumphed 25-23, 25-14, 25-18 behind 27 assists from Georgia DuMars, 10 kills from Ciara Buckingham, seven blocks from Parker Faircloth-Henise and eight digs from both Jordan Landis and Ali Reinecker. Suburban also won the JV match, 25-18, 25-12.
Susquehannock 3, York High 0: At York High, the Warriors cruised to a 25-7, 25-5, 25-7 victory. Abby Ferraro (eight aces, four kills), Laura Savin (five kills, four digs) and Kelly Franz (19 assists, five digs, five aces) paced the winners. Keysha Diaz had four digs for the Bearcats. Susquehannock won the JV match, 25-7, 25-16.
York Catholic 3, York Tech 0: At York Catholic, the Irish dominated, 25-12, 25-8, 25-8. McKenna Walker (10 assists), Brooke Ricks (seven kills, four digs), Emily Hoffman (nine aces, three digs) and Megan Daugherty (nine aces) paced the Irish. Tech was led by Brooke Glass (six assists, five digs), Kirstyn Evans (five kills, three blocks) and Judy Barton (five digs). York Catholic won the JV match, 25-11, 25-6.
Kennard-Dale 3, Northeastern 0: At Manchester, the Rams grabbed a 25-15, 25-23, 25-20 victory. The Rams' leaders were Adriana Hoke (23 assists, five digs), Katie Leftridge (17 kills, 19 digs) and Megan Gereny (13 digs, six aces). The Bobcats were led by Abby Braswell (11 kills), Alivia Crerand (19 assists) and Deja Lee (nine digs).
Delone Catholic 3, Littlestown 0: At Littlestown, the defending York-Adams League champion Squirettes rolled, 25-6, 25-10, 25-17. Katie Laughman (24 assists, seven aces) led the Squirettes. Delone also won the JV match, 25-13, 25-11.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.