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GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL: Red Lion wins thriller vs. Rockets

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
505-5403/@ydsports
  • Red Lion beat Spring Grove on Thursday, 25-14, 23-25, 26-24, 15-25, 15-13.
  • It was Spring Grove's first loss in York-Adams Division I action.
  • The Lions will face a number of pivotal contests over the next week.

RED LION — There was a lot of emotion on the Red Lion side during Thursday evening’s York-Adams League Division I girls' volleyball showdown with Spring Grove.

Red Lion players celebrate after winning a point during the fifth set of a York-Adams girls' volleyball match against Spring Grove Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, at Red Lion Area Senior High School. Red Lion won 3-2. Amanda J. Cain photo

The battle with the unbeaten Rockets was of high importance after the Lions fell to rival Dallastown a week ago. Another loss would set Red Lion back by two games in the division standings early in the campaign.

There was another aspect, however, that the Lions' team held more dearly. A important part of the Red Lion family was not doing well, and that person wanted to see the Lions pull out a victory.

At times the emotion may have played against the hosts. In the end, however, the Lions got exactly what they were hoping for.

After a see-saw affair in which the two teams battled each other to a decisive fifth set, senior Lindsey Blevins smashed home the game-winning point to cap off a thrilling 25-14, 23-25, 26-24, 15-25, 15-13 triumph for the Lions.

“We’re a close team,” said Blevins, who led an emotional celebration on the court after the final point.

The Lions declined to reveal much information regarding their underlying motivation against the Rockets. It was clear on the court and on the sidelines, however, that the outcome was more important than a typical regular-season contest.

The back-and-forth nature of the play, in which neither side could grab a stranglehold on momentum, only increased that intensity. After grabbing wins in Game 1 and Game 3, the Lions were throttled in Game 4 by a scrappy Spring Grove side. Then, after falling behind 7-5 in Game 5, the home team needed a surge.

Enter Blevins and teammates Logan Donteli, who each tallied a game-high 19 kills. Both Lion standouts came up with big points to help fuel a game-ending 10-7 run.

“This was an amazing match,” Red Lion coach Heather Schoemaker said. “And that’s what volleyball is. Spring Grove plays some awesome defense and they just don’t let up.”

That was evident in how the Rockets responded back in Game 2 and Game 4. In both instances, the Rockets took the lead early. But even after matching that distinction in Game 5, the power of the Red Lion offensive attack proved to be an effective weapon down the stretch.

“We got to 10 (points) first (in Game 5) and that was our goal,” Spring Grove coach Liz Zeigler said. “I thought we played really well coming back, especially after Game 1. We just need to find the positive … it was a tight game at the end and we just came up short.”

Red Lion’s victory figures to set up an exciting week for all of the four primary Division I contenders — Central York, Dallastown, Spring Grove and Red Lion. All four have one division loss..

Both Spring Grove and Red Lion have looming contests with Central next week, so there could be more separation realized, or it could get even more bunched up.

“It’s going to be a fun week,” Schoemaker said. “We have (Division II unbeaten) West York and then Central York and then the Cumberland Valley Tournament all coming up. So we’re in for a challenge and that’s what I like about York County or District 3 volleyball. There’s always really good volleyball around here.”

Red Lion setter Madelyn Grim led the Lions with 51 assists, while Lauren Enfield added 13 kills in the victory. Spring Grove’s Morgan Bair tallied a game-high seven blocks, while Autumn Leese led the Rockets with 12 kills. Spring Grove setter Josie Attig finished with 29 assists.


OTHER GIRLS'

VOLLEYBALL

West York 3, Eastern York 0: At West York, the Bulldogs cruised 25-19, 25-13, 25-18 to improve to 4-0 in York-Adams Division II action. Marisa Krinock (seven kills, five digs, three aces), Julia Rill (nine kills, four digs) and Abbey James (24 assists, three kills, eight digs) led the Bulldogs. Brooke LaCesa (nine kills), Naatalie Grim (10 digs) and Liz Pyles (eight assists) led Eastern. Eastern won the JV match, 2-1.

Susquehannock 3, Kennard-Dale 0: At Glen Rock, Amber Sweitzer paced the Warriors with 17 assists as the hosts cruised 25-6, 25-16, 25-16. Tyler Williams had 15 digs to lead Susquehannock defensively. Megan Gereny had 23 digs for Kennard-Dale.

York Suburban 3, York High 0: At York High, the Trojans won the match, 25-6, 25-3, 25-6. Chey Buckingham led the visitors with eight kills, four digs and five aces. Also for Suburban, Miranda Kauffman had six kills, Alex Babinchak had five aces and Eryn McBride had eight digs. Suburban won the JV match, 25-4, 25-7.

Dallastown 3, New Oxford 1: At New Oxford, 13 kills and 12 digs from Lydia Stump helped the Wildcats win, 25-15, 14-25, 27-25, 25-17. Kat Forry added 21 digs and Gabby Ream had 41 assists for Dallastown. Wren Berry posted 34 assists for the Colonials.

Central York 3, South Western 0: Kamryn Stambaugh led the Panthers to the 25-13, 25-20, 25-19 victory with 11 kills, six digs and four aces. Also for Central, Emily Wilt had eight kills, three digs and three aces, Ashley Gallagher had seven kills and 10 digs and Emma Saxton had 30 assists. For the Mustangs, Madisyn McMaster had eight kills, seven digs and 13 assists. Central York won the JV match, 2-0.

Gettysburg 3, Northeastern 0: At Gettysburg, the Warriors won the match, 25-14, 25-14, 25-23. Sammi Faloon led the home team with 10 kills, 15 digs and six aces. Teammate Shelby Briggs had seven kills and five digs. For the Bobcats, Courtney Klinger had three kills, three digs and three blocks, while Neli LaCourt had 11 digs and Natalie Martin had seven digs and five assists. Northeastern won the JV match, 2-1.

York Catholic 3, Bermudian Springs 0: At York Springs, the Irish won, 25-11, 25-14, 25-11. Emily Hoffman led the Irish with 14 assists and six aces. Also for the Irish, Megan Daugherty had 12 assists, while Abby Pike had six kills and Rachel Shelley had five kills. For the Eagles, Ashanti Campbell had three kills and eight digs. Bermudian won the JV match, 25-18, 11-25, 15-10.

Hanover 3, York Tech 0: At Hanover, Maria Drawbaugh’s six kills and Lexi Daley’s 14 assists sent the hosts to a 25-7, 25-3, 25-10 victory. The Spartans got five digs each from Kayla Shoff and Zoe Falzone.

Delone Catholic 3, Littlestown 0: At Littlestown, the Squirettes stayed unbeaten in York-Adams Division III with a 25-20, 25-22, 26-24 win. Emily Staub had 18 assists, five kills and five digs to pace Littlestown. No Delone stats were reported. Delone won the JV match, 2-0.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.