DALLASTOWN — If the West York girls’ volleyball team was thinking that the first round of the York-Adams League playoffs would not be a challenge, the Division II champions got a rough reality check Monday evening.
Taking on a Dallastown outfit that finished third in Division I on the Wildcats’ home floor, the Bulldogs found out pretty quickly that the playoffs are a different beast than the regular season.
Fortunately for Coach Joe Ramp, his West York squad was able to get by.
After losing Game 1, the Bulldogs rallied to win the next two games against Dallastown. After the Wildcats evened up the match by winning Game 4, Dallastown raced out to an early lead in Game 5. Ramp’s team, however, rallied back from down 6-2 to earn a thrilling 22-25, 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13 triumph.
West York will now face Division I co-champ Red Lion in Tuesday’s semifinals at Dallastown Middle School at 6 p.m. The Lions made quick work of Susquehannock in their semifinal, 25-13, 25-19, 25-17.
The other semifinal will pit Division I co-champ Central York, a 25-13, 25-18, 25-10 winner over York Catholic, against Division II runner-up York Suburban at Dallastown High School at 6 p.m. The Trojans advanced after ousting four-time defending champ Delone Catholic, 25-19, 25-22, 25-14 in a rematch of last year’s title game.
The winners of the semifinal clashes will meet up in the championship match in the high school gym, slated at 7:30 p.m.
For Ramp, who led his team to a perfect 14-0 record in Division II, he’s hoping that the playoffs and Monday’s battle with Dallastown will be a wake-up call for his bunch.
“We got more than a test tonight,” Ramp said. “And that was what I was afraid of tonight. Our girls have been in a little lull lately. They’ve just kind of been stagnant. And I told them that they’re going to get a rude awakening coming in here and playing these Division I teams.”
The Bulldogs played perhaps their worst game of the season since getting swept by Red Lion more than a month ago. Unlike against the Lions back in September, Ramp’s crew was able to scratch and claw through a less-than-perfect night.
“If we continue to play at (this) level, it could be a very, very short season,” Ramp said. “They’re learning the hard way and hopefully this a wake-up call for them.”
Marisa Krinock led the Bulldogs with 18 kills and two blocks, while freshman Tesia Thomas chipped in 15 kills. Setter Abbey James dished out 48 assists, while libero Trilby Kite finished with 16 digs to go with five assists.
Suburban sweeps Delone: Moments before the Bulldogs prevailed, the other side of the gym at Dallastown was clearing out after an unexpected sweep of the Division III champion Squirettes by the Trojans. Coach Sonia Guyer’s team elevated its game to a new level against the defending champs.
“My girls played incredibly inspired tonight,” Guyer said. “I’m so proud of them. They were ready for this and they were completely prepared.”
While Delone has been a dominant force in this tournament the past four years under Coach Jason Leppo, this season’s crew lacks a lot of the experience of its predecessors. It also lacked some quality competition heading into this week after lopsided contests against Fairfield and York Tech.
“I thought Suburban played really, really well,” Leppo said. “And this was something that I know that (the Suburban) girls were really fired up for. And I told Sonia before the match that it’s nice that we’re in different classifications so we won’t have to worry about seeing them again (in districts) after the match.”
Miranda Kauffman led the Trojans with 11 kills, while Ali Reinecker finished with 10. Setter Georgia DuMars dished out 31 assists.
Central York, Red Lion cruise: The first two matches of the doubleheader at Dallastown were not nearly as suspenseful.
The Lions easily got past Susquehannock after getting 10 kills apiece from Lindsey Blevins and Lauren Enfield.
The Panthers downed York Catholic behind the trio of Ashley Gallagher, Emily Wilt and Kamryn Stambaugh. All three Central attackers finished with nine kills.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.