DALLASTOWN — West York girls' volleyball coach Joe Ramp admitted to feeling a little nervous Tuesday evening.
Despite cruising to a pair of victories over Susquehannock during the York-Adams League Division II season, the Bulldogs coach felt some anxiety as his team prepared to take on the Warriors in the District 3 Class 3-A quarterfinals.
Ramp's worries were quickly cast aside.
West York stormed out to a 10-4 lead early in Game 1 and they never were seriously challenged after that. The Bulldogs downed Susquehannock 25-18, 25-18, 25-19 at Dallastown High School.
While West York was able to advance to face Palmyra Thursday in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. at Dallastown, Division I co-champ Central York met a different fate. In a rematch of the District 3 title match from a season ago, the Panthers again were upended by Hempfield, 25-23, 25-27, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12, in a District 3 Class 4-A quarterfinal at Dallastown.
"I was extremely nervous going into it today," Ramp said. "We did have a nice scouting report on them, but the (Central) match before us going five games ... in my stomach it was just complete nerves."
Those nerves were quickly calmed. The Bulldogs displayed what made them Division II champs. Their defense was able to keep balls alive enough to allow its potent front line to put them away. Marisa Krinock led West York with 15 kills and five blocks, but she was just one of five Bulldogs with at least five kills.
Ramp believes that a new rule he instituted may have had a positive impact on his talkative club.
"I came up with a rule today that there was absolutely no talking until we started warming up," he said. "And I think they came in more focused than they have in the past. To start Game 1 up 10-4 just showed me that."
While Ramp's club played less than perfect, they were able to overcome mistakes by stringing together runs against a normally stout Susquehannock defense.
"We built a lead and then we made a couple of errors," he said. "But they were just here and there and we had the lead so it was all right."
Next up for Ramp and company is another rematch with Palmyra. The Bulldogs swept the Cougars back in September in a tri-match at Red Lion, but Ramp is not convinced that Thursday's contest will have an identical result.
"We didn't play our game that day, but I don't think that they (Palmyra) did either," Ramp said. "So I'm expecting a different turnout from them come Thursday."
Setter Abbey James led West York with 34 assists to go with 10 digs, while libero Trilby Kite paced the defense with a team-high 15 digs.
Jaden Walker led the Warriors with eight kills, while Amber Bortner tallied a game-high 24 digs for Susquehannock. Setter Amber Sweitzer dished out 22 assists.
Hempfield prevails in a back-and-forth battle with Central: While the Panthers and Black Knights are not identical to the teams that met up last November in the District 3 3-A final, the two perennial powers put on a match that would be better suited for a final or semifinal.
Instead, their rematch took place in a quarterfinal, with the unfortunate result ending Central's season.
"They put the ball in play and they extended the rallies more than we did," Central coach Nate Ocasio said. "And that was the difference in the match. It's always been a dogfight when we play Hempfield and it goes both ways. Some matches we've come out on top and some matches they've come out on top. But I (always) know one thing ... we're going to give the crowd one hell of a show."
The Panthers were twice able to rally back into the match after falling behind. And that fact that they did so with one of their standouts — senior Kamryn Stambaugh — at less than 100 percent is a testament to Ocasio's crew. Stambaugh injured her left leg/ankle during the York-Adams League semifinals against York Suburban last week. After Tuesday's match was over she was walking around in pain.
"Kamryn did a phenomenal job," Ocasio said of his middle hitter, who finished with 10 kills and three blocks. "She's a warrior. Her ankle is black and blue and it's completely swollen. Even coming in to today we weren't going to start her. But as a senior, you get that adrenaline going and you know that maybe it's one last shot for her and we wanted to provide that."
Emily Wilt led the Panthers with 21 kills, while setter Emma Saxton finished with 44 assists.
Red Lion 3, Elizabethtown 0: At Central York, the Lions had no problem with the Lancaster County team in their District 3 Class 4-A quarterfinal battle, winning 25-17, 25-14, 25-18. Red Lion moves on to the semifinals on Thursday against Exeter, which earned a 3-1 win over Manheim Township in its quarterfinal match on Tuesday. The Red Lion-Exeter match is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hempfield.
York Suburban 3, Garden Spot 0: At Hempfield, the Trojans cruised to a 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 triumph in a District 3 Class 3-A quarterfinal contest. Suburban will now advance to Thursday's semifinals against Berks Catholic, which was 3-2 winner over Brandywine Heights on Tuesday. The Suburban-Berks Catholic contest is set for 6 p.m. at Hempfield.
York Catholic 3, Hanover 0: At Central York, the Lady Irish outlasted their York-Adams Division III rival in a District 3 Class 2-AA first-round contest, 25-21, 19-25, 25-20, 25-17. The Irish were led by Emily Hoffman (17 assists, seven digs), Megan Daugherty (13 digs, 12 assists), McKenna Walker (29 digs) and Bella Kepner (14 digs, eight kills). York Catholic will now face Trinity in Thursday's semifinals. Trinity had a bye on Tuesday. The Trinity-York Catholic match is set for 6 p.m. at Dallastown.
Lancaster Mennonite 3, Littlestown 0: At Hempfield, the Lady Bolts were no match for Lancaster Mennonite in a District 3 Class 2-AA opening-round battle, falling, 25-20, 25-19, 25-22. The loss ended Littlestown's season. Hanna Riley led the Thunderbolts with nine kills and nine digs. Teammate Emily Staub had 20 assists, 15 digs and four kills.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.