West York girls’ volleyball coach Joe Ramp instituted a rule that his team must concentrate during the bus rides for road contests.
That means no talking to each other or playing music that anyone else can hear.
For the most part, that rule has worked well for the Bulldogs, who won the York-Adams Division II title a season ago.
The ride to York Suburban High School for what was essentially a York-Adams League Division II title game on Tuesday, Oct. 17, however, seemed a bit too quiet.
That seemed to impact West York's play in the first game. The Bulldogs trailed for much of the first set, which is highly uncharacteristic. A late and furious rally arrived just in time, however, as the visitors avoided an early deficit.
After that, it was vintage Bulldog volleyball. Ramp’s squad took care of business. West York used an eight-point run midway through Set 2 to take control. Another one early in Set 3 gave them a lead they would carry throughout, helping the Bulldogs clinch the division title with a 27-25, 25-15, 25-14 triumph.
West York improved to 11-0 in the division, while the Trojans fell to 9-2.
“We’re not allowed to talk on the bus,” West York senior Kate Tate said. “We try to get focused. Joe was like, ‘put your headphones in, don’t talk to anyone and get focused.’”
In Set 1, the Bulldogs, currently No. 2 in the District 3 Class 3-A power ratings, didn't play like a team that improved to 18-1 overall. Hitting errors, passing errors and a general lack of communication allowed Suburban to seize control on its Senior Night.
“They were up by so much and we had to fight our way back,” Tate said. “We just had to get into the mindset to play it point-by-point and I think that really helped.”
Ramp felt that some of his team’s slow start can be attributed to the environment at Suburban, which has one of the smallest gyms in the league. With the student section bleachers pulled out for a bigger-than-normal crowd, the space on the floor felt constricting at times.
“We just needed to settle in,” Ramp said. “It was a great environment. It was loud and Suburban gave us everything they had. And we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit with some silly errors. But we showed that if we keep our composure, like we did in the second game, that we’re pretty good.”
Of any team in the league, the Bulldogs are probably the best equipped to play in that environment. Tate was one of a few girls on the team that played in West York’s old gym, which was similarly tight when compared to their new, more-spacious facility.
In fact, the volleyball team did hold a practice in there recently, which Tate said went very well.
“We had a practice in their recently and it was like one of our best practices that I’ve ever had,” Tate said. “Personally I like a close environment.”
After surviving the scare in Set 1, the Bulldogs were able to ride the hitting of Tate (nine kills), Gianna Krinock (eight kills) and sophomore Tesia Thomas (15 kills) to earn comfortable victories in Sets 2 and 3.
“It was a good match for us,” Ramp said. “(Suburban) is scrappy and they go after everything and it’s hard to beat good teams like them twice.”
West York has one division match remaining Thursday against York High before the start of the York-Adams League playoffs next Monday. The Bulldogs will face the No. 3 seed from Division I (either South Western or Dallastown). Suburban will be the No. 2 seed from Division II. They will faced the No. 2 seed from Division I (Dallastown or South Western).
Chey Buckingham led the Trojans with six kills. Suburban setter Lauren Guyer dished out 20 assists, while libero Eryn McBride tallied 18 digs.
West York setter Trilby Kite finished with 33 assists and six kills.
South Western 3, Dallastown 2: At Dallastown, the Mustangs rallied from an 0-2 hole to win 15-25, 27-29, 25-23, 25-18, 15-9. Madisyn McMaster posted 36 assists, 10 digs, eight kills, five aces and two blocks to lead the Mustangs. Teammate Megan Wolf recorded 25 digs,16 kills and an ace for South Western. Dallastown received 29 digs, 20 kills, three aces and a block from Delaney Kolb. Gabby Ream ran the Wildcat offense with 40 assists while also notching 14 digs and a pair of aces. Dallastown won the JV match, 25-20, 25-17.
Susquehannock 3, York High 0: At York High, the Warriors won, 25-7, 25-4, 25-6. Nikki Gianzanti led the Warriors with four kills and five digs. Also for Susky, Emily Sweitzer had eight aces and three assists, Amber Bortner had 10 digs and Maddie Gieple had nine assists and four digs. For the Bearcats, Keishla Ortiz had three assists. Susquehannock won the JV match, 25-7, 25-8.
Northeastern 3, Kennard-Dale 0: At Manchester, the Bobcats won, 25-9, 25-18, 25-17. Natalie Martin led the Bobcats with 14 assists, four aces and five digs. Also for the Bobcats, Courtney Klinger had six kills, Ashley Klinger had three kills and three digs and Lauren Kelly had four aces. For the Rams, MacKenzie Divita had six kills and five digs, while teammate Jess Moore had five assists, three aces and three digs. Northeastern won the JV match, 2-0.
Central York 3, Red Lion 0: At Red Lion, the Panthers won, 25-19, 25-16, 25-18. Alexa Shorts led the Panthers with eight kills and six aces. Also for Central, Linnea Prudell had 25 assists, three kills and three digs, Emily Wilt had seven kills, four aces and six digs and MacKenna Caruso had five kills and three digs. Central won the JV match, 2-0. No Red Lion statistics were available.
York Catholic 3, Lancaster Catholic 0: At York Catholic, the Irish won the non-league match, 25-18, 25-11, 25-13. Bella Kepner led the Irish with six kills, seven digs and four aces. Also for the Irish, Abby Pilkey had 11 kills, Megan Daugherty had 22 assists and McKenna Walker had 15 digs. York Catholic won the JV match, 2-0.
Spring Grove 3, Dover 0: At Spring Grove, Hailey Marcionette and Kaylyn Zeigler each had 13 assists as the Rockets collected a 25-22, 25-15, 25-15 victory. Dover was led by Chayce Hoffman’s 13 kills and nine digs.
Eastern York 3, Gettysburg 2: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights won, 17-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13. Brooke LaCesa led the Golden Knights with 26 kills and four digs. Also for Eastern, Katie Lehman had 29 assists, 11 digs, three kills and three aces, Morgan Dobbeck had 24 digs and three assists and Sarah Moore had eight kills. Gettysburg won the JV match 2-1.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.