Regardless of the result, it's always a great accomplishment to play on the final Saturday during the District 3 girls’ volleyball playoffs.
For two of the three York County teams still alive — York Catholic in 2-A and West York in 3-A — the opportunity was there to claim a district title on Saturday, Nov. 4.
For the other (Central York in 4-A), it was a chance to keep the season alive.
Unfortunately for all three, their collective dreams were extinguished.
Central York fell to Cumberland Valley 22-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-16 in the District 3 4-A third-place match. York Catholic lost to rival Delone Catholic in a an all-York-Adams League final, 25-20, 18-25, 25-20, 25-22.
Lastly, West York sought revenge for an early-season loss to Palmyra, but couldn’t quite complete its quest against the Cougars, who claimed the District 3 3-A title, 12-25, 25-14, 25-17, 17-25, 15-8.
West York: The York-Adams League champion started out hot against a Palmyra squad that swept them back in September. A dominating 25-12 triumph appeared to be just the beginning of a special night for the Bulldogs.
“We went in with a mindset of making up for our one and only loss we had all season and I thought we played well for the most part,” West York setter Trilby Kite said. “We just struggled (against) Palmyra's consistent defense.”
The Cougars, who lost to Berks Catholic in last year’s final, were not about to fall in the District 3 3-A championship for a second year in a row. The top seed rebounded with convincing wins in Set 2 and Set 3.
The Bulldogs bounced back in Set 4 to force a pivotal Set 5, but Palmyra’s defense refused to let West York finish them off. Sophomore Tesia Thomas, who collected 20 kills in a quarterfinal victory over Berks Catholic earlier in the week, was held to 11 in the setback.
Kite, who dished out 20 assists to go with nine kills and six digs in the setback, gave credit to a Palmyra for making life tough on West York’s bevy of outstanding attackers.
“Palmyra played outstanding defense,” she said. “We just weren’t able to put balls away. They were also putting two and three blockers against Tesia to try to stop her.”
The silver lining for the Bulldogs is that they will play at least one more time this season. As the No. 2 seed from District 3, West York will begin the PIAA Class 3-A playoffs against District 2 champion Greater Nanticoke on Tuesday, Nov. 7. That contest will take place at Pittston High School in Yatesville at 7 p.m.
York Catholic: The No. 5 seeded Fighting Irish put up a valiant effort against a Squirettes team that handled them twice during the regular season.
After claiming Set 2, which marked the first time in more than five years that the Irish managed to take a set against Delone, York Catholic carried that momentum into Set 3.
Racing out to a 6-2 lead, the Irish certainly put the York-Adams Division III champion Squirettes on high alert. After a timeout, in which Delone coach Jason Leppo simply told his team to settle down, the Squirettes took their coach’s advice. The No. 2 seed responded back by rallying in Set 3 to regain the lead in the match before finishing off their rivals four sets.
Abby Pilkey led York Catholic with 11 kills and five blocks while Emily Hoffman added nine kills, nine digs, three aces and a block.
While the Irish saw this season come to an end Saturday, Delone moves on to the PIAA Class 2-A draw. The Squirettes will face District 12 champion Master Community Charter at Archbishop Bonner-Prendergast High School in suburban Philadelphia Tuesday at 3:45 p.m.
Central York: For the York-Adams League Division I champs to continue their season, the Panthers had to knock of a Cumberland Valley side that entered the draw as the No. 1 seed.
After getting upset in the semifinals by Exeter, the Eagles appeared to still have thoughts of that setback early. Central took advantage by winning Set 1 before CV regrouped.
Only the top three teams in District 3 3-A moved on to the PIAA playoffs, so the loss ended Central's season.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.