Over the past decade, Sonia Guyer has helped turn the York Suburban girls’ volleyball program into one of the better outfits in the York-Adams League.
Before 2018, however, the Trojans' level of success hadn’t quite matched that of state championship-caliber teams such as Delone Catholic and West York.
The Trojans' time to join the Y-A and state, elite, however, may have arrived — even if it is a bit of surprise for Guyer.
The Trojans (4-0 after Monday night's 3-1 win over Dover) entered this week as the state's fifth-ranked team in Class 3-A, according to the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
“We didn’t even know about it until we read an article in the Gettysburg Times last week,” Guyer said. “We just kind of focus on the here and now.”
Still, it shouldn’t come as much of a shock that Suburban finds itself where it is. Despite losing four seniors who played key parts in the last two seasons, the Trojans enter this year with a young, yet talented core that features seven juniors, five sophomores and a freshman.
Statement win: That core made a statement last Wednesday when they traveled to McSherrystown to take on a Delone team that finished as the state runner-up in Class 2-A a season ago. The Trojans refused to allow the Squirettes a chance to get anything going, with Guyer’s club rolling to an impressive 3-0 sweep.
“We’re pretty proud of our balanced offense,” Guyer said. “We really have an offense that can spread it out on any given night and know that anyone can get the job done.”
Guyer pointed to juniors Alyssa Hocker, Lulu Mooney and Nat Saxton, as well as sophomore Maddie Perring and freshman Eliana Rodgers as her top attackers.
Top setter: Having a bevy of attackers to choose from is music to the ears for any setter tasked with distributing the ball. Fortunately for Guyer, she has a lot of trust that her setter is up the task.
“She’s been in the gym since she was 2 years old,” coach Guyer said of her setter, Lauren Guyer, who also happens to be her daughter.
Outside of her excellent vision and ball-handling skills, perhaps the best thing about Lauren Guyer is her ability to keep her team focused. Having the experience of running the show last year as a sophomore, Lauren Guyer is now the one that her teammates look to for leadership.
“In our one huddle last week (against Delone), Alyssa Hocker thought it was funny when I came in and just said, ‘hey, guys, we just have settle down even though we’re up by 10 points right now,’” Lauren Guyer said. “I could just sense that we were a little too happy and maybe we were losing a bit of our competitive drive. I just had to remind them that we have to act like it’s 0-0.”
James provides balance: While Lauren Guyer is the more serious captain on the court, her fellow classmate Hailey James is a bit of the opposite.
“We kind of balance each other out,” said James, who is a defensive specialist and fellow team captain. “I’ll just kind of cheer and celebrate, but Lauren will come in and be like, ‘great, but now we have to go.'"
West York looms: The Trojans hope to continue to go places as the season moves along. One of those places would be to snag away the Division II championship that rival West York has claimed the past two years.
Doing that, however, won’t be easy. The Bulldogs return most of their core from a team that made it to the PIAA Class 3-A semifinals for a second year in a row in 2017. West York is ranked No. 7 in the latest PVCA 3-A state poll.
“I’m just excited for this whole year,” James said.
West York and Suburban are set to square off on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at West York and Thursday, Oct. 18, at Suburban.
In Monday's 25-18, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21 victory over Dover, Suburban was paced by Guyer (35 assists, seven digs), Rodgers (12 kills, 18 digs), Mooney (11 kills, 16 digs) and Caitlin Springer (15 digs).
Dover's leaders were Chayce Hoffman (24 kills, 10 digs), Emma Nace (11 digs), Emma Davis (12 kills, five aces, 11 digs) and Abby Diehl (five kills, 38 assists).
New Oxford 3, Spring Grove 2: At Spring Grove, the Colonials grabbed a 15- 25, 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, 15-10 triumph. New Oxford was led by Torrin Kelly (37 assists), Kaitlyn McMaster (22 digs) and Sierra Schwartz (14 kills). Spring Grove's stat leaders were Maddie Ruhland (14 assists), Kaylyn Zeigler (seven kills, 10 digs, 11 assists), Falyn McGlynn (five kills, 14 digs) and Nevaeh Wolfe (10 digs). New Oxford won the JV match, 2-1.
Susquhannock 3, Northeastern 1: At Manchester, the Warriors won 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-23. Susquhannock was paced by Allie Grothey (six kills) and Emily Sweitzer (12 assists). Northeastern was paced by Natalie Martin (nine kills, four digs), Lauren Kelly (six kills, seven digs) and Jade Shellenberger (22 assists). Northeastern won the JV match, 2-1.
Central York 3, Manheim Twp. 0: At Manheim, Linnea Prudell (29 assists) and Jenna Arganbright (11 kills) led the Panthers.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.