State rankings mean nothing to West York girls’ volleyball coach Joe Ramp at this time of year.
The only poll that he cares about is the one that comes out the week after the PIAA playoffs conclude.
That doesn’t mean that Ramp’s squad is oblivious to them. To the contrary, the Bulldogs are keenly aware of where they're pegged in relation to their competition.
Take, for example, the most recent set of polls that the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association put out.
West York, a two-time PIAA Class 3-A semifinalist during the past two years under Ramp, is rated as one of the top-10 3-A teams in the state.
No. 7 to be exact.
What particularly drew the attention of the Bulldogs, however, was the fact that rival York Suburban was a couple spots higher in the pecking order at No. 5
While the Trojans are undoubtedly a talented squad, as evidenced by a sweep of state-ranked 2-A foe Delone Catholic earlier this year, the West York girls believed they were a notch above their rivals.
All they needed was a chance to prove it.
That chance came Tuesday night when the Bulldogs hosted Suburban in a pivotal York-Adams League Division II showdown.
West York then proved its point, not just winning, but rolling to a sweep of the Trojans, 25-17, 25-12, 25-19.
“We know that rankings are just a number,” West York senior Julia Rill said. “But we know what we can do and we believe in ourselves. We know that we’re going to give it 110 percent every time.”
Serving key for Bulldogs: What stood out most about the Bulldogs was not their bevy of exceptional hitters, such as Rill (11 kills), reigning D-II Player of the Year Tesia Thomas (eight kills) and Gianna Krinock (12 kills). Instead, what stood out most was an area of concern for Ramp all season — serving.
“Our serving has been a little easy at times,” Ramp said. “But when there’s a team on the schedule that we’re going to go with (like Suburban), I know they’re going to step up their game and our serving was very good tonight.”
The Bulldogs were able to create a lot of trouble for the Trojans' serve-receive. Except for brief moments, the visitors were unable to get into any type of groove offensively.
“We’ve been focusing on it for at least half an hour at every single practice,” Ramp said of serving. “There were moments earlier when we weren’t making it (difficult) and allowed the other team to make a run. This is something that we’ve been trying to really improve upon.”
Perhaps it was only fitting that the Bulldogs service game was kick-started by one of the more unlikely players on the court — Rill.
“That was interesting, because during drills she has actually not been performing well,” Ramp said. “So she’s been doing a lot of running and stuff like that, so it was interesting to see that change from practice to game time.”
Rill, who sat out all of last year because of a knee injury, believed that the seriousness of the moment, and playing in front of a big crowd on her home court, helped out.
“I think when the game starts, that you just get that adrenaline running,” she said of her three-ace effort. “You just really want to play good for your friends and your family and you just kind of turn it on.”
West York 3, York Suburban 0: At West York, in a York-Adams Division II showdown of state-ranked powers, the Bulldogs swept the Trojans. West York improved to 7-1 overall and 7-0 in the division. Suburban fell to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the division. Coming into the game, Suburban was ranked No. 5 in the state in 3-A by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. West York was ranked No. 7.
York Catholic 3, Milton Hershey 0: At Hershey, the Irish rolled to a 25-17, 25-9, 25-10 nonleague sweep. York Catholic's leaders were Bella Kepner (10 kills, four digs, five blocks), McKenna Walker (20 digs) and Megan Daugherty (25 assists). The Irish improved to 8-1 overall. York Catholic won the JV match, 2-0.
Dallastown 3, Spring Grove 0: At Dallastown, the Wildcats improved to 7-4 overall and 3-3 in York-Adams Division I, 25-12, 25-12, 25-17. Izzy Ream led the Wildcats with 22 assists and four kills. Also for Dallastown, Lydia Stump had 10 kills and six digs. For the Rockets, Maddie Ruhland had 11 assists and four digs and Nevaeh Wolf had 14 digs. Spring Grove won the JV match 25-23, 25-18.
Eastern York 3, Susquehannock 0: At Glen Rock, the Golden Knights won, 25-17, 25-22, 25-11. Sarah Moore led the Knights with 13 kills and four digs. Also for Eastern, Abby Smith had 10 kills, Olivia Koicuba had 14 digs and four aces, while Katie Lehman had 26 assists, six digs and four aces. For the Warriors, Savannah Lesley had five kills and 10 digs, while Emma Sieling had 10 digs and four kills and Maddie Geiple had 14 digs and seven assists. Eastern, won the JV match, 2-0.
Delone Catholic 3, York Tech 0: At McSherrystown, the Squirettes won, 25-9, 25-8, 25-20 to improve to 9-1 overall and 6-0 in York-Adams Division III. Katie Kohler and Oliva Snyder led the home team with seven aces and six assists apiece. Delone won the JV match, 2-0.
Dover 3, Northeastern 0: At Dover, the home team improved to 7-3 overall and 5-1 in York-Adams Division I with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-12 win. Dover's leaders were Chayce Hoffman (15 kills, 12 digs), Emma Davis (21 kills, seven digs), Abby Diehl (37 assists) and Emma Nace (14 digs). Northeastern was paced by Carly Olmo (15 digs), Sadie Shantz (eight kills) and Jade Shellenberger (19 assists). Northeastern won the JV match, 2-0.
Central York 3, Red Lion 0: At Red Lion, the first-place Panthers improved to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in York-Adams Division I with the 25-21, 25-16, 25-15 sweep. Central’s stat leaders wereLinnea Prudell (six digs, 29 assists), Alexa Shorts (10 kills, six digs) and Alexis Southivong (17 digs). Red Lion’s leaders were Katie Thompson (six kills, eight digs), Maddie Grim (six digs, 18 assists) and Cassidy Crowe (nine digs).
Kennard-Dale 3, New Oxford 1: At Fawn Grove, the Rams triumphed, 20-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-20. New Oxford won the JV match, 2-1.
Gettysburg 3, York 0: At Gettysburg, the Warriors earned their first York-Adams Division II win of the season, 25-15, 25-13, 25-17. Gettysburg won the JV game, 2-0.
Littlestown 3, Bermudian Springs 1: At Littlestown, the home team rolled, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18, 25-22. Littlestown won the JV match, 2-1.
Hanover 3, Fairfield 0: At Fairfield, the Hawkettes swept past the home team.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.