West York girls’ volleyball coach Joe Ramp likes to treat most every regular-season game equally, but there was no doubt that Thursday evening’s clash with York-Adams League Division II rival York Suburban meant a little more than normal to his players.
For the second time this year, the Bulldogs and Trojans met on the court, this time at York Suburban High School. Not only were bragging rights on the line in this showdown between state-ranked foes, but Thursday’s contest would also determine whether or not these two teams would share the division title.
After the West York girls secured a sweep in the first showdown last month, the Suburban girls had their minds set on revenge in the rematch.
Playing on Senior Night without any senior players on the roster, the Trojans definitely played much better during the second go-around with the 'Dogs. In the end, however, it was West York’s experience and poise that were the difference. The Bulldogs claimed a 25-18, 25-19, 25-27, 25-20 triumph. That gave West York (17-1 overall, 14-0 in D-II) the outright division crown. Suburban fell to 14-2 and 12-2.
“I know that going into this game that we knew that York Suburban was really good,” West York junior libero Kambrie Hepler said. “We know that they are the main competitor to us. So we knew what we had to do coming in here and I think that beating York Suburban means a lot.”
Hepler and her teammates entered the showdown ranked No. 5 in the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class 3-A poll. The Trojans came in No. 8 in those same rankings, but Suburban was ranked No. 2 in the District 3 3-A power ratings, a spot ahead of the Bulldogs.
That last part was a motivating factor for the West York squad, according to Hepler.
“We wanted to move up to No. 2 in districts and set ourselves up to go far again in the postseason,” she said.
Hepler proved to be a big factor for her team all night, but especially in Set 4. After the Trojans rallied to stave off a sweep in Set 3, momentum was clearly in the direction of the home team. The 'Dogs, however, were able to keep things close before the junior standout stepped to the service line in a 7-7 deadlock.
Using a combination of spin and location, Hepler was able to throw the Suburban serve-receive out of sync. A 9-0 run helped give the Bulldogs the separation they needed.
“I just knew that I had to pick it up for my team out there on the floor,” Hepler said. “I knew I had to make up for some mistakes and errors that I kind of made earlier in that set. I just knew I had to do something for my team.”
Hepler, who tallied five aces on the night, wasn’t the only West York player to find a groove at the service line. Her team collectively tallied 16 aces in the victory. Julia Rill (team-high 12 kills) and Taylor Morley (36 assists) finished in a tie for second on the team with four aces apiece.
“Our serving was actually fantastic tonight,” Ramp said. “The past few games we have not been serving very well and I’m being serious. The last few matches we’ve had 15 or more missed serves the entire game. Tonight we only had eight missed serves, but we had 16 aces, which is a huge number. We haven’t had that in a very long time.”
While the Trojans were certainly disappointed, the tone and attitude of the squad was markedly better than it was after the first showdown. There was more emotion and intensity on every single point, something that was missing in the earlier contest.
“I told the girls that I would rather see them lose and be happy with each other knowing that they gave it everything that they had, then going out there and winning and not being happy,” Suburban coach Sonia Guyer said. “We were in the team room after the match kind of celebrating. So we’re good. We’re in a good place.”
Maddie Perring, Lulu Mooney and Elaina Rodgers each tallied a team-high 11 kills for the Trojans, while setter Lauren Guyer dished out 40 assists.
Central York 3, Red Lion 0: At Central York, the Panthers won, 25-12, 25-16, 25-18. Linnea Prudell led the Panthers with 34 assists. Also for Central, Maddison Webb had seven digs and Savannah VonRohr had five digs. For the Lions, Maddie Grim had 11 assists and six digs, while Julia Beiler had four kills and Elise Guth had three kills. Central won the JV match, 2-0.
Dallastown 3, Spring Grove 0: At Spring Grove, the visitors rolled, 25-17, 25-15, 25-23. Dallastown was led by Izzy Ream (32 assists), Lydia Stump (five kills, nine digs), Tatiana Matuszewski (12 kills), Syd Ohl (five kills, 12 assists) and Lexie Kalligonis (23 digs). Spring Grove's leaders were: Hailey Marcionette (four digs, 14 assists), Kaylyn Zeigler (10 kills, 17 digs) and Falyn McGlynn (four kills, 14 digs). Spring Grove won the JV match, 2-1.
Eastern York 3, Susquehannock 1: At Wrightsville, the home team captured a 25-23, 26-28, 25-14, 26-24 triumph. The Golden Knights were paced by Olivia Koicuba (22 digs), Morgan Dobbeck (eight kills, 19 digs), Abby Smith (12 kills), Katie Lehman (10 digs, 37 assists) and Morgan Winter (seven kills, 19 digs). Susquehannock was led by Emily Sweitzer (20 digs, 21 assists), Maddie Geiple (eight digs, 13 assists), Savannah Lesley (11 kills, 14 digs), Emma Sieling (10 kills, 25 digs) and Nikki Gianzanti (18 digs). Eastern won the JV match, 2-1.
Dover 3, Northeastern 0: The Eagles rolled to a 25-22, 25-19, 25-17 behind big efforts from Chayce Hoffman (11 kills, 12 digs), Emma Davis (15 kills, nine digs) and Abby Diehl (31 assists). The Northeastern leaders were Abbie Hornberger (eight digs), Natalie Martin (five kills, seven digs) and Jade Shellenberger (three kills, five digs, 19 assists). Northeastern won the JV match, 2-1.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.