Spring Grove wins five-set thriller in D-I showdown; plus other Tuesday girls' volleyball

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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  • Spring Grove earned a 3-2 girls' volleyball victory over Central York on Tuesday night.
  • Both teams entered the highly-anticipated contest with unbeaten records.
  • Spring Grove is is now 8-0 overall. Central York fell to 5-1 overall.
Spring Grove's Mylie Ormond launches a shot as Central York's Abbey Stiffler attempts to block in girls' volleyball at Spring Grove Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

SPRING GROVE — The Spring Grove and Central York girls’ volleyball teams have been on a collision course that finally came to a head Tuesday evening.

With both squads entering the contest unbeaten in York-Adams League Division I play, the only question was if the contest would live up to the hype.

It did, and then some.

The two teams showcased why they'll likely be a threat in the District 3 playoffs next month. After claiming a thrilling 27-25 win in Set 1, the Panthers saw why the Rockets are ranked No. 1 in the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class 3-A state poll. The Rockets rolled to big wins in Sets 2 and 3 to take control.

The Central girls, however, responded with a dominating effort in Set 4 to force a pivotal Set 5.

Much like they did in Set 2, the Rockets rebounded in a big way. A quick start held up as Spring Grove won Set 5, 15-9, to earn a 3-2 victory (25-27, 25-16, 25-15, 15-25, 15-9).

“It was very exciting,” Rockets senior setter Maddie Ruhland said. “There was a lot of energy out on the court. The energy in this gym, with the student section, and the fans everywhere was just awesome.”

Ruhland did her job exceptionally well all night, directing the Spring Grove attack. She finished with 37 assists to go with 11 digs, six kills, four aces and two blocks.

“We kept challenging her to be kind of unpredictable,” Spring Grove coach Liz Zeigler said. “She did a good job of picking stuff up, like where the matchups were on the other side.”

Ruhland was able to keep the Panthers on their toes for much of the night. She was consistently able distribute the ball to her team’s best option. As normal, much of the time Ruhland was setting up either Hailey or Nevaeh Wolfe. The twins combined for 36 kills, with Hailey smashing down a whopping 22 to go along with 17 digs.

The Rockets have more weapons for opponents to worry about than just the Wolfe sisters. Mylie Ormand recorded seven kills, while McKenzie Boyer finished with five. Ruhland, however, admits that her connection with the Wolfe twins is perhaps so on-mark because of their shared experiences playing together.

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“Playing with Hailey and 'Vaeh is great,” Ruhland said. “They’re my two best friends. I’ve grown up with them and we connect both on and off the court.”

The Rockets can breathe a sigh of relief after surviving a grueling battle with the Panthers. The next time these two clubs square off in late October, however, the atmosphere will likely be much more accommodating for the Central girls. That rematch is set for Thursday, Oct. 21, at Central.

“I think we competed hard,” CY coach Nate Ocasio said. “After we fell down 2-1 we did a really good job of bouncing back and competing. Spring Grove has a really good team and Hailey and Nevaeh can bail them out of pretty much anything. They really put you in a lot of tough situations, but I felt our girls did a really good job of competing and overcoming situations to get us to a Set 5.”

Kara Davies led a balanced Central attack with 10 kills. Tehya Shaw finished with eight kills, while Leah Davies and Brynne Weigle each added six apiece. Karli Bacha led the Panthers defense with 21 digs.

Spring Grove improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in D-I. Central fell to 5-1 both overall and in the division.

The Rockets were also coming off a championship in the Rally in the Valley tournament at Cumberland Valley High School over the weekend.

OTHER GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL

York Suburban 3, Gettysburg 0: At Suburban, the Trojans rolled 25-9, 25-18, 25-13, to improve to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in York-Adams Division II. Gettysburg fell to 6-3 and 4-3. Suburban is ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 3-A by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. Suburban’s stat leaders were Grace Hare (six kills, 30 assists, five digs), Eliana Rodgers (six aces, 11 kills, 16 digs), Zoe Haines (14 kills), Amanda Sargen (13 digs), Anna Titter (11 digs), Makenna Stockton (eight kills) and Maddie Trimmer (10 digs). During Suburban’s annual Black Out fundraiser, a total of $4,117.44 was raised for the York County Youth Mental Health Alliance

York Catholic 3, Hanover 0: At Hanover, the Irish won the York-Adams Division III match, 25-12, 25-14, 25-10). Adeline Phillips led the Irish with six kills, four blocks and four digs. Also for YC, Mia Citrone had 10 digs and three aces, Kendell Connolly had five kills and three blocks and Lindsey Beck had 11 assists. YC improved to 6-0 in the division and 6-2 overall. The Irish are ranked fifth in the state in Class 2-A by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

South Western 3, Northeastern 0: At Manchester, the Mustangs rolled, 25-18, 25-14, 25-14 to improve to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in York-Adams Division I. The Mustangs were led by Sarah Nichoill (21 kills), Kya Rebert (13 kills), Katlyn Gremler (seven kills), Emma Baney (42 assists) and Kirby Meyer (24 digs).

West York 3, New Oxford 2: At New Oxford, the Bulldogs outlasted the Colonials in a York-Adams Division II battle, 25-21, 25-22, 19-25, 17-25, 15-8. West York improved to 10-1 overall and 5-1 in D-II. New Oxford fell to 5-3 and 5-2.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.