The West York girls’ volleyball team experienced unprecedented success during the 2016 season.
The Bulldogs captured the York-Adams League Division II title for the second time in three years before finishing fourth in the District 3 Class 3-A Tournament.
While the district run was a bit of a disappointment, the West York girls made up for that when they advanced all the way to the PIAA Class 3-A state semifinals, where they lost to eventual champion Allentown Central Catholic.
While coach Joe Ramp is hoping that his team can build on last year’s success, he’s somewhat realistic about expectations. Ramp lost six seniors from the 2016 club, including four — setter Abby James, defensive specialist Skylar Sweitzer, middle hitter Marisa Krinock and right side attacker Tailyn Kite — who played pivotal roles in that team’s success.
Junior attacker Julia Rill was another key component of that team. Rill, however, ruptured her ACL during club tryouts back in April. She is not expected to return to the team this season.
“I have three returning players with varsity experience,” Ramp said. “It would have been four with Julia. She’s started every year since she was a freshman so that’s a huge hit for us this year.”
Senior Trilby Kite will quarterback the team as the setter. She’s joined by fellow senior Kate Tate, an outside hitter, and sophomore Tesia Thomas, a middle hitter.
Thomas excelled as freshman: Thomas was a bright point as a freshman. Her athleticism helped her overcome some of her relative inexperience to the sport last year. This year Ramp is already seeing improvement.
“She had great freshman year,” he said. “She’s understanding the offense more, reading the other side of the net and moving to a place where she can have the best opportunity for a kill. She’s becoming a much smarter player.”
Beyond the three mentioned above, however, the rest of the starters and reserves will be a bit of a mystery at first for Ramp.
“We’re going to need some of the younger girls to step up and play,” he said. “And after two scrimmages we look pretty good. I think it’s coming around. I’m excited.”
The Bulldogs will get a chance to test themselves early on in the 2017 campaign. A road contest against rival Susquehannock will start off the divisional slate, that includes games with another rival, York Suburban.
Ramp figures that early match vs. Susquehannock may be key. He remembers vividly that his team beat the Warriors a season ago in the opener.
“We came out and played really well,” he said of the 3-0 win. “And that just kind of carried on throughout the entire season.”
Dallastown looks strong: Ramp doesn’t feel as if there is necessarily a front-runner for the York-Adams League title at this point. Central York and Red Lion are very strong programs in Division I, as is Delone Catholic in Division III. The one team getting a lot of attention so far, however, is Dallastown.
“Last week we took part in a five-team scrimmage at Dallastown (which included Elizabethtown, Solanco and York Suburban),” Ramp said. “And Dallastown’s good. They’re big, strong and they have senior leadership on that team. They have more experienced players than I do right now. That could possibly carry them very far into the county tournament.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.