SPRING GROVE — Momentum is a crucial thing in volleyball.
Those that have it generally benefit greatly from it.
Right now, no team in the York-Adams League has more momentum than the Spring Grove girls.
After dropping the first two games against Dallastown last Thursday, Sept. 7, the Rockets rode a wave of momentum in a comeback victory against the preseason Division I favorite.
That momentum continued through the weekend, when coach Liz Zeigler’s squad won the Dallastown Tournament after defeating another Division I contender in Central York.
The M-word showed up again Monday, Sept. 11, when the Rockets hosted Mechanicsburg in a non-league battle. After falling behind 12-7 in Game 1, Ziegler’s club ran off 18 of the next 19 points. That momentum continued well into Game 2 and Game 3, helping the Rockets cruise to a 25-13, 25-13, 25-19 triumph.
“They’re just doing a great job of focusing and playing together,” Zeigler said. “They focus on just one point at a time, and when that play is over, they’re focusing on the next one.”
While that sentiment may sound like a bit of a cliche, it certainly helps in moments such as last week against Dallastown, when the Rockets trailed 2-0. It's easy to lose focus when things are going against you, which makes that come-from-behind effort all the more remarkable.
Past experience helps: Truth be told, however, the Rocket girls had some past experience to lean on in that situation. The exact same thing happened last year, when Spring Grove rallied from an 0-2 hole to upset the Wildcats.
“We did the same thing last year,” Rocket senior Kendra Miller said. “No one was expecting us to do that (last year) but once we did it, everyone was in shock. And the same this year. We didn’t start like we could have, but we stepped it up a notch.”
Momentum may not show up in a box score, but it certainly can be felt on the court. And Miller was feeling it a lot during a 26-2 run that spanned Game 1 and Game 2 on Monday.
“Once you get that momentum it kinds of builds on itself,” Miller said. “It makes you just keep going.”
Pivotal matches loom: Zeigler is hoping that her crew won’t let up anytime soon. Pivotal Division I showdowns loom against New Oxford on Tuesday, Sept. 12, and defending league champion Red Lion on Thursday, Sept. 14.
“They’ve bonded very well together as a team,” Zeigler said. “They are very respectful of each other. I’m very excited with how they are gelling.”
Zeigler felt like this team could be quite special during the summer. But feelings in the summer and results during the season sometimes do not align.
Such was the case a season ago, when the Rockets featured six seniors in what was shaping up to be a breakthrough season. Instead, the Rockets fell to the middle of the pack as Central, Dallastown and Red Lion gained the divisional spotlight.
“You always think that, on paper, things could go really well,” Zeigler said. “But this year it’s actually showing on the court, which is very encouraging for us.”
Miller led a balanced attack Monday with six kills, five digs, four blocks and two service aces. Kaylyn Zeigler dished out nine assists to go with two kills, four digs and two aces, while Airika McCaskill tallied a team-high six blocks.
Kennard-Dale 3, Columbia 0: At Fawn Grove, the Rams triumphed, 25-8, 25-11, 25-10. Jess Moore (five kills, nine assists, eight aces) paced K-D. The Rams won the JV match, 2-0.
Manheim Twp. 3, Red Lion 0: At Red Lion, the visitors triumphed 26-24, 27-25, 25-16. Red Lion won the JV match, 2-0.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.