While the Dallastown girls’ volleyball team failed to advance as far into the York-Adams League and District 3 playoffs as it would have liked, there were certainly memorable moments along the way.
On the first Sunday since the volleyball season officially ended across the state, Delaney Kolb and coach Shannon Werner looked back at it all with smiles after the York-Adams League Senior All-Star game at Dallastown High School on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Kolb, who led the Wildcats to a third-place finish in Division I, played on one of the two Purple teams during Sunday’s exhibition. The event, which was organized by Werner, is used to both recognize the league’s top seniors as well as raise donations for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Both goals were clearly met as the players all enjoyed themselves during the four one-game matches that pitted the two Violet teams against the two Purple squads. Each squad finished 1-1 for the day.
“I enjoyed this a lot,” Kolb said. “I got to play with a ton of new girls out there that I didn’t even know.”
Kolb’s Purple team was made up of players from Dallastown, York Suburban, Susquehannock, Bermudian Springs, York Tech, York Catholic, Delone Catholic and Hanover. She played with Purple Team 1 that defeated Violet Team 1, 25-19, in its first set. Violet Team 2 claimed a 25-20 victory over Kolb’s side in the final set of the contest.
While the rigors of the season and playoffs are intense, there was little to none of that Sunday. In fact, Kolb’s side played without a coach as Delone’s Jason Leppo missed the event due to illness.
Werner, who was on the public address system during the game, joked that she was actually the coach of the Purple squad. Part of that stems from the fact that Leppo and West York coach Joe Ramp led the teams in last year’s event.
“Last year Joe and Jason coached the teams and this year they were both making a long run into states," she said. "So, for me, it’s a correlation that if you coach these teams that next year you’ll be there. So, yeah, I’m taking the credit.”
That response was a perfect indication of the way Werner coaches her teams. While she’s serious about the way her teams perform, she does it in such a way that earns affection from her players.
“She’s one of my favorite coaches,” Kolb said. “And that’s because she’s a bit of goofball. She’s not a hard, yelling coach. She just wants us to go out there and have some fun, but to also play as hard as we can.”
Werner raved about the improvement that Kolb made as a senior this past year. After being more of an offense-only player in the past, Kolb was an all-around contributor in her final season thanks, in part, due to a bum shoulder.
“She had a shoulder injury as a junior playing club,” Werner said. “So in club she would only play in the back row. And that actually helped me this year because she was one of the best serve-receive passers on the team. This year she got to play the whole way around which meant she could hit in the back row. And she had some nice hits today in the back row.
Reviving all-star match: The players can thank Werner for working to bring back the event several years ago.
There used to be one held at Red Lion High School that pitted the best seniors from District 3 against one another. After that stopped for a few years, Werner felt like there was a need for someone to step up.
The fact that the contest also is for the benefit of the Alzheimer’s Association is an added bonus for Werner, whose grandmother was diagnosed with the disease before she passed.
“As I walked around today a lot of people told me that they’ve been touched by a loved one with it,” Werner said. “And that’s nice to hear.”
The event raised over $600 last year, an amount that Werner was hoping to exceed this time.
“Looking into a couple of the jars, there’s a couple of checks,” she said. “I’ve never had that before, so hopefully that’s a good sign.”
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org