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Devils cruise at home

November 01, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Greencastle volleyball team simply wanted to leave a lasting impression Monday night in the first round of the Pa. District 3 Class AA tournament.

The Blue Devils impressed plenty of things during their 15-3, 15-1 victory over Oley Valley: their fans, their opponent and the floor.

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"The girls wanted to go out and make a statement," Greencastle coach Vicki Ritchey said. "We've gotten such great support from our fans and the kids, and we didn't want to disappoint them."

No chance of that happening after falling behind 2-0 in game 1 to the very young Lynx (6-11), who started two freshmen and three juniors. Greencastle (18-1) grabbed its first lead at 3-2 on a thundering Brandi Raifsnider kill and dominated the rest of the way, taking 30 of the final 32 points.

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"The girls were having a fun time tonight, with the (student section) retreiving balls during warmups," Ritchey said. "In the huddle I heard (senior Tabitha Eshelman) say, 'Let's have a lot of fun.'

"That's what we wanted - to continue to have fun and see some good volleyball. And the girls played exceptional."

Raifsnider had a team-high seven kills and Eshelman had 15 assists as Greencastle's high-flying offense was too much to handle.

"All week, we said that we wanted to show everyone that we deserved to be here," Oley Valley coach Dan Schaeffer said. "And I'm proud because we played hard. But they found their rhythm and just started steamrolling on us."

Greencastle advances to the regional quarterfinal pool play Wednesday. The Devils will be joined by three other schools for a shot at two semfinal bids.

Those games won't be played at Greencastle, though, where the Devils have one of the best home-field advantages in the area. With the football team yelling from one corner and the parents section from the other, opponents get surrounded on all sides.

So in its final match there, Raifsnider said the team simply wanted to say thanks.

"We said, 'No matter what, this will be our last game here ever," Raifsnider said. "We want to leave knowing that we gave 100 percent. I think it was a good impression."

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