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Trojans becoming very goal-oriented

November 11, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg volleyball team doesn't have an official page full of goals. That's a good thing, too; the Trojans' paper would have more scratch marks and eraser shavings than the average SAT form.

And today's trip to the Class AAA state tournament could force the Trojans to erase everything they wrote down earlier - again.

"Our goal was to make it this far," senior hitter Beckie Bricker said. "Now our goal is to make it to Friday. If we get that far, then we'll change our goal again."

It's the program's inaugural trip to the state finals, which are today and Friday at Heiges Field House in nearby Shippensburg. So the Trojans (20-3, No. 1 Herald-Mail poll) tote their No. 2 pencils and kneepads down the road to erase all their past frustrations for the ultimate goal: a state title.

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"We've made it this far, we've got nothing to lose now," hitter Sarah Kriner said. "We made it."

Chambersburg made it with a wild adventure at the District 3 finals. After losing to district champion Susquehannock in the semifinals, the Trojans had one last shot as the district's third seed against Hampshire.

"I think everyone was into it at that point," hitter Lori Wilkinson said.

The Trojans won 15-11, 11-15, 15-11, setting off an impromptu celebration and marking another comeback in a season full of them.

"They just don't seem to fall apart when they're behind," head coach Ty Frelin said. "They've been behind 9-2, 9-3 ... and work themselves into position to win. They know you're not going to win every time, and they've been able to handle those peaks and valleys very well."

The team seems set up for a peak this weekend. Chambersburg has no school today or tomorrow. The Trojans' raucous student section can make the 15-minute trip to the game. Most importantly, the team can literally go back to the beginning.

"It's always been fun for us," senior Rose Eppinger said. "Now we just have to go back to the basics again."

Nothing is more basic than the first match. The team set up its season with an opening victory against defending state champion Baldwin from District 7. The Trojans' first foe today - District 7 champion Mt. Lebanon.

"There was something about (Baldwin) that set the whole season for us," junior Lauren Kegerreis said. "We played well, we executed well then."

There's the key word - then. The Trojans believe that is still the best match they've played so far.

"We've been close," sophomore Steph VanBrakle said. "But we haven't gotten back to that point yet."

Frelin thinks today's challenge is exactly what the team needs.

"Emotionally, we have to be at a high," Frelin said. "I really think that's all we're lacking. And the newness of this and everything; I think they're looking at this as a start for a couple days' run."

It's a start. No one wants it to be a finish.

"The way we played (vs. Baldwin) ... right then I knew that we were going somewhere," Kriner said. "We just don't want this to end."

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