Volleyball notes - Pa. teams play to the death

October 26, 2000

Volleyball notes - Pa. teams play to the death

While Maryland and West Virginia begin their open playoffs next week, the win-and-get-in method in Pennsylvania starts seeding teams tonight. Five of the six Pa. teams in the Tri-State will see play in their district tournaments, and the only team out - No. 4 Waynesboro - stands at 11-6.

* District 5 Class A

McConnellsburg (15-1) currently stands second in the seedings and Southern Fulton (12-7) is sixth as the regular season wears down. If the Spartans hold their spot, they'll host one of two semifinal pools Tuesday. Undefeated Berlin is currently the top seed.

At each pool, four teams will come in for two quarterfinal matches, and the winners will close the night with a semifinal match. The two pool winners will play next Thursday for the district title and a spot in the Class A tournament.

It represents a great shot for the Spartans - who play three freshmen heavily with their four seniors - to get that win that they so desperately want.


"The seniors have appreciated the support because the freshmen have contributed so heavily this year," McConnellsburg coach Greg Hays said. "But that senior leadership ... the ball's in their court now.

"We had a shot at a title on our own floor against Williamsport, and at Bellwood-Antis, we played well but couldn't force a third game. All we want it one more chance to win a title. And if I had to pick one to win, this is the one I want. And they do, too."

* District 3 Class AA

Greencastle (15-1) automatically won the Mid Penn's top seed by sweeping the Colonial Division and enters Wednesday's quarterfinal pool play at Waynesboro without a non-tournament loss in a month. James Buchanan (14-5) is the Mid Penn's No. 3 seed, and must travel to a play-in pool Monday at Bermudian Springs. With a victory, the Rockets would join the Blue Devils at Waynesboro.

It's been a pleasantly easy ride for Greencastle, which graduated seven seniors (including Herald-Mail player of the year Tabitha Eshelman) last season and fell one game shy of the state tournament.

"You don't want to make comparisons, but I know there was speculation," Greencastle coach Vicki Ritchey said. "There's bound to be, even maybe in the minds of the coaches and the players. ... But the girls answered the call.

With a little redistricting this season, it's not altogether unlikely the Devils could make their inaugural trip to Shippensburg one year later than everyone expected.

"This week's the first I've heard from them about (states)," Ritchie said. "They were talking about something only happening once, and somebody pipes in, 'No, it's going to be three times. Once for quarterfinals, once for semifinals, once for states.'"

* District 3 Class AAA

Chambersburg (15-1) will decide its Mid Penn fate tonight at Waynesboro, playing Mechanicsburg for the league's top seed in the district tournament starting next week.

With a win, the Trojans will return to Waynesboro Tuesday for quarterfinal pool play and a chance to move ahead for one of the district's three spots in the state tournament, where the team's inaugural trip resulted in a fifth-place finish last fall.

"This is what we play for, to get to this time," Trojans coach Ty Frelin said. "It's the fun part. We've been going the last 8-10 weeks to get here."

Chambersburg finished second last weekend in a high pressure tournament finale at Pottsville, losing to fellow District 3 power Conestoga Valley.

"We played extremely well last weekend. It was almost like, 'OK, it's time to go now,'" Frelin said. "We're ready to get rolling."

This week's notebook compiled by staff writer Dan Spears.

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