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Trojans survive on great escape

November 01, 2000

Trojans survive on great escape



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Chambersburg volleyball team watched its playoff life flash before its eyes Tuesday night in the Pa. Class AAA District 3 preliminary round.

The Trojans merely laughed.

"We knew we needed to win; that if we didn't win we'd have more stress in the last game, and we didn't want that," senior hitter Sarah Kriner said. "We just decided to wing it, go out there and have some fun."

Thanks to Kriner and some surprise service points from Lori Wilkinson, the Trojans get another chance to have fun, rallying from match point down to beat Central York 15-5, 9-15, 16-14 on their way to a second-place finish in the pool and a spot in the district quarterfinals Thursday.

"We dug down deep and did what we needed," Chambersburg coach Ty Frelin said. "Sometimes, when you set high goals, you need a little luck to keep going for them."

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Chambersburg (18-2, No. 1 Herald-Mail poll) made its own breaks late in Game 3. A Kriner kill saved the only match point Central York had, and a service winner by Steph VanBrakle evened the score at 14-14. Ten sideouts followed before Wilkinson, who plays the back row only when the Trojans run out of substitutions, served up the last two points - the second on a thundering kill by Kriner - to win it.

The win was preceded by a 15-11, 15-13 victory over Gettysburg, which avenged the Trojans' only loss of the regular season and guaranteed Chambersburg a spot in the quarterfinals.

It turned the night's final match against Hempfield into one for positioning only, not elimination.

"I think we had a little letdown, yeah," Frelin said. "But once we settled in, we played well in the second game and thought we could win. Then the fatigue settled in."

The match had some momentum swings, all of them violent. But Hempfield beat Chambersburg at its own game - get the ball to its outstanding setter (Amy Chen) to set up an array of powerful hitters - and finished off a 15-4, 13-15, 15-3 victory to sweep the pool.

"In that second game, I think we knew we actually had a chance to win," Kriner said. "That third game, I don't know what happened. We let down."

It was also a little revenge after last season, when Chambersburg defeated Hempfield 15-11, 11-15, 15-11 to claim the district's final spot in the state tournament, and turned it into a fifth-place finish.

The Trojans nearly lost the chance to improve on that finish Tuesday night. Nearly.

"We knew tonight would be a big deal," Kriner said. "States is our goal and we knew we had to be in the top two tonight to keep going. We came out and played tough."

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