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Blue Devils knocked out in pool play

November 02, 2000

Blue Devils knocked out in pool play



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Greencastle volleyball team knew exactly what it was up against Wednesday night in quarterfinal pool play of the District 3 Class AA Tournament.

Yet at the same time, the Blue Devils had no idea at all.

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Greencastle, which dominated its way through a subpar Mid Penn Colonial Division in the regular season, ran into some tougher competition this time around, falling 15-9, 15-4 to West York for the final spot in the district semifinals this weekend.

"We just came up against some competition that we weren't used to seeing. We're not used to playing with someone at this caliber," senior hitter Tonia Petersheim said. "It was a proof test to see if we could bring it up to this level. Some games we had our highs, some games we had our lows. Tonight, the lows won out."

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Greencastle (17-3, No. 8 Herald-Mail poll) opened with a 15-7, 15-10 loss to Brandywine Heights, which swept the pool, but bounced back for a 15-6, 15-11 victory over Schuylkill Valley to keep its playoff hopes alive.

It left the night's final match against the Bulldogs, the top seed from the York County League, to decide the pool's other spot in the semifinals.

"They knew with the first loss it was crucial to win the last two," Greencastle coach Vicki Ritchey said. "We knew from the outset."

From the outset, the final match was a struggle for the Blue Devils despite a 2-0 lead in each game. As the Bulldogs continued to dig up hits and tip over blocks, the Blue Devils pressed themselves into a hole. Tied 3-3 in Game 1, West York ripped off an 11-2 run to lead 14-5 before Greencastle got four points late.

"It's them putting pressure on themselves, wanting this so badly," Ritchie said. "And we didn't make some smart plays. The emotions and adrenalin were flowing so fast, we just didn't think of the smart play."

The process continued in Game 2, but the Devils couldn't even produce the closing flourish this time, as hitting errors and poor sets sealed the outcome midway through the game.

Petersheim finished with 11 kills and four blocks, while Kathy Kershner had 12 assists in the final match.

It was a disappointing end to a surprising season for Greencastle, which rebounded well from losing five starters and seven seniors from a 1999 team that was one win from a spot in the state tournament.

"The problem is that everyone is going to focus on (this loss), they'll forget what we did the rest of the season," Petersheim said. "I was just happy to be here because we've proven a lot of people wrong. A lot of people thought we were going to stink ... and we showed people we could do this."

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