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Prep Volleyball: Devils' front line has Maidens' number

October 11, 2012|By CURT HORNBECKER | curt.hornbecker@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — When the Greencastle-Antrim volleyball team saw an opening Thursday night, it took full advantage.

The Blue Devils dodged a first-set bullet and used that momentum to sweep Waynesboro 26-24, 25-14, 25-14 and stay undefeated in Mid-Penn Capital play.

“The last time we played them, we won the first two (sets) and they came back to win the third,” said Greencastle coach Katie Lutz. “We knew they were a good comeback team, but the girls finally got their head in the game and started putting points away.”

After sprinting to a 10-4 lead in the opening set, the Blue Devils (15-1, 14-0) watched Waynesboro (8-6, 7-6) chip away at the lead.

The Maidens (8-6, 7-6) tied the score at 18, then took a 22-21 advantage on a Rachel Eyler kill. But a pair of critical errors put Greencastle in position to take the set on a Chloe Hoover kill.

“That really brought the girls down,” said Maidens coach Kim Saunders. It really took the wind out of our sails. ... They’re just learning how to win, and against teams like (Greencastle), you can’t let the door open.”

Indeed, Waynesboro was never really able to recover from the first-set disappointment — especially against the likes of Nakita Gearhart, Ashlynn Schaeffer, Morgan McKenzie and Hoover at the net for the Blue Devils. That quartet accounted for 30 kills, against just 20 for Waynesboro’s team.

“It was tough to get our blocks across the (length of the) net,” said Saunders. “They have a really nice group of hitters.”

And with the momentum resting on the Greencastle side of the court, those hitters began asserting themselves in the second set.

After the Maidens captured the first two points of Set 2, Greencastle reeled off 14 of the next 16 points — led by three kills from Gearhart, who had 11 kills, four blocks and 12 digs in the match — and coasted to the win.

“We have a very well-rounded team,” said Lutz. “They know how to execute and they play the game at a very high level.”

The Maidens managed to gain a 7-5 advantage in the third set, but Greencastle came roaring back, scoring 14 of the next 18 points, with Gearhart pounding four kills in the run.

“We didn’t let them get any big runs,” said Lutz. “I told them we couldn’t give up any big runs, and we had to keep the momentum. I think we succeeded.”

Mckenzie had eight kills and nine digs, Schaeffer had seven kills and Hoover added four kills, four blocks and two aces for Greencastle. Erin Koons had 22 assists and nine digs, and Gabbie Hissong added four aces.

Eyler and Dori Kozain sparked Waynesboro with five kills and two blocks apiece.

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