GS spoils Warwick’s hopes of reaching the L-L League finals

By on October 28, 2015

 

Warwick’s Maddy Glouner (left) and Jensen Burnheimer (right) register a block against E-town last Friday in the L-L League playoff quarterfinals. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick’s Maddy Glouner (left) and Jensen Burnheimer (right) register a block against E-town last Friday in the L-L League playoff quarterfinals. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

For the second time in two weeks, the Warwick and Garden Spot girls volleyball teams crossed paths on Monday night.

The first of those meetings, a match won by the Lady Spartans 3-1 late in the regular season, turned out to be a preview of the L-L League semi-finals.

With the stakes much higher this time around, the Lady Warriors were hoping to even the score.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

Spot’s Paige Martin had a match-high 10 kills and Sydney Nichols added three aces, as GS prevailed 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-20) in New Holland.

The victory sends Spot to Thursday’s L-L finals against Hempfield, a 3-0 winner over Lancaster Mennonite, while Warwick began preparations for the District Three Triple-A playoffs. Warwick will play Hempfield this Saturday, Oct 31 at 4:30 p.m. at Penn Manor High School.

Trailing 2-0 to the Lady Spartans on Monday, and down 20-15 in the third game, Warwick’s Jayna Class, who had a team-high eight kills, put away back-to-back swings during a mini-run in which the Lady Warriors got within one, 20-19.

But GS was able to hold off Warwick and clinch the shutout victory.

Jensen Burnheimer handed out 21 assists for the Lady Warriors from her setter’s position, while Rylee Derr and Kristin Sellers led the defense with 13 digs and one block, respectively.

Last Friday, the Warwick girls defeated Elizabethtown 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 26-24) in the L-L League quarterfinals at Garden Spot High School.

Easy win, right? Not so fast.

The Lady Bears (8-2, second in Section Two, 12-4 overall) are ranked eighth in the District Three power rankings. The Lady Warriors (10-2, second in Section One, 15-5) hold down the 12th spot.

E-town started strong in set one, holding a 9-6 lead before Warwick won seven of eight points on their way to a 25-19 win.

The second set was easier, as the Lady Warriors jumped out to a 9-4 lead. Despite E-town drawing as close as 20-16, Warwick finished off the Lady Bears 25-18 to grab a 2-0 lead.

That’s where the Lady Warriors found out what they were made of. Elizabethtown roared out to an 8-2 and later an 18-7 lead, in both cases forcing Warwick coach Brad Glouner to call timeouts.

“We had a game plan that we executed well in the first two sets,” explained Glouner. “But we stopped doing that in the third.”

The reminder worked big-time, as the Lady Warriors out-pointed the Lady Bears 15-3 for their first lead of the set (22-21).

E-town retook the lead at 23-22, two points later, but Warwick was not to be denied, ending the match with a 26-24 victory in the final set.

“We didn’t want to go another set,” junior outside hitter Rylee Derr (9 kills, 2 blocks) said. “We knew they went five sets with Garden Spot after being down 2-0. We didn’t want a repeat of that.”

While Derr led the team in kills and blocks, she also had support from junior setter Jensen Burnheimer (25 assists) and sophomore libero Hailey Miller (16 digs). Three Lady Warriors had aces from the service line, including Miller, senior Kristin Sellers and junior Jayna Class. Class and sophomore Maddy Glouner were also a big presence on the front line, contributing multiple kills.

“Our goals, going forward, are to be more consistent,” coach Glouner said. “We worked hard all year at passing well and serving tough. If we can do that, we’ll get the other team out of their comfort zone. We feel like we’re battle tested because we’ve played a lot of the high level teams.”

“In the beginning of the year, we would lose the long rallies,” Derr added. “But now we win them.”

Coach Glouner agreed.

“If you’re going to have a long point, you don’t want to make a simple mistake,” he said. “You want to make the other team have a mistake.”

This Lady Warrior team only has three seniors on the roster, but Derr acknowledges the importance of their leadership.

“They’re awesome,” she said. “Communication is so important and they are so loud. You always know who’s yelling.”

Asked about her goals for the playoffs, Derr said, “Definitely to get to the finals. We know Hempfield will be there, and we want another crack at them.”

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