GS upends Lady Warriors in L-L playoff semi-finals Warwick, MC prepare for Districts
While Monday night’s loss in the Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinals shattered the hopes of one goal for the Warwick girls’ volleyball team, this Saturday offers an opportunity to turn the page and start fresh.
The Lady Warriors, ranked 10th in District Three, play seventh-seeded Wilson at approximately 4:30 p.m. at Garden Spot High School on Saturday.
This is the first time in three years that Warwick (12-4 overall) has qualified for the District playoffs. Wilson, which plays in the Berks County League, also has a 12-4 overall record. The Lady Bulldogs were eliminated from their own league playoffs last Saturday.
The Warwick-Wilson match is the second match of a doubleheader. At 3 p.m., second-seeded Exeter Township (14-0) will play the winner of a play-in match between Penn Manor and Carlisle tonight (Thursday). The winners of the two matches on Saturday will play each other next Tuesday.
This past Monday started out as a sweet day for the Warwick girls’ volleyball program.
Early on Monday, it was officially announced that four Lady Warriors were named to the League all-star team. Three of them achieved Section One First-Team status through a vote of League coaches — senior hitters Emily Buckwalter and Greta Weidemoyer and senior libero Abby Wenger. Junior defensive specialist Tristan Booker earned Second-Team honors.
It is possibly the first time Warwick has ever had four girls honored in the same season by the league and as many as three earning first-team status in the same year.
The personal accolades were briefly enjoyed, but Monday still ended on a bitter note. The Lady Warriors were given one more day to prepare for Wilson than they had planned. Warwick was eliminated by Garden Spot in the league semi-finals in straight sets (25-15, 25-13, 25-18) on Monday. It was the first trip to the league playoffs for Warwick since 2009. That year, it was also Garden Spot who eliminated Warwick from the league playoffs.
The 2009 team lost in the quarterfinal round, and although this year’s team ventured one round further, the loss was still a bitter pill to swallow.
The first two sets of Monday’s match were close until Garden Spot made runs that Warwick could not answer. In the first set, Garden Spot led 14-13 and then rattled off 11 of the last 13 points, resulting in a 25-15 victory. In the second set, Warwick led 18-16 before the Spartans rallied to score the set’s final nine points for a 25-18 win. The third set was not as close as Garden Spot took a 10-6 lead early and won convincingly 25-13.
"That was the worst passing match we have had all year," Warwick coach Jen Wanner said. "I thought we were ready tonight. It’s just that Garden Spot did a really good job of getting us out of system."
Serving errors, passing errors and hitting errors were more abundant on the Warwick side of the net than they have been all season long in the loss.
"Our serving was, uncharacteristically, not good," Wanner said. "I think we gave them 10 points in the first set just from serving errors and hitting errors. We are in the playoffs now. There are no easy teams. When you play good teams, you can’t be predictable. Tonight, we didn’t pass well and we became predictable."
Buckwalter led the Warriors with seven kills. Weidemoyer added five kills. Wenger recorded eight digs, and Buckwalter added seven. Junior Sara Rodgers and sophomore Callie Donmoyer each recorded one block.
As disappointing as Monday’s loss was for Warwick, Saturday’s first-round victory was equally as satisfying. The Lady Warriors eliminated neighboring rival Manheim Central in four sets by scores of 25-18, 25-20, 20-25 and 25-14.
After being named Warwick Homecoming Queen at Friday’s football game, Weidemoyer continued her majestic weekend with 19 kills against the Lady Barons. Buckwalter added an impressive 12 kills herself and sophomore Gia Gruett chipped in with eight.
It was Weidemoyer and Gruett who set the tone in the beginning of the first set. The two hitters combined for eight kills as the Lady Warriors jumped out to a 12-1 lead. Sandwiched in between the Weidemoyer and Gruett effort was a kill by junior Gabby Yellets and a serving ace by Rodgers.
"Our effort on Saturday was almost the opposite of what we had (Monday night)," Wanner said. "Our serving was good and our passing was so solid."
Weidemoyer and Donmoyer led in the serving category with three aces each. Booker served two aces. The Warwick passing was spearheaded by Buckwalter’s 17 digs, Wenger’s 16 digs and Rodgers’ 14 digs.
For Manheim Central, sophomore Evie Dunagan recorded 11 kills and one ace, while Logan Newcomer chipped in with eight blocks and one ace to lead the Lady Barons in a losing cause. Janae Nolt also served up an ace for the Central girls.
Last Wednesday, Oct. 17, Manheim Central lost its share of first place in Section Two with Garden Spot after dropping a 3-1 loss to Cocalico on the final night of the regular season. That gave the Lady Barons a final record of 9-3 in Section play, one game behind the champion Lady Spartans (10-2).
Manheim Central answered Cocalico’s game-one 25-20 win by eking out a 25-22 decision in the second game. But then the Lady Eagles clinched it by taking the next two, 25-20, 25-15.
Dunagan and Brooke Witmer led Central at the net with 16 kills and six blocks, respectively, and Lauree Wiegand had a team-high four aces. More L-L SEMIS, page B-8