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Warwick captures Classic silver Win over Streaks improves record to 5-3 Boys Volleyball
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
Warwick boys volleyball coach Nate Gajecki called Tuesday’s match a good learning experience for his squad.
Yes, the Warriors defeated cross-town rival Manheim Township in three straight, 25-22, 25-22, 25-11, improving their Section One record to 5-3.
But it easily could have gone the other way.
"We really went through the motions," Warwick coach Nate Gajecki said. "We really were not crisp tonight, and that says a lot about the experience of our team that we can still gut out 3-0 without having one of our best games, it was a good learning experience for us that you’ve got to come ready to play every single night. You can’t just come in and expect the other team to hand you the win."
This came just three days after Warwick advanced to the finals of its annual Volleyball Classic last Saturday, winning the silver medal after suffering a 25-18 loss to Bishop Guilfoyle (from the Altoona area).
The momentum, though, didn’t carry over into its match against the Blue Streaks, and the Warriors found themselves tied 20-20 late in game one. From there, Warwick scored five of the final seven points to claim the upper hand.
Wyatt Wingenroth led the Warriors with 11 kills, while Gavin Schaffer chipped in with two blocks to lead Warwick at the net. Zach Gingrich finished with five aces.
"We definitely had to put some things together at the end there, which was good," Gajecki remarked.
They had to do the same thing at the end of game two, leading just 20-19 before finally putting away the 25-22 victory to grab a two games to none lead.
"Our offense was not clicking tonight," Gajecki said. "The analogy we talked about was if you’re having a bad night shooting baskets, you’ve got to get the easy points — getting the rebound and putting it back up, or going for a steal. You’ve got to do things that are a little bit different that maybe don’t show up in the box score. And that’s what we did well tonight. We definitely had some kills here or there, but it definitely was not as crisp as I would like it. What pulled us out was some defense and some well-timed hits, well-placed serves that we didn’t have consistently throughout the first two games."
At the end of the second game, the Warriors huddled and revisited a conversation that the varsity players had with Gajecki on the bus ride to Neffsville.
We talked on the way over about, ‘Tonight is a night about team goals and not about individual goals … It matters to get a win tonight and work on some different lineups, work on some different plays, those types of things,’" Gajecki said. "After the second game when they weren’t playing with the intensity I wanted to see, we talked about that again and it was a completely different team. It was a team that looked like they wanted to be there, it looked like they had something to prove and that was good to see that they could respond."
Respond they did. The Warriors took command in the third game, showed some consistency and clinched the team win with a 25-11 decision.
Last Saturday, the Warriors went 10-0 in pool play at their Classic, then continued to ride the wave with a 25-14 win over Township in the quarterfinals and a 25-16 conquest of Brandywine Heights in the semi-finals.
That punched their ticket to the finals, where they faced again faced Bishop Guilfoyle, a team they had defeated during earlier pool action. This time, however, the Marauders, winning 25-18 to claim the title. Overall, there were 12 teams competing in the Classic.
On Friday night, Warwick’s JV squad also took home the silver medal during their competition.
"Saturday was a great day," Gajecki said. "I t started Friday night and then it carried over … We had beaten (Bishop Guilfoyle) twice in pool play and they came out with a little bit more energy (in the finals). That was our 13th game of the day, we were tired and they wanted it just a little bit more."
Last Thursday, senior Colby Weit had 10 kills, three aces and one block in Warwick’s match against Hempfield, but it wasn’t enough, as the Black Knights came away with a 3-0 win (25-16, 25-23, 25-20).
Zac Riddick also chipped in with one block for the Warriors. More WHS VOLLEYBALL, page B-3