WHS girls improve to 6-1
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
When the Warwick girls volleyball team has lost games this fall, coach Jen Teale believes that the Lady Warriors have been their own worst enemies.
So it was last Thursday when Penn Manor took game two, 25-22, evening the score at 1-1. In the end, the Warwick girls swept the next two games and defeated the Comets 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-12, 25-20) to maintain their second-place position in the Section One standings with a 6-1 record.
"(Penn Manor) came back the second game, served a lot tougher and they beat us," Teale said. "Actually, we beat ourselves because we didn’t pass well. Then the third and fourth games, we definitely played more consistent."
Junior Gia Gruett was a big force at the net with 15 kills and three blocks, while junior Alexa Mohler was in the middle of things with 30 assists. Senior Bridget Esbenshade chipped in with a pair of aces and senior Tristan Booker led the defensive effort with 15 digs.
"We played pretty solid as a team," Teale said. "One of the things that I really like is that everybody that is playing is contributing. We don’t have one single girl who is our go-to person. The stats are really spread across different girls and the stats are spread across different rotations and we’re successful in a lot of different ways. It was a good team victory, and it was the beginning of the second half of our season, so it was a good win for us."
Following Tuesday’s non-league match against Dallastown, Warwick returns to Section One play this Thursday when they travel to Lancaster to face McCaskey.
Teale likes where her team is currently sitting, just one game behind Section One leader Hempfield (7-0 L-L) and one game ahead of third-place Conestoga Valley (5-2 L-L). But she cautions her players not to get ahead of themselves.
"I think we are where we need to be," Teale said. "I think we have beaten the teams that we needed to beat, which is everybody but Hempfield – and of course, we want to beat Hempfield. We are definitely growing as a team and I think though, we have to be careful because we don’t want to get too cocky. We don’t want to get too comfortable with where we are because there’s teams in our Section that can beat us, there’s teams in other Sections that can beat us. When you look at our record, we lost our only match to a very strong Hempfield team, but I think sometimes we are our own worst enemies and the games that we have lost have traditionally this year been games that we have not played well."
Warwick will get a rematch against Hempfield next Thursday, Oct. 10 and then they finish up the regular season hosting Conestoga Valley on Wednesday, Oct. 16. In the meantime, the Lady Warriors will be looking to improve their game.
"I think at the beginning of the year, we had a lot of hope that this would be our path," Teale said. "At the beginning of the year, there were a lot of questions because we had a new combination of players that were going to be our contributing players. We had three freshmen in our starting rotation, we had some returning starters, we had some varsity players returning who hadn’t played varsity before. So it was just a completely new mix. The girls have done a really good job buying into our system. I think this was a goal we knew would be attainable, but we’d really have to work together … I just think we can’t be complacent. We have to always be working and we always have to be striving to get better."
On Monday night, the Warwick girls got a huge effort from one of their freshmen, as Riley Derr served up five aces and had a team-best 11 kills in the Lady Warriors’ 3-2 non-league victory over Dallastown in Lititz.
Warwick had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before finally turning aside the pesky Lady Wildcats 25-19, 20-25, 26-24, 25-27, 15-10.
Alexa Mohler helped out with 19 digs and an eye-popping 67 assists from her setter’s position, while Gia Gruett added solid play at the net with a team-high five blocks.
More VOLLEYBALL, page B-7