Comeback win sends Warwick to L-L finals

By on October 25, 2017
 Warwick girls volleyball players (left to right) Olivia Gregory, Hailey Miller, McKayla Baker, Maddy Glouner and McKenzie Cossette celebrate a point in their win over Garden Spot in the L-L quarterfinals last Saturday. Photo by Sean Hagins


Warwick girls volleyball players (left to right) Olivia Gregory, Hailey Miller, McKayla Baker, Maddy Glouner and McKenzie Cossette celebrate a point in their win over Garden Spot in the L-L quarterfinals last Saturday. Photo by Sean Hagins

The message to Warwick’s girls volleyball players after game three on Monday night was clear.

At that point, they were trailing Section Two champ Elizabethtown 2-1 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff semifinals.

But Warwick coach Brad Glouner was firm in telling his girls to just focus on their game.

“I think we were worried about what (E-town) was doing because they were making some great defensive plays,” said Glouner, whose team had 14 unforced errors in a game three 25-22 loss. “We were really not playing our game, more playing their game, and obviously that was to their benefit.”

That changed in the final two games, and the Lady Warriors pulled out a come-from-behind 3-2 win (25-17, 23-25, 22-25, 25-16, 15-12) to punch their ticket back to the L-L finals. They played Section One champ Hempfield last night (Wednesday) after deadline at Manheim Township.

“Down 2-1,” Glouner said, “we talked about, ‘We’re the defending League champs, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to get back to that game. We’ve got to earn it.’ We definitely earned it.”

The comeback started with Section One runner-up Warwick taking a 7-2 lead in the fourth, in no small part due to the serves of senior McKenzie Cossette.

“I think the start of the fourth game was pretty critical,” Glouner admitted. “Getting a nice lead and getting a little confidence after losing two straight games got the girls believing again that if we do what we need to do on our side, we can beat them. (McKenzie) served well all night. Her and Maddy (Glouner) were really getting a ton of points from the service line for us.”

Glouner ended up with a match-high five aces and 16 kills to help lead the attack.

“It was a good, well-rounded team effort,” coach Glouner said. “I was really impressed with Maddy. She’s been up-and-down this year and she came out big. It was a good night for her and the team.”

After cruising to the eventual nine-point game four win to pull even in the match, Warwick carried that momentum into the decisive fifth, grabbing a quick 3-0 advantage. It became 7-3 before E-town — led by Bri Eberly, who had two aces, 11 kills and two blocks — clawed back to 11-10.

“They fought back,” Glouner said, “and I knew they would. It was one of those, you just had to keep the faith on our side and believe in what we were doing.”

Warwick emerged from a timeout and scored back-to-back points, and then following an E-town sideout, Cossette’s kill made it 14-11.

“There were a couple of long rallies toward the end of that set that could have gone either way and we were fortunate enough to win those rallies,” Glouner remarked.

Finally, Rachall Adams swung away for match point and ended it, clinching the 15-12 game-five win and a return trip to the L-L finals.

“We were moving the ball around and didn’t want to get too predictable and Rachall had been big all night,” Glouner said. “Rachall stepped up when she needed to.”

Jackie Barilar aided the WHS girls’ cause with three blocks and Olivia Gregory added 39 assists.

Warwick needed more big play Wednesday night when facing Hempfield for the L-L title.

“Each time, we’ve gotten a little better (against Hempfield),” Glouner said. “We’re going to have to play much better than we did (Monday) night, though.”

*****

In the L-L playoff quarterfinals last Saturday at LMH, McKenzie Cossette recorded a match-high 14 kills and the Warwick girls pulled off a tight 3-0 win over Section Two runner-up Garden Spot.

Each game was decided by a 25-23 score.

“At this time of year, it’s how you finish — it’s not how you start a game,” Warwick coach Brad Glouner said. “And we’ve struggled this season on finishing sets. If we finish two sets against Central York earlier this season, we’re most likely sitting at third in the District.”

In the first game, Maddy Glouner’s kill snapped a 23-23 tie and then a GS error sealed the Lady Warriors’ win, giving them a 1-0 lead.

Cossette’s tip and Olivia Gregory’s ace — one of her match-high two — started Warwick out to a quick 8-1 lead in game two. Spot, though, rallied to tie it 12-all and then pulled ahead 16-14 on a swing by junior Shawna Zeiset, who had 10 kills by GS.

Warwick didn’t help its cause with seven service errors and 12 unforced miscues in the second game.

“If we do that in the first set, they beat us,” Glouner said.

As it was, Cossette’s monster kill, followed by a tip, tied it at 22-all and 23-all, and then after Rachall Adams put Warwick in front, Cossette’s swing clinched a commanding 2-0 lead.

“McKenzie started out on fire the first and second sets and played real well,” Glouner said. “She’s been a good leader for us all year and we’re going to need her in the playoffs the rest of the year.”

In the third, it was GS who jumped out to the early lead, going up 7-3. But Gregory’s second ace put the Lady Warriors in front 14-10, and then later, Jackie Barilar’s kill made it 21-17. Gregory also handed out 27 assists in the match, while Barilar and Adams each had one block.

Credit Hailey Miller, who was fearless throwing her body around and picking up a match-high 18 digs for contributing to Warwick’s lead as well.

“She makes plays that most girls in the whole L-L League aren’t going to make,” Glouner said.

Zeiset’s kill pulled GS even at 23-all, but a pair of Lady Spartan errors ended it for the Lady Warriors.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and we’re fortunate to get it in three,” Glouner said. “It really could have gone four or five, easily. We’re pleased with the way we finished and kept our cool.”

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