Warriors serve up 3-1 win over McCaskey

By on April 4, 2018

Warwick junior Foster Lobb spikes the ball over McCaskey’s Ramcy Qui Qui in the Warriors’ 3-1 win Tuesday night. (Photo by Missi Mortimer)

Little by little, the Warwick boys volleyball team is building confidence.
Warwick coach Nate Gajecki knows that will be an important element for his team as they try to rebound from a tough 2-15 season in 2017.
And Tuesday night was another step in the right direction for the Warriors.
With junior Noah Miller recording a match-high 12 kills and seven aces, the Warriors snapped a 1-all deadlock against McCaskey and went on to earn a 3-1 victory (25-11, 21-25, 25-9, 25-18) in a Section One match in Lititz.
“When you lose 15 games in a season, once another team gets close to them, they definitely (think), ‘Oh no, what happened last year?,’ and we’re trying to get them out of that,” Gajecki said. “Winning a tough match against McCaskey tonight was great for them.”
Combined with wins over Wilson and Nazareth in a tri-match last Saturday, the Warriors now find themselves with a 4-1 overall record (2-1 L-L) on the young season.
“One thing we’ve been preaching with them all year is we’ve got to earn every point,” Gajecki remarked. “I’m not looking for them to have a perfect season, but I really think they have the potential and work ethic to reverse (last year’s record) or get really close to that.”
The Warriors got a solid start against the Red Tornado, as Miller had the hot hand from the service line in a 25-11 game-one decision. Then when Miller dropped in an ace to make it 9-4 in game two, Warwick seemed to be in good shape.
But McCaskey countered with an 8-2 run &tstr; a stretch which included multiple Warrior errors &tstr; and took their first lead on a kill by Axel Martinez.
Junior Gabriel Gonzalez led the Tornado with six kills, while junior Tait Lapham finished with six blocks and two aces.
“Noah did a great job (serving) in game one and we rode that high,” Gajecki said, “and then we just started really making some mental mistakes. There was one rotation in game two where we hit five consecutive balls in the net or out of bounds. We didn’t even give McCaskey a chance to make a mistake.”
An injury to junior Chad Meeder gave Warwick a scare in that game, but they were still tied at 20-all late in the game. McCaskey, though, went on a 5-1 run to close out a match-tying 25-21 win.
Fortunately for the WHS boys, Meeder was able to return following a short absence.
“He just banged (his knee),” Gajecki said. “It was like a stinger. It bothered him for a little bit and then he was able to go back in.”
Meeder’s return, coupled with a 7-0 run to start the third game &tstr; featuring a block by Foster Lobb, an ace by Mateo Chacon and a kill by Miller &tstr; put the Warriors back on the right track.
“If we can get our serves going, we can contend with anybody in the League,” Gajecki said. “If we don’t, just like game two … we’re not a big blocking team, so we can’t make those errors. But if we can serve tough, like we did in games one and three, that’s great.”
McCaskey closed within three, but WHS senior Simon Gerofsky scored three kills in a 5-0 Warrior run which stretched their advantage to 12-4. It was never close after that, as the Warwick boys went up two to one in games.
In the fourth, Warwick again got a quick start on kills by Meeder and Gerofsky, followed by Lobb’s ace. But the Tornado pull even at 3-all and 6-all, then went up 10-9 on Ramcy Qui Qui’s block.
Later, the two teams were tied 15-all when Miller’s kill and Trey Miller’s ace started the Warriors on a match-ending 10-3 run, capped by Lucas Sauder’s cross-court kill.
Adam Kurtz finished the match with a team-high four blocks for Warwick, while Aaron Morrissey added 17 digs on defense.
The Warriors will return to the court tonight (Thursday) when they host Penn Manor looking to build a little more confidence.
“We have four wins already in the first week and a half of the season, where we only had two last year,” Gajecki said. “We’re 4-1 going into Penn Manor, who again will be a tough team. There’s not an easy night in Section One anymore.”
Last Thursday, Miller had 13 kills to help lead the Warriors in a 3-0 shutout (25-13, 25-11, 25-14) of Cedar Crest in Cornwall. Lobb chipped in with 11 digs and Meeder added 26 assists.

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