Warwick clinches first L-L League crown

By on November 2, 2016
Warwick’s volleyball team celebrates with the L-L League championship trophy after shutting out Garden Spot 3-0 in the finals last Wednesday at Manheim Township. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Maddy Glouner, Jackie Barilar, Jensen Burnheimer, Jayna Class, Rylee Derr, Hailey Miller, McKenzie Cossette an Lexie Landis; (back, l-r) Cassi Sellers, coach Brad Glouner, Olivia Gregory and Rachall Adams. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

Warwick’s volleyball team celebrates with the L-L League championship trophy after shutting out Garden Spot 3-0 in the finals last Wednesday at Manheim Township. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Maddy Glouner, Jackie Barilar, Jensen Burnheimer, Jayna Class, Rylee Derr, Hailey Miller, McKenzie Cossette an Lexie Landis; (back, l-r) Cassi Sellers, coach Brad Glouner, Olivia Gregory and Rachall Adams. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

By the middle of the second game, Jayna Class could sense it.

The Warwick volleyball team was well on its way to grabbing a two games to none lead against Garden Spot, and their senior outside hitter just knew they were on the doorstep of clinching the Lancaster-Lebanon League crown.

“We realized if we just kept on playing like how we were, we could do it,” Class said.

GS provided a third-game scare, rallying from an early nine-point deficit to get within 22-19. But the Lady Warriors would not be denied, completing a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) in the L-L finals at Manheim Township High School.

Warwick’s four seniors — Jensen Burnheimer, Class, Rylee Derr and Brooke Sommers — accepted the championship trophy before the players were mobbed by their Red Out-attired student section to help celebrate the program’s first-ever League crown.

“It’s so many historic moments right now,” Derr said. “We get to put two things up on the banner (including their first Section One title) … It’s an awesome feeling.”

“It feels amazing, it’s indescribable,” Class added.

For Burnheimer, it made for an 18th birthday that she won’t soon forget. Asked if she could have gotten a better birthday present, Burnheimer said, “Oh my gosh, no. It’s amazing … incredible. With the hard work we’ve put in, I knew we could do it. When we got here, I knew it was ours.”

Standing in the Lady Warriors’ way, though, was a tough Section Two champion Garden Spot squad, which knocked off Township 3-0 in the semi-finals. It was the Lady Streaks who handed Warwick (19-1) its only loss of the season.

That Warwick was able to sweep GS wasn’t a total surprise for coach Brad Glouner and his team.

“Yes and no,” Glouner said. “They’re a very, very good team and I knew it was going to be tough. I told our girls, though, ‘If we play our game, we can beat anyone at any given time.’ I thought cruising in game three, ‘We got this,’ but I knew Garden Spot would not give up and I’m just glad we stuck tight to our game and did what we needed to do.”

That game plan called for a heavy dose of aggressive serving, and in game one, Sommers delivered one of her game-high four aces in a 7-1 run which erased an early 6-3 GS lead.

“We served very tough tonight,” Glouner said. “If you heard me yelling, ‘Free ball, free ball,’ we had a lot of that just because we served so aggressive tonight. That’s what we’re known for. That and passing well. I thought we passed pretty well. Not great, but well.”

The Lady Spartans eventually pulled even 15-all on a block by Olivia Mundorff, and then Taylor Dickson and Shawna Zeiset had two kills apiece in a Spot run which put them up 20-18.

From there, Warwick scored the next seven points — with kills by Derr, Class and Maddy Glouner — to close out the 25-20 decision.

Derr recorded a team-high 13 kills, working hand-in-hand with quarterback/setter Burnheimer, who handed out 37 assists.

“(Rylee)’s been awesome lately. She’s always been awesome, but right now, it’s all straight-down kills,” Class said. “You can hear the other teams saying, ‘Watch it going to number 24.’ They know she’s a big gun and she’s going to put it away.”

Spot again showed its mettle in the second game, leading 9-5 early, then later battling to a 15-15 tie.

But Glouner, who led Warwick with four blocks, in addition to Hailey Miller and Class, who shared team-high honors with nine digs apiece, made their presence felt in a 10-2 game-ending burst which put Warwick in the driver’s seat with a 2-0 lead.

“It’s a lot of timing and trying to get up there as they’re swinging at the ball,” Glouner said. “We’ve been working hard all summer this whole time. Winning this just shows how hard we’re working.”

Containing Dickson and GS senior setter Sydney Nichols were among the focuses of Warwick’s D.

“We know number 23 likes to hit line, so we were trying to take line away from her,” Derr said. “The setter likes to do a little set back so Hailey was always there. Hailey did awesome, like always.”

Class was there with her usual tough serves in the third game, frustrating Spot with three aces while helping Warwick jump to a 12-3 lead.

“Right now, I’m just trying to go for it because as we’re getting deeper in the season, the teams are definitely better passers and we want to get them out of system,” Class said.

Down by 10 points, 18-8, following a Class kill, GS countered with an 11-4 run to make it close.

“That’s kind of our thing,” Burnheimer said. “I don’t know why, but in the third game, we always seem to let them have a run. We need to stop that. But we’ve always come back from those runs before in previous games, so we knew we could do it again this game.”

Sure enough, back-to-back kills by Derr put Warwick at match point, and then the senior outside hitter clinched it with an ace.

“I felt really good today,” Derr said. “The last Hempfield game, my hits weren’t on. So I really needed to get my hits on for tonight. Jensen’s sets were amazing. That really contributed to my hits.”

Beating Hempfield three times this season certainly contributed to Warwick hoisting the L-L gold. Of course, so did the hard work from their seniors and the rest of the team.

“We’ve had some great teams at Warwick over the years,” Glouner said, “and some great coaches, great players and still couldn’t (win Leagues). So to be able to say we did it in the same League with Hempfield, it means a lot. The program’s going in the right direction … The girls have worked so hard for this. The four seniors deserve this more than anyone. They’ve put the hours in the gym, and now finally being on top, it feels great.”

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