YATESVILLE – It wasn’t due to lack of effort. There was plenty of fight and desire from the Nanticoke Trojanettes.
Really, it was the story of running into an opponent that’s just better. And that was West York Tuesday night.
With senior setter Trilby Kite running a perfect offense, and classmate Kate Tate ripping powerful cross-court winners, the District 3 runner-up eliminated Nanticoke from the PIAA Class 3A state volleyball tournament with a 3-0 victory at Pittston Area High School.
Set scores were 25-11, 25-8 and 25-14.
“West York had six hitters, and their pass was spot-on every single time,” Nanticoke head coach Debbie Gavin said. “We played as best as we could tonight. This is another level that we are going on. I think the kids were a little surprised by the speed of the game, but that’s how it is once you leave District 2. I told them to do the best they can.”
To be honest, the only thing that went wrong from West York was the bus ride to Luzerne County after getting caught up in Harrisburg traffic and snowy conditions near Hazleton.
Despite arriving 35 minutes late, the Bulldogs showed no signs of rust on the court.
Then again, it helps with you have six attackers and an extremely-athletic setter in Kite, who had four kills in the first set alone – several on back-hand swings over a Nanticoke double-block.
Success in the state playoffs doesn’t hurt, either. Just one year ago, West York entered the 3A bracket as the No. 4 seed from District 3 and advanced all the way to the state semifinals before losing to eventual champ Allentown Central Catholic.
“At the end of the day, that loss in the district final this season was a wake-up call,” West York head coach Joe Ramp said. “It was good to kind of get the rust out, and we had a real good practice Monday. Hopefully, we can take care of some business on Saturday. We have a really athletic team, and sometimes, it’s tough for people to match up with us – especially with our athletic middles.”
The Bulldogs really took over from the opening set.
Tate, Kite, Gianna Krinock and Alayna Harris combined for 13 kills in the first as West York jumped out to a 10-3 lead, and scored the last six points on Tate’s serve for the 25-11 win.
And that momentum rolled into the second set with the Bulldogs scoring 14 of the first 15 points for a commanding 14-1 lead.
“This is a whole new group for us, so I just want us to go out and have fun,” Ramp said. “Hopefully, we can play as a team and let the chips fall as they may.”
Nanticoke, playing without injured senior Kasey Radginski, battled back in the final set.
Jilann Baron and Alyssa Lewis combined for five kills and the Trojans found themselves down just 9-7 in the opening minutes.
But the District 2 champ couldn’t stay away from that large run. West York strung together an 11-1 spurt – mostly on Daisy Miller’s jump-serve – as the Bulldogs were off and running to a 21-9 lead.
Lewis and Baron combined for 13 kills for Nanticoke.
“It was still a great season for us with the back-to-back district titles,” Gavin said. “This team was one of the more talented teams that we’ve had here. We have a nice core back for next year, and some good athletes coming up from the freshman group.”
Holy Redeemer 3,
North Penn-Liberty 0
The Royals won the first two games 25-16 and 25-14 and then held off District 4 champion North Penn-Liberty 28-26 in the final game to open the PIAA Class 2A tournament with a win.
District 2 champion Holy Redeemer moved to the quarterfinals on Saturday and will play D3 champion Delone Catholic and a site and time to be announced. Delone defeated D12 champion Mastery Community Charter 25-8, 25-13, 25-9.
West York 3, Nanticoke 0
West York`25`25`25 – 3
Nanticoke`11`8`14 – 0
West York Leaders: Kate Tate 10 kills, 2 aces, 10 points; Trilby Kite 7 kills, 21 assists, 2 aces; Gianna Krinock 6 kills.
Nanticoke Leaders: Alyssa Lewis 7 kills, 1 ace; Jilann Baron 6 kills, 1 ace; Carly Reakes 10 assists.