They got it in Tuesday's early season matchup and the Rockets used a great defensive effort and showed resiliency in a 3-1 win over the Eagles. Spring Grove captured the matches 25-23, 29-27, 17-25, 25-16.
"I know we all came in here wanting to beat them from last year," Rockets senior Kayla Yingling said. "This one was huge." The last time the Rockets and Eagles met last season, Dover swept Spring Grove in the District 3 tournament.
On Tuesday, Yingling led the Rockets with 34 digs. Sarah Smith added 23 digs and three aces. Some of those digs by Smith came as Dover's Sammie Strausbaugh hammered the ball at the senior.
"I had seen her in club," Smith said. "You just have to stay on the line and stay low and be ready to dig it up."
The first two games were back-and-forth, with Spring Grove holding on for a 25-23 win in Game 1 after a Dover serve sailed long.
Game 2 saw the score tied nine times, including at 24-all following a Sammie Strausbaugh ace.
The teams traded points until it was knotted at 27-27, when the Spring Grove defense rose to the occasion and came up with a crucial block, giving the Rockets a one-point advantage.
The Rockets captured the game on a Karli Mummert kill. Mummert finished with 17 kills, three blocks and a dig. Teammate Brandi Kinard dished 41 assists and had 11 digs.
"The teamwork and the defense (stood out)," Rockets head coach Dawn Myers said. "Everybody contributed tonight against a very challenging team. This is fun. This is high school volleyball at its best."
Dover responded in its 25-17 Game 3 victory.
"It was hard to put the ball away (against Spring Grove)," Dover co-head coach Bobbie Strausbaugh said. "We didn't know what to expect, because it was our first match."
The Rockets, who were in their third match of the season, responded with a 25-16 Game 4 win. An early ace from Dakota Godfrey set the tone for the Rockets in that game and they held a comfortable lead throughout.
"This team is all about energy," Myers said.
Sammie Strausbaugh, who will continue her volleyball career at Jacksonville University next year, led the Eagles with 18 digs, 28 kills, 17 assists, eight blocks and seven aces. Bayleigh Hoffman added in 22 digs, 12 kills, 26 assists, one block and two aces.
Dover is hoping for a steadier showing from its offense as the season moves along.
"I don't know if it will be one single person (stepping up) as much as all the other hitters just need to become a little more consistent so we can move the ball around a little bit more," Bobbie Strausbaugh said.
The Eagles, who were Class AAA runners-up in districts last season and advanced to the semifinals of the PIAA tournament, graduated some key members from the middle of the floor from last seasons team.
"We lack height. We don't have blocking," Bobbie Strausbaugh said. "We need to come up with some strategies on defense that don't rely on blocking."
SPRING GROVE 3, DOVER 1
(25-23, 28-26, 16-25, 25-16)
Spring Grove stats -- Kayla Yingling (34 digs), Sarah Smith (23 digs, 3 aces), Brandi Kinard (41 assists, 11 digs), Dakota Godfrey (11 kills, 7 digs, 3 aces), Karli Mummert (17 kills, 3, blocks, 1 dig), Katie Baynum (6 kills, 1 block), Allie Garrett (7 kills, 12 digs, 2 aces), Adrienne Marcionette (12 digs), Brooke Osborne (1 block, 3 digs).
Dover stats -- Bayleigh Hoffman (12 kills, 26 assists, 1 block, 22 digs, 2 aces), Sammie Strausbaugh (28 kills, 17 assists, 8 blocks, 19 digs, 11 aces), Megan Blazosky (1 kill, 3 assists, 1 block), Hannah Breneman (3 kills, 5 digs), Sarah Musser (6 kills, 25 digs), Katie Diehl (9 digs), Erin Wetzel (26 digs), Kylie Foust (1 assist, 7 digs).