Hanover’s Abbey Rhodes blocks a shot from York Catholic’s Zandria Zielinski during the first set of Hanover’s victory Thursday night.
Hanover's Abbey Rhodes blocks a shot from York Catholic's Zandria Zielinski during the first set of Hanover's victory Thursday night. (The Evening Sun -- Brett Berwager)

A quick look through the starting lineups for Thursday's volleyball match between Hanover High and York Catholic revealed one thing: a disparity in age.

The Hawkettes graduated no seniors last season and have six -- of a possible seven -- starting this year. The Fighting Irish had just one senior, five juniors and a sophomore.

"We're a pretty young team," York Catholic coach Jeff Floyd said. "We're a little less experienced than they are. We haven't played together as much as they have."

The experience paid off for Hanover, which beat the Fighting Irish in straight sets, 25-13, 25-17, 25-14, at Hanover High School.

The Hawkettes started their games slowly before rallying for a win each time.

York Catholic jumped to an early 5-2 lead in the first game before the Hawkettes scored six consecutive points to take an 8-5 lead they wouldn't lose. Floyd called two timeouts, once when down 12-7 and again when losing 17-7, but nothing could stymie the Hawkettes' rush.

The Fighting Irish built another 5-2 lead in the second game, but lost the lead when Hanover tied the score at 6. They were within one, 12-11, until the Hawkettes scored eight of the next 11 points for a commanding 20-14 lead.

Hanover allowed York Catholic to score the first point of the third game before eventually building a comfortable 20-11 lead following a stretch of scoring nine of 12 points.

The run, Hanover coach Reagan Bitler believes, came because of his team's experience.

"They've been playing together for a long time," he said. "They know that they can put things together to go on runs themselves and oftentimes regain a lead.

"Our biggest concern is we're able to do this on certain teams. Other teams that may challenge us, those runs we get may be fewer and farther between. Those are the matches we're concerned about."

Bitler also thinks his team could improve upon its serving. The Hawkettes committed several service errors.

"Last year, we served much more consistently," Bitler said. "We worked on adding some new serves to our repertoire. We have a lot more jump serves this year. Until they gain a little more confidence on their serves, we're going to have some of these service errors. Tonight was much better from behind the service line than our first three matches."

The Hawkettes hope their improvement continues going into Saturday's tournament, where they'll face Boiling Springs, Lower Dauphin, Red Lion and West York.

"We're slowly working our way to the weekend," Bitler said.

Floyd was pleased with his team's effort, and said it jumped to its early leads because of a positive attitude.

"In between games, they were talking to themselves," he said.

Hanover’s Abbey Rhodes, left, attempts a spike as York Catholic’s Zandria Zielinski attempts to block her shot during Thursday night’s
Hanover's Abbey Rhodes, left, attempts a spike as York Catholic's Zandria Zielinski attempts to block her shot during Thursday night's match at Hanover High School. (The Evening Sun -- Brett Berwager)
"'We can do this, we can do this.' We knew we were going to have our hands full, no doubt about that. I said just fight from beginning to end and good things will happen. From that perspective, I'm not unhappy with the match. We did about as well as we could be expected. I'd like to beat them, but they're a very good team."

Hanover's seniors made sure of that.

Diamond Sorrells led the Hawkettes with seven aces and eight kills. Classmate Logan Myers had 13 assists, and Sam Good added six.

Courtney Cleary had a team-high nine digs for Hanover.

dpaulling@eveningsun.com; 717-637-3736, extension 139