All-Star games usually bring that dynamic, and Sunday afternoon at the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association District 3 girls' volleyball showcase was no different.
Members of the Spring Grove, West York, Dover and Susquehannock teams joined forces with girls from Mechanicsburg, Chambersburg and Carlisle to form the West Squad, which swept the East Squad, 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-20), at Red Lion High School. The East Squad was comprised of teams from the Berks and Lancaster-Lebanon leagues.
"It was a great opportunity to finally play on their team," West York's Emily Sides said of teaming with Spring Grove's Karli Mummert and Kayla Yingling, Dover's Sammie Strausbaugh and Susquehannock's Sherelle Walker. "I've made new friends."
All five York County players plan to play at the college level.
Strausbaugh, the Eagles standout who finished her career with 1,689 kills and 1,068 digs, got a scholarship to Division I Jacksonville University.
On the other side of the net, Brandywine Heights' Alexa Swann, a 6-foot-2 middle hitter, will attend Virginia Tech.
Both players are among the state's top five recruits as ranked by prepvolleyball.com.
While Strausbaugh and Swann have their future plans laid out for them, some of Strausbaugh's teammates on Sunday are still weighing their options.
"I plan to go
Yingling, who is listed at exactly 5 feet tall, never let her lack of size limit what she was able to do on the court.
One thing that sets Yingling apart is her serve. She starts at the far left side of the service line and dribbles the ball before starting her progression towards the middle of the line and jumping to get the ball over the net.
"I wanted to try something different," Yingling said. "I bounce the ball five times before I go, and then I just do the same footwork each time."
Sunday also brought time for reflection of a season's worth of memories.
"Besides winning districts," said Walker, who will play at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, of her favorite memory. "The game that got us into the semifinals of state. It was like the longest game of my life, but it was so much fun."
The game Walker referred to was a 32-30 Warriors victory over Freeport in a tiebreaker game that decided the second and final seed out of the quarterfinal pool round.
Sunday had all of the aces, kills, digs and blocks one would expect from an all-star game.
There was Strausbaugh's kill that finally ended Game 1 for the West Squad. The West team led 24-16, but the lead shrank to just two points before Strausbaugh hammered home the game winner.
In Game 2, the West team trailed 5-0 early in a game that featured eight ties.
A Swann ace brought the game to 20-18 in favor of the West team, but the York-Adams and Mid-Penn girls put the game away down the stretch, holding on for a 25-19 win.
After the West won the third game, the girls had a chance to think what volleyball has taught them. Lessons they will take with them the rest of their lives.
"Don't give up and keep going at it," Mummert said.
Sides added: "Hard work pays off. If you give something, everything you got, then the outcome is always going to be good."