READING - The determination and mettle the West York girls’ volleyball team showed in their final game against the top-seeded team in the state Tuesday was a microcosm of their effort during the season.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it wasn’t enough.
Allentown Central Catholic swept West York, 20-25, 18-25, 27-29 in a PIAA Class 3A state semifinal at Exeter Township High School to earn a trip to the state championship Saturday. The match ended West York’s season. The Bulldogs (24-5) entered the semifinal with an impressive comeback victory against Palmyra, a team that defeated West York in the district tournament.
The Bulldogs bounced back from a sluggish second game and battled down the stretch through six ties, but they couldn’t muster enough at the end to salvage the final game.
Senior Marisa Krinock had eight kills, three blocks and five digs. Fellow senior Abbey James had four kills and 25 assists. Sophomore Julia Rill added seven kills, including several in the final game that kept the Bulldogs in the match.
For the Bulldogs, the pace of the match was a similar one from recent outings.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of them,” West York coach Joe Ramp said. “We worked very hard this year all the way through the state playoffs. We started to play as individuals in the second (game), but we got it back together as a team in the final one.
“It has been a battle. We wouldn’t start that strong, and we had to climb back into it. In the Palmyra match, we had to climb back into it.
“But they have had the willpower and desire to keep the ball off the floor. Tonight just wasn’t our night. A lot of things went wrong, and the wheels fell off early in set two. But we came out on fire in set three.”
With six seniors leaving the program, Ramp is optimistic the remainder of his squad can continue to build from the best season in school history.
“I hope they take the experience and the growth they encountered throughout the entire season,” added Ramp. “It might be a rebuilding year, but I do have four starters returning to help piecemeal things. I think we can get back to the state tournament. Our goal every year is to go for the (YAIAA league tournament), go for the district and get to the state tournament.
Ramp believed his team turned the corner in a defeat against Red Lion. It will be a telltale sign for the future.
“We had a maturity level that helped us get better. We had some butting of heads, but once everyone realized what their role was and they started believing in each other it drove us all season long.
“The girls really thought they could do it when they battled Red Lion in the semifinals and lost the final game, 15-13. They beat us 3-0 earlier in the season. It was a real motivator for us. Once we found our way into states, we really believed in each other. The girls coming back will remember this season. We’ll change things up a little next year, and we’ll be fine.”