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(This post comes courtesy of John Buffone, the newest member of the GameTimePA crew. John will be covering Lancaster County high school sports for us. Check out his blog, The L-L Beat, at yorkblog.com/lancpreps.)

Eastern York boys' volleyball coach Carol Thompson knew Red Land would be a tough task without outside hitter Mike Bair but probably didn’t expect the lopsidedness of Thursday night’s match. The Golden Knights fell in straight sets to the Patriots by scores of 25-18, 25-13 and 25-14. Bair, a senior, is out until at least the end of April for undisclosed reasons.

“He [Bair] would have made a big difference in this type of game,” Thompson said. “Definitely in the previous games we played, there were a lot of plays that he would have made hitting wise.”

Eastern York held tough with the Patriots until the midway point of the first set but then it was all Red Land for the remainder of the match.

“They’re the first team we played this year that had hitters,” Thompson said. “They were big. They ran at you at the net so it made you have to pick up the hitter. You saw it, now you have to get used to it.”

Bright spots for Eastern York were far and in between but junior Elliot Royce did register six kills while senior Sandon Eaton contributed eight digs.

“Right now it’s just a matter of going forward. We know that’s the way it’s going to be. The other kids have to step up even a little more and take the challenge,” Thompson said.

As for the winning team, Red Land head coach Dan Mickle saw big dividends after changing up his squad’s game plan.

“We made a lot of switches in the last week. Today was us finally testing it against an opponent and we just wanted to control the game. We wanted to be more active than reactive,” Mickle said.

For most of the match, the Patriots kept Eastern York off balance with hits from numerous angles. Mickle credited junior setter Tyler Zeiders as the team’s enabler.

“Tyler really controlled the tempo and then Doug (Schriner) and Avery (Spiess) , as hitters, really mixed up what types of shots and where they were going with the shots,” he said.

Though the victory was sweet, Mickle was steadfast that he isn’t going to let his team dwell on it.

“Practice tomorrow and continue to grow. No rest,” he said. “We’re already started for the next one.”

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