CHAMBERSBURG >> It was pretty obvious that neither Chambersburg nor Carlisle wanted to suffer its first girls volleyball loss Thursday evening.
The Mid Penn Commonwealth Division was scrappy; it was exciting; and it was a close one – all five sets were decided by two points, and three of them went to extras. But the Trojans made some costly mistakes when they had big leads, and let a two-set advantage slip away. The Thundering Herd won, 3-2.
"When we didn't win Game 3, we started playing more not to lose, and they didn't," Chambersburg coach Ty Frelin said. "You can't give good teams opportunity after opportunity after opportunity because they're going to score."
After Chambersburg (4-1, 3-1 MPC) won the first two sets, 27-25 and 26-24, respectively, it looked like it was going to roll to a victory. In the third set, Carlisle (4-0, 3-0 MPC) trailed by as many as four points as late as 22-18. But the Herd went on a four-point streak capped by a kill from Cassidy Hoover to tie it at 22-22 before going on to win 25-23.
"We start off really strong in most of our games," Carlisle outside hitter Shay Regis said. "Today, we started off a bit slow, but I knew we needed to just keep going and push harder. We're really good at coming back, and I felt like we started communicating a lot better."
Chambersburg once again had a chance to put the match away in Set 4. The Trojans held onto a 14-9 lead midway through the game before the Herd came storming back with six straight points to take a lead.
"After we had lost that third set, I think that got us down a little bit," Chambersburg's Rebecca Stewart said. "It ruined our mentality a little bit, but we still fought back really hard. They're a very good team."
The decisive fifth set was more of a seesaw affair – in that set alone, there were three lead changes and six ties. The teams went point-for-point for eight consecutive volleys, but then Carlisle got back-to-back kills from Yanna Regis and Shay Regis, respectively, and held on for a 15-13 victory.
"We just had to keep attacking, and the only way we could do that was to pass better," Carlisle coach Mike Beachy said. "We struggled with our pass early on, but we started to get better those last three games. When we have our girls swinging in line, we're hard to stop."
But what was most impressive about both teams was the defense. Chambersburg and Carlisle combined for more than 250 digs. Brianna Berrios led the Herd with 38, and Danessa Martin paced the Trojans with 37.
"Nobody usually matches our scrappiness," Beachy said. "They kept some balls up that I was pretty shocked about. They really came at us defensively way more than I thought they would. Toward the end, it was really tough to put balls away."
Stewart said, "Thinking back to last year, I remember when they beat us here, they were doing the same thing – putting balls in very tricky places. But I think we did a really good job of doing it right back at them. We were all over the court tonight."
Kailey Layman (27), Lauren Ching (15), Jenna Lombardozzi (15) and Stewart (13) were all big defensive contributors for the Trojans, who had a pair of exceptional hitters. Caitlin Vrabel led the way with 23 kills, and Lauren Diller followed with 17. Cara Long had six kills and four blocks.
Carlisle 3, Chambersburg 2
Sets — Chbg 27-25, Chbg 26-24, Car 25-23, Car 28-26, Car 15-13
at CASHS Field House
Kills — Cassidy Hoover 26, Yanna Regis 11, Shay Regis 9; Blocks — Y.Regis 3, Hoover 2, S.Regis 2; Assists — Lenisa Berrios 49; Digs — Brianna Berrios 38, Alexis Shugart 29, L.Berrios 20, Hoover 11, Emily Smeltz 10; Aces — B.Berrios 4, Shugart 3, Hoover 2, L.Berrios 2.
Kills — Caitlin Vrabel 23, Lauren Diller 17, Bailee Nitterhouse 7, Cara Long 6; Blocks — Long 4, Lauren Ching 2, Vrabel 2; Assists — Ching 56; Digs — Danessa Martin 37, Kailey Layman 27, Ching 15, Jenna Lombardozzi 15, Rebecca Stewart 13; Service points — Ching 18, Martin 14, Layman 9, Vrabel 9; Aces — Vrabel 3, Ching 2, Martin 1.
JV score — Chambersburg 2, Carlisle 1 (25-16, 22-25, 15-11).