CHAMBERSBURG >> Chambersburg girls volleyball coach Ty Frelin said while his team has the talent and the ability to be a playoff contender, inconsistency within matches has plagued the team this season.
Tuesday was no different as the third-place Lady Trojans were challenged by a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division foe, the Red Land Patriots, in a victory at CASHS Field House.
Chambersburg (9-3, 8-3 MPC) took the match 3-1, but with a narrow 25-21 win in the second set, and a 25-16 victory by the Patriots in the third, the Lady Trojans had to regroup to avoid a comeback by Red Land (3-10, 2-8 MPC).
The bookends were impressive as Chambersburg won the first and fourth set 25-5 and 25-9, respectively, but allowed inconsistency to get the better of them in the middle frames.
"This group, they have the potential to be very, very good and I think they realize that," Frelin said. "I think they don't zone in for a consistent, long time. It almost seems like they do it when they need to, and that's a formula for trouble at times."
Chambersburg senior Caitlin Vrabel led the pack with 16 kills and six important blocks through the long four sets, while sophomore setter Lauren Ching earned six aces and 19 service points, giving Chambersburg a reliable threat behind the service line.
Ching led the Lady Trojans to a victory in the first set off a five-point run to start the game. Chambersburg finished the set on an eight-point streak with junior Danessa Martin behind the service line.
Red Land found momentum in the second frame, challenging the Trojans for the first time in the match, but was unable to lock in the win in game two.
Chambersburg came into the third set with confidence after out-playing Red Land late in the second, and capitalized on Patriot errors. But with a 10-4 lead in the second set, the Patriots deflated Chambersburg's momentum by going on a 10-point run to take the lead in the third. Multiple errors into the net and miscommunication by the Lady Trojans handed Red Land the 25-16 win in the third frame.
Red Land coach Justin Miller said his team has the talent to compete with any team as long as they have the confidence, which the Patriots gained in the second set.
"It seems to be our problem getting started, but once we do we are a good team," Miller said. "When we start out slow like we did today it's really hard to get going. We were down a little bit down emotionally, but when we get that win, when we get that spark, we can go we can hang with anybody."
The seventh-place Commonwealth team has won just 13 sets this season, and has lost three in a row.
"When they're really happy and we are not at all, it makes it harder for us to come back because we are so down on ourselves, when we really don't need to be," Chambersburg senior Kailey Layman said. "We know that we can play, we just get down on ourselves and with their momentum and energy, it brings us down even further."
Layman said the team regrouped in the huddle between the third and the fourth sets to come out strong, citing lack of communication on the court as their biggest struggle through the second and third sets.
The gym erupted in the fourth set, with Chambersburg communicating, and an emotional Red Land team trying to stage a comeback, but just as Frelin said, his team performed when needed, taking the final set 25-9.
"Hopefully we take the first and last set and put it together for Carlisle on Thursday," Frelin said.
Chambersburg 3, Red Land 1
Sets — Chbg 25-5, Chbg 25-21, RL 25-16, Chbg 25-9
Red Land Statistics
Kills — Madison Miller 4; Blocks — Emina Imamovic 4; Assists — Tristan Chibante 9; Digs — McKenna Yohe 11; Aces — Corinne Silvio 5.
Kills — Caitlin Vrabel 16, Lauren Diller 11, Cara Long 10; Blocks — Vrabel 6; Assists — Lauren Ching 38; Digs — Danessa Martin 18, Kailey Layman 18, Rebecca Stewart 10; Service points — Ching 19, Martin 15; Aces — Ching 6, Martin 4.