Chambersburg's girls volleyball team pushed Manheim Township to the limit, but ultimately fell, 15-13 in the final set. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
After the second set of a District 3 Class 4A girls volleyball match, it looked like it was all over for Chambersburg.
The Lady Trojans put up a decent effort in the first set but were dominated in the second, 25-15. It seemed like it would be a quick day at the office for Manheim Township.
But whatever coach Ty Frelin said between the second and third sets worked. Chambersburg came storming back and held off the Blue Streaks to force a decisive fifth set.
Unfortunately for Frelin's Trojans, Manheim Township was just a step ahead. Top hitter Ragen Baldwin delivered the final blow, winning the fifth set 15-13 and earning a 3-2 win in the match.
"Before the third set, he just told us to play with everything we've got," Chambersburg junior Bailee Nitterhouse said. "That could've been our last game. He said that we needed to play as best as we could and do whatever it took to win."
Frelin said, "We had been playing from behind the entire match. We were as good as they are, but they were playing in front of us the whole match. I wanted us to get ahead and see what type of team they are, and we did."
After dropping the first set by only three points, Chambersburg (11-6) looked a little lost, especially late in the second set. Despite holding just a 16-14 lead late in the frame, Manheim Township won nine of the last 10 points to earn a quick victory in Set 2.
Then the tables turned.
"I think that we just took a mental break," Streaks coach Jill Tankesley said. "We came out really strong and played really well the first two sets, and then I think we just underestimated how strong the opponent is. We gave them a little space, and they really took advantage of it."
And as most coaches will say about the game of volleyball, it's a game of momentum swings. Once Chambersburg had the ball in its court, so to speak, it earned a decisive 25-14 win in Set 3 and gutted out a 26-24 victory to send it to a fifth.
"Once we got some momentum, we started shutting down their big gun (Caroline Shelby, who finished with 18 kills), and she started getting frustrated," Frelin said. "We started not only blocking her, but digging her as well. It just snowballed for them."
Chambersburg put up one of its most well-rounded offensive efforts, with three players - Haylee Holsopple (14 kills), Nitterhouse (11) and Lauren Ching (10) - finishing in double-digit kills. Danessa Martin and Ching both racked up 22 digs, while Jenna Lombardozzi finished with 15 and Nitterhouse had 11.
"I wanted to do the best that I could for my team and my coach," Nitterhouse said. "I know our seniors were very upset it was their last game. We are all such good friends, and I'm going to miss these seniors so much, but I'm excited for what we have next year."