Monday's YAIAA Division II match against Susquehannock was always the one Ali Reinecker had targeted for her return to the volleyball court.
The York Suburban sophomore found out in August that she had two holes in her heart that had to be repaired and her surgery was scheduled for Oct. 6, right smack dab in the middle of her volleyball season.
"I had it in my mind that I'd be back on the 19th. I pushed to be cleared for the Susky match," said the outside hitter who missed the first match against the Warriors, a four-game loss for her team.
And less than two weeks after the procedure, Reinecker was on the York Suburban court, providing six kills and six digs in a Trojans sweep — 25-18, 25-23, 25-18 — that was the Warriors' first league loss in 12 matches. It also kept York Suburban's hopes of winning a YAIAA Division II title alive, as the Trojans are now a match back of the Warriors with two remaining on the schedule for each team.
Reinecker had many reasons for Monday to be her return and was happy with the results.
"I love being with my team. I knew it would be a big game because Susky is always good," she said. "Physically, it felt really good. I had a couple of times I was out of breathe."
Trojans coach Sonia Guyer was pleased to see the sophomore outside hitter back in the lineup even if it caused her a bit more stress than usual.
"Ali gave us that spark," said Guyer. "I kept asking her if she felt OK. It was a little nerve racking."
Kind of like Game 2
After controlling Game 1 to the tune of 25-18, Guyer's squad fell in a hole early and played from behind for almost the entire game. The Trojans (11-2, 10-2) didn't have a lead until a Jordan Landis kill made it 22-21.
Two kills by Abby Ferraro sandwiched around a kill by Parker Faircloth-Henise left it tied at 23. But another kill by Landis, who finished with a match-high 11 terminations, and a block by Ciara Buckingham and Miranda Kauffman gave the Trojans the game.
Blocking was a strength all match for the Trojans which had a physical advantage over Susquehannock (11-3, 11-1).
"We've got some trees up front. But trees fall in the net sometimes," said Guyer with a laugh, referring a sizable number of net violatons against her team.
Warrior coach Darla Pennewill had a bad feeling even before the match.
"Things just didn't feel right. Even the bus was unusually quiet," she said. "We were out of synch from the start and never got in our flow.
"But you have to credit York Suburban for playing well and not letting us get into the match."
York Suburban def. Susquehannock, 25-18, 25-23, 25-18 at York Suburban
Susquehannock stats — Laura Savin (3 aces, 7 kills, 14 digs), Kelly Franz (16 digs, 1 block, 11 assists), Gabee Ogude (3 kills, 2, digs, 1 block), Abby Ferraro (1 ace, 2 kills, 16 digs), Amber Bortner (13 digs).
York Suburban stats — Georgia DuMars (2 aces, 29 assists, 7 digs), Jordan Landis (1 ace, 11 kills, 1 assist, 1 block, 11 digs), Ali Reinecker (6 kills, 6 digs), Ciara Buckingham (9 kills, 2 blocks, 5 digs), Parker Faircloth-Henise (4 kills, 5 blocks), Miranda Kauffman (3 kils, 2 blocks, 3 digs), Emily Hamberger (2 aces, 1 kill, 6 digs), Molly Sargen (3 aces, 9 digs), Eryn McBride (11 digs).
JV Score — York Suburban def. Susquehannock, 25-13, 25-21.