GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Chambersburg soars past State College with strong passing, diverse...
CHAMBERSBURG >> For most of the fourth set, Chambersburg's girls volleyball team trailed State College by about three points.
But behind the strong serving of Jenna Lombardozzi, the Trojans went on a run to tie it up before capturing a victory and completing their comeback on Monday night. They won the match, 3-1, over the Little Lions in a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division matchup at CASHS Field House.
"I think they were surprised by how well we passed the ball," Chambersburg coach Ty Frelin said. "In the past, they've been able to beat us on serve receive. I told the girls they serve tough and they serve deep. That's how they've beaten us the last few years – we couldn't get any offense going because we couldn't pass."
State College (4-4, 4-3 MPC) has defeated the Trojans every time since it joined the Mid Penn Conference in 2012. Moreover, with the victory, the Trojans (7-1, 6-1 MPC) remain in second place in the division.
"Tonight, I think we did a good job of putting the ball out of their system," Chambersburg outside hitter Lauren Diller said. "We made their setter have to get after the ball instead of allowing them to pass it right to her. That was a big part of it. After running after it like that, any setter would have trouble placing it where it's supposed to be for her hitters to get the good hits."
The Little Lions had a trouble with hitting all evening. After a strong start – State College won the first set, 25-19 – the Lions struggled with unforced errors. They finished with only 24 hits, compared to 28 attacking errors.
"We had a lot of unforced errors," State College coach Chad Weight said. "I don't know what happened. We struggle with (inconsistency), but we're doing everything we can to work on that."
State College's top hitter was Alli Henderson with 11 kills, and Kyra Irwin followed with 10. But Chambersburg's defense was strong all night and sent back a lot of balls that could've gone for kills.
Kailey Layman led the defense with 24 digs, Danessa Martin had 12 and Lauren Ching contributed 10.
"I think we're moving and talking with each other really well," Layman said. "We're helping each other out. We're covering all of the court and being aggressive."
Chambersburg also took advantage of when heavy-hitter Irwin was in the back row. That's what allowed the Trojans to go on a four-point run to tie up the fourth set. Chambersburg took its first lead of the set on a Diller kill, and on match point, the Trojans finished off a well-played point with another Diller kill straight down the middle of the court.
"I think I was placing the ball well tonight," Diller said. "I was just trying to find the open spots."
Frelin said, "She hits the ball well down the line, but good teams adjust to that. We've been working on her adjusting with that and going away from that some. Tonight, she changed it up a bit. That last set, she hit several balls to the five zone instead of down the line, including that big one at the end."
The Trojans also got a productive night from Caitlin Vrabel, who racked up 11 kills, while Cara Long and Bailee Nitterhouse smacked six apiece.
Chambersburg 3 State College 1
Sets — SC 25-22, Chbg 25-19, Chbg 25-17, Chbg 25-22
at CASHS Field House
State College Statistics
Kills — Alli Henderson 11, Kyla Irwin 10; Blocks — Irwin 2; Assists — Taylor Kuruzovich 23; Digs — Katie Finlan 14, Henderson 12.
Kills — Lauren Diller 14, Caitlin Vrabel 11, Cara Long 6, Bailee Nitterhouse 6; Blocks — Long 3, Nitterhouse 2; Assists — Lauren Ching 34; Digs — Kailey Layman 24, Danessa Martin 12, Ching 10, Jenna Lombardozzi 8, Diller 8, Rebecca Stewart 7; Service points — Lombardozzi 12, Martin 11, Ching 7, Stewart 7; Aces — Lombardozzi 3, Layman 2.
JV score — State College 2, Chambersburg 0 (25-10, 25-16).