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Central York volleyball avoids letdown, upset vs. Dallastown

The upset seemed ripe for the picking for the Dallastown boys' volleyball team Tuesday night.

Central York, the Wildcats' opponent, came into the league match without one all-state performer – Jeremiah Dadeboe – who was out of the lineup because of sickness and a second all-state player – Landon Shorts – who was playing despite being sick and having missed school Monday.

Topping it off, the Panthers were still getting comfortable in a new lineup installed just last week.

So when Dallastown jumped out to an eight-point lead midway through Game 1, it seemed everything was catching up to Central on its home court.

But the combination of Dallastown errors and Shorts coming alive offensively brought the Panthers back for the come-from-behind victory, 25-22, 25-17, 25-20. The sweep kept the home squad perfect.

The slow start didn't surprise Panthers head coach Brad Livingston, who decided against calling a timeout during the stretch.

"They came out exactly how we expected them to," he said. "I wanted to give them a chance to play their way out of it. I'm pretty proud of the way we scratched and clawed back into the game."

During the comeback, Central (6-0, 5-0 YAIAA Division I) chipped away by getting points from six different servers while limiting Dallastown to just one point on serve. Shorts contributed three of his six kills during that stretch.

Tied at 22, a Nate Mehl kill and a couple of Dallastown errors finished the opener in favor of the Panthers.

What was surprising for Dallastown (3-4, 3-2) was the fact the Wildcats were even in the game while committing six service errors.

Wildcats coach Lance Ranck knew tough serving would be critical for his team heading into the match.

"We knew we had to put pressure on these guys with our serving," he said. "(That) game was what I see in our gym every day."

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Ranck's crew kept the match interesting in the middle game, staying within two at 12-10 before Central went on a 13-7 run to take the game. Panthers senior Jason Gardner registered five of his game-high 15 kills in giving his team a commanding lead.

Livingston was pleased with how his team reacted to the short-handed situation against a Wildcats team that had beaten them in a game at the Bobcat Classic last month.

"They played like we train them to, scratch and claw all the time," he said. "Jeremiah is a positive influence so we're hoping he's getting better and will be able to play this weekend (at the Koller Classic).

"Landon was under the weather. He played well despite the stress of not feeling well."

The absence of Dadeboe affected what Ranck tried to execute with his team.

"We planned all week for him and (his absence) changed up our strategy. .. We're a lot better than we're playing. We asked them to compete (Tuesday) and they did," he said.

Central York def. Dallastown, 25-22, 25-17, 25-20 at Central York

Dallastown stats — Aaron Ward (10 kills, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 2 digs), Jared Barnett (5 kills, 1 block, 1 dig), Sam Ward (5 kills, 3 blocks, 4 digs), Peyton Ranck (24 assists), Owen Terroso (14 digs).

Central York stats — Landon Shorts (6 kills, 1 block, 2 aces, 4 digs, 6 assists);

JV Score — Central York def. Dallastown, 25-19, 15-25, 15-10