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York Catholic turns tables to beat Littlestown

On Saturday, the York Catholic girls' volleyball team dropped a pair of matches — one to Trinity, and one to Delone Catholic.

In the Trinity match, the Irish dropped a pair of games in extra points.

Then during the first two games of Tuesday night's Division III league match against Littlestown, the Irish found themselves playing in extra points again.

However, learning from Saturday, the Irish changed their fortunes around and won the first two games en route to a 3-0 sweep of the Thunderbolts (26-24, 26-24, 25-16).

"I was really proud that the girls came back and showed some grit tonight and stuck with it and didn't let those games get away from them," York Catholic head coach Phil Autrey said.

In Game 1, the Irish battled back from a 21-18 deficit thanks to the late-game play of sophomore Bella Kepner.

Kepner's kill from the left side broke a 21-all tie. She followed that up with another kill to give the Irish a 23-22 lead. She was then on the service line and drilled home two aces to give the home team a 26-24 win.

"I'm trying to make my serve more competitive, instead of just getting the serve in like I used to," Kepner said.

Game 1 featured 10 ties and the largest lead was just five points at any time during the game, which was held by York Catholic at 14-9.

Game 2 was more of the same for the two teams, but this time it was Littlestown battling back from a 22-16 deficit to tie the game at 24-all.

But, again, the Irish would get the better of the Thunderbolts in extra points, winning 26-24.

"We definitely learned from Saturday," Kepner said. "A lot of those games, we were up towards the end and got relaxed and tonight we just kept pushing."

In Game 3, the Irish took control from the start, racing out to a 21-9 lead, only to see Littlestown (3-3 overall, 2-2 Division 3) battle back to within 24-16, only to have a service error end the comeback, game and match.

The Irish were playing without starter Emily Hoffman, who got injured at the end of the Trinity match on Saturday, but the changed lineup paid dividends.

"The rest of the girls just got in there and played," said Autrey, who highlighted Megan Miller (26 assists) and Anna Linthicum 's efforts in the altered lineup.

Rachel Shelley led York Catholic (4-2 overall, 4-1 Division 3), with seven kills and three blocks. Kepner finished with six kills. McKenna Walker finished with 13 digs.