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York Suburban grinds out win over Dallastown

If York Suburban senior outside hitter/middle blocker Sepehr Vakili had his way, the Trojans volleyball team would lead start to finish in every game.

Tuesday evening's eighth annual White Out game against Dallastown was not one of those nights.

The Trojans were forced to rally from behind in all four games they played with Dallastown, but found a way to win three of those for a 25-21, 25-20, 28-30, 25-20 YAIAA win at York Suburban High School.

"You mean you don't see (the tension) on the parents' faces (when we are behind)?," said Vakili with a laugh. "Maybe some players are comfortable with it, but I'm never comfortable with it. I always want to be out front."

The White Out event raised a record of over $10,600 for the Cancer Paitent Help Fund and other caner-related charities in honor of Clark Fisher, the father of two former York Suburban volleyball players, who passed away in 2010.

York Suburban (9-2, 7-2 YAIAA) clinched the match in the fourth game. The Trojans went ahead for good at 19-18 on a Jack Schultz block at the net and scored six of the final eight points. The six-foot Vakili notched a kill to set up match point, which he then served. Dallastown's return of serve went into the stands to end it.

"I prefer us not to get into that position, but we seem to like to fight from that position," said York Suburban coach Jamie Evans. "We seem to rise up to meet the challenge. I think part of it is their confidence. I'm just trying to get them to play at that level from the start."

It was a good rebound for the Trojans, who scored come-from-behind wins in the opening two sets. York Suburban trailed by as many as six in the opening game before rallying back for the win. Dallastown had the lead early in the second game as well before York Suburban went on a 7-2 run midway through to forge ahead to stay.

"We got into some little funks," Vakili said. "The hard thing is to get out of that. We have the skills. The skill is there. We just have to apply it. That's what we keep working on."

Dallastown (6-5, 5-4 YAIAA) found itself up by four points and two points from the third game when York Suburban rallied again to tie it 25-25 on a junior Jack Weinstein kill. The two teams traded the lead three times before the Wildcats put it away on back-to-back kills from senior Aaron Ward.

"Every time we hit the ball and it seemed like we were about to get a point, (York Suburban) had somebody diving to save the ball and return it," said Dallastown assistant coach Mike Darr, who was subbing for Lance Ranck on Tuesday. "It's an older team (with three of its six seniors starting). They never give up."

Junior setter Peyton Ranck had a game-best 52 assists and 13 digs for Dallastown. Ward added a game-high 32 kills for the Wildcats. York Suburban got 16 kills from Vakili, 23 digs from junior Nick Bowman and 48 assists from senior Kaleb Ansell.

"We just have to keep bringing the intensity and energy," said York Suburban senior Ian Firestone, a four-year varsity performer. "No matter who is on that other side, we just have to keep giving our all through the rest of the season. We are looking forward to counties and states."