Elizabethtown won 24 of 28 points against Manheim Township during a stretch that lasted from the end of the first set to the beginning of the second en route to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-10) victory over the Blue Streaks on Monday, Oct. 9.
This was the second time this season that the Bears (9-1, 7-0 L-L League) played a Section One opponent, with the first being the Warriors of Warwick. That was Elizabethtown’s first, and only, loss of the season.
The Blue Streaks (4-7, 4-5) came into Daubert Gymnasium and won the first point of the match before taking an early 6-4 lead over the Bears. Elizabethtown responded by winning seven of the next nine points before the match was eventually tied 13-13, which is when the Bears went on their 24-4 run.
The Bears rattled off five consecutive points and finished the first set on a 12-2 run to win the set 25-15.
“After the first set we decided that we wanted to go away from their big block so we started to reverse the ball a little bit more and we got some kills that way, which I thought was important for us,” coach Dave Pittman said.
The two teams were tied 2-2 to begin the second set before Elizabethtown won 10 consecutive points with Rebecca Epps (team high five aces) serving to take command of the set. The Bears would go on take a 2-0 lead with a 25-13 victory in the second set that was finished off on a tip by Taylor Beeler (team high 11 kills and 14 digs).
When the Bears are on a run like they were against Manheim Township, Pittman said that he and the team try and remain consistent in their approach to keep the run going.
“One of the things that we talk about is, if we have a hot hitter we’re going to give the ball to the hot hitter, but we didn’t see that tonight. I thought Julia did a really good job dishing the ball to different people,” Pittman said.
Manheim Township got off to an advantageous 4-0 start in the third set before Elizabethtown went on another prolonged one. This time, the Bears won 10 of the next 11 points to take a lead that they would not relinquish. The final set came to a close with Elizabethtown winning 14 of the final 16 points. Those two runs in the final set propelled the Bears to their third consecutive win.
“Our passing was good tonight. We served real well. We talk about owning the first ball and they had some really good servers and I thought we handled that well. I thought we covered our hitters pretty good after we overcame their big blocks,” Pittman said.
Despite the first-place start that the Bears have got off to, Pittman twice mentioned that the team does not have a lot of height, which could present problems against future opponents.
“Our struggle is going to be that we’re just not tall,” Pittman said.