Sometimes it’s hard to regroup once a winning streak comes to an end. The Elizabethtown Area High School girls volleyball team had to have had that in mind heading into an away game at Solanco on Tuesday, Oct. 2, following a loss to Garden Spot the previous week. The Lady Bears faced the challenge head-on and came out on top.
“Every game’s important,” head coach Jenna Griest said. “Winning the section is not just going through Garden Spot. You got to play everybody (and) you got to beat everybody, so the road to the section (title) tonight was through Solanco. Thursday night, it’ll go through Manheim Central.”
The Mules kept pace with Elizabethtown early in the first set. However, a late run from the Lady Bears would give them a 25-14 win. They then used multiple runs in the second set, including a 5-0 run early and a 6-0 run at the end, to easily get a 25-13 victory. The third set was a sheer display of dominance, as the Lady Bears cruised to a 25-8 win to leave with a 3-0 sweep.
“I think we finally got some rest this weekend,” Griest said. “Our month of September was packed with tournaments and regular matches. It gets everybody reenergized and refocused for this second half of the season. That was the big push coming into tonight.”
Elizabethtown was extremely balanced on offense. Junior Hayden Calaman led the way with 15 assists and 6 service aces. Freshman Sydney Stewart had a game-high 10 kills, while senior Elizabeth Vuxta, senior Katie Kimbark and junior Ashley Nyesmith all had 3 digs. Even statistics like that is something that could pay dividends for the Lady Bears moving forward.
“It definitely helps us,” Griest said. “We’re not putting all the pressure on one person to make all of our digs and put balls away. We have options. That really relieves pressure off of players and makes it more of a team game instead of the focus being on one person.”
For Solanco, senior Brianna Langley led all players with 10 digs. Sophomore Emma Cahale had 7 assists, while senior Kara McClune and junior Nathaly Molinarez each had 3 kills.
With their record up to 7-2 on the year, the Lady Bears will shift gears and look ahead to two home games against Manheim Central on Thursday, Oct. 4, and Penn Manor on Monday, Oct. 8. They’ll also go on the road to play Lampeter-Strasburg on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Elizabethtown will be looking to keep pace with Garden Spot, which is currently atop Section Two at 10-1, so every game will be key as the end of the regular season draws closer.
“We’ll take things from tonight to focus on in practice,” Griest said. “We take it day by day. We’re moving a lot of people in and out, trying to keep everyone healthy and injury free. That’s why a lot of our stats are even. We’ll look back on tonight, see where we need to improve and focus on that for Thursday.”