The Elizabethtown Area High School girls volleyball team was left wanting more at the end of the 2016 season. The Lady Bears finished second behind Garden Spot in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League with a regular season record of 10-4 and exited in the quarterfinals of the District 3 Class 4A playoffs with a loss to eventual champion Red Lion. Would 2017 bring them to greater heights?
At first, it did. Elizabethtown reeled off six straight wins to open up the season, including a 3-2 win over Garden Spot in the second game of the year. Warwick finally put a damper on things, beating the Lady Bears in the seventh game of the season 3-1.
Undeterred, the team went on another winning streak, first with another 3-2 win over Garden Spot and then with five more victories before finally losing 3-2 to Dallastown in the regular season finale. Elizabethtown had a 12-2 record at this point, good enough to give the team the Section Two title and a trip to both the L-L League and district playoffs.
The Lady Bears topped Cocalico 3-0 in the opening round of league playoffs before falling to Warwick once again 3-2 in the semifinals. They then avenged their earlier loss to Dallastown with a 3-1 win in the opening round of districts. However, Elizabethtown’s journey again ended in the quarterfinals of districts with a 3-2 loss to Central York.
In terms of stats, Taylor Beeler held the team lead in kills with 111. Bri Eberly wasn’t far behind with 67, also leading the team in blocks with 31. Rebecca Epps had 145 digs, while Julia Rathsam had 543 assists.
Beeler was awarded the Section Two MVP award at the end of the season. She, Eberly and Montana Sauder all were named to the first team for all stars, while Rathsam and Epps each made the second team.
Although the Lady Bears will lose five seniors to graduation (Beeler, Eberly, Sauder, Sierra Burkey and Katrielle Hoffman), they will retain a nice core for next season, mainly in Rathsam and Epps, but also with key 2017 contributors like Marley Kreiser, Grace Murray and Ashley NyeSmith. If some of the underclassmen can take the next step, Elizabethtown should be in the mix once again in the L-L League and beyond.
This is part of The Elizabethtown Advocate’s 2017-18 season recap series covering every sports team at EAHS.