Throughout most of the season, the Elizabethtown Area High School girls volleyball team hasn’t been hit with much adversity in the majority of its victories. The Lady Bears had to work more than usual for wins during their recent stretch of games, but they came out on top in each of them, extending their winning streak to four in the process.
The team went to Manheim Central on Thursday, Oct. 3, looking to top the Barons for the second time this year after beating them 3-0 in the first matchup, which was much closer than the final score indicated. It wasn’t that way early on; the Lady Bears went ahead quickly to start the first set, eventually pulling away for a 25-17 win. They were even more dominant in the second, cruising to a 25-8 victory.
To their credit, the Barons refused to go away that easily. The third set went back and forth, ultimately going past 25 points. Finally, Manheim Central was able to score back-to-back points late to win 31-29 and keep the game going. That wouldn’t last; Elizabethtown got back to business in the fourth, coasting to a 25-9 win and the 3-1 overall victory.
Sophomore Sydney Stewart led the way with 17 kills, while senior Hayden Calaman had 36 assists and 4 service aces. Senior Ashley Nyesmith chipped in with 18 digs.
Elizabethtown stayed on the road Monday, Oct. 7, for a non-section game at Penn Manor. The Comets have struggled for much of this season, but they came out hot to start things off in the first set. The Lady Bears were able to make things close late before Penn Manor turned it on, winning 28-26.
That lead didn’t last long. Elizabethtown responded with a strong finish in the second to win 25-21. The Lady Bears then controlled the pace in both the third and fourth sets, winning 25-13 and 25-14 for another 3-1 victory.
Stewart again led the team in kills with 9. Hayden Calaman finished with a game-high 28 assists, while Ashley Nyesmith had 15 digs in addition to leading all players with 6 service aces. Sophomore Kallee Locker contributed 4 blocks as well.
Junior Lexington Sangrey had a game-high 11 kills for Penn Manor. Fellow junior Jordan Shucker was all over the place as well, finishing with 20 assists, 18 digs and 4 service aces. Senior Kailey Stoner and junior Alyssa Heagy each had 5 blocks.
Lastly, the Lady Bears returned home to Daubert Gym on Tuesday, Oct. 8, to face off against Lampeter-Strasburg. Unlike the previous two games, it was all Elizabethtown from the get-go. After opening with a 7-3 advantage, the Lady Bears went on a 7-0 run thanks to some nice serving from senior Haylee Calaman to go up 14-5. When it was her turn to serve again, they topped themselves with an 8-0 run, eventually winning the first set 25-12 after scoring 9 of the last 11 points.
The Pioneers did manage to grab an early lead in the second, scoring three straight to make the score 14-11 later on and force an Elizabethtown timeout. Whatever adjustments the Lady Bears made, it worked, as they answered with nine straight points to take a 20-14 lead, scoring the last five points as well to win 25-15.
With the score tied at 8-8 in the third, Elizabethtown outdid itself, reeling off a whopping 13 straight points off some deadly serving from Stewart to go up 21-8. That was more than enough to get a 25-11 victory for the 3-0 sweep.
Locker led all players with 13 kills. Hayden Calaman did the same with 31 assists. Stewart turned in a balanced stat line of 7 kills, 9 digs and 3 service aces. Ashley Nyesmith finished with 9 digs and 5 service aces as well. Her younger sister, sophomore Autumn Nyesmith, had 6 kills.
Elizabethtown (10-2) is scheduled for back-to-back road games at Lebanon on Thursday, Oct. 10, and Ephrata on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Wins in both of those games will clinch a Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff spot for the Lady Bears.