WINGATE — Greencastle-Antrim’s girls volleyball team got back one of its two injured players for the first round of states Tuesday evening.
But that wasn’t quite enough to hold off the host team, Bald Eagle Area, which defeated the Blue Devils 3-1 in a PIAA Tournament match.
“That was a really good team we played,” G-A coach Corry Eagler said. “We gave it everything we could.”
The Eagles (19-2) will play Hampton (22-0), a 3-0 winner over Oakland Catholic, in the quarterfinals Saturday. Greencastle is eliminated with an 18-3 record.
The Blue Devils got back the services of Abby Eagler, although she was playing at less than 100%, but did not have Emma Pool available. Both had ankle sprains.
Coach Eagler said, “Abby is a jump server and an outside hitter and we couldn’t use her in those roles, so she played more defensively. She was able to help, but it still limited us. And not not having Emma hurt us.”
Bald Eagle Area won the first two games, 25-21 and 25-22.
“They had a right-side hitter (Leah Bryan) who was a really strong hitter, and they set her up from anywhere,” Eagler said. “And their libero was fantastic. Once we figured that out, we started playing better.”
In the third game, Greencastle rallied for a 25-18 victory to make it 2-1.
“When we ran our middles, Lily (Kauffman) and Kylie (Kerns) were able to get a lot of their kills,” Eagler said. “We just needed to do that more often. Our middles mixed up their shots and scored on a lot of tips.”
Kauffman had 12 kills and had no errors, while Masalyna Miller also had 12 and Kerns added 9. Also at the net, Kauffman had 5 blocks, Alaina Garling and Miller had 3 each, and Kerns and Addison Miller each had 2.
The Blue Devils also got their serving revved up — they had 12 aces and only 4 service errors.
Wren Roberts (12), Brianna Woodring (7), Eagler (7), Garling (6) and Kauffman (5) led in serving points, while Kauffman (4), Eagler (3) and Garling (2) led in aces.
“As the match went on, our serving got really good and that put pressure on them,” Eagler said.
But the Eagles got it together in Game 4 and scored a match-ending 25-18 win.
For G-A, Kerns (17) and Garling led in assists, and the leaders in digs included Woodring (22), Roberts (16), Kerns (12) and Eagler (9).
Greencastle graduates only four members of the team — Kauffman, Woodring, Mia Jones and Morgan Koons.
“Lily had a really good game tonight,” Eagler said. “Bri got more consistent with serve receive as the year went on. We lost a lot of seniors last year, but this group has a lot of ability and I’m proud of them for getting back to states.
“We have girls who really compete well and can do a lot of different things. We took this team to four games tonight without our tallest player (Pool) and without Abby on the outside, so that’s pretty good.”