JB Volleyball pulls past WB

Waynesboro's Slaydon Fisher sets the ball up for a teammate as Breanna McIlquham looks on. LEE GOODWIN/LOCAL.NEWS

WAYNESBORO – The Waynesboro Maidens varsity volleyball team has gotten used to winning under head coach Kim Saunders.

But there’s a new contender in the Mid-Penn Capital Division: James Buchanan. And, on Thursday, the Rockets took down the Maidens in three sets in their first meeting of the season. JB won by scores of 25-16, 25-22 and 25-17.

Actually, James Buchanan isn’t exactly the new kid on the block to challenge Waynesboro for supremacy in the division. The Rockets and Maidens shared the league title a season ago.

“We graduated five seniors who played varsity for three years, and we haven’t been able to replace them,” said Saunders. “We have young players trying to get better.

“We shared the league title with James Buchanan last year. Our people were seniors and theirs were juniors.”

In a match played in front of a loud and supportive student section, the Maidens were within striking distance in all three sets but couldn’t match the Rockets’ front-line play. The trio of outside hitter Kaley Hartman and middle hitters Campbelle Dayley and MacKenzie Stoner, James Buchanan kept Waynesboro on its heels all evening long.

It took a while at the start of the match, and, following a service ace by Waynesboro’s Slaydon Fisher that cut JB’s lead to 8-6, the Rockets began to put some distance between the teams and give the Maidens a dose of their own medicine that they dispensed to opponents during Waynesboro’s dominance in the division the past several years.

“We are working on our technique and communication,” Saunders said. “There are some juniors who should be familiar with what we do.

“I’m trying to stay positive. I’ve never been used to losing as a player or a coach. I want to see continued growth from the team.”

The loss dropped Waynesboro’s record to 2-5 on the season. The Maidens have been shut out in three of those defeats. The team’s wins came against Shippensburg (3-0) and West Perry (3-0).

A side-out kill by Hartman gave the Rockets a 14-9 lead following an ace by Waynesboro’s Autumn Scahill. After each team traded side outs, JB went on a 7-0 run that made the lead swell to 22-10 and set the tone for the rest of the match.

Waynesboro went on its own run, scoring five straight points, thanks in part to three kills from Fisher. But an unforced error gave James Buchanan a point and on the cusp of winning the first set.

Waynesboro appeared to be on the verge of perhaps tying the match as the Maidens took a 9-4 lead, led by Fisher. They led 19-14 but couldn’t close the door on a JB team that exerted relentless pressure at the net. Were it not for Waynesboro’s exceptional defensive play, the Rockets would have won the match by much more one-sided scores.

The score was tied at 21 before James Buchanan scored four of the final points to take a 2-0 lead in the contest.

Waynesboro hosts Spring Grove on Monday in a non-conference contest.

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