WAYNESBORO – The 2022 season has been, despite a lineup that features five seniors and two juniors, a rebuilding one for the Waynesboro Maidens varsity volleyball team.
The learning curve has been a big reason head coach Kim Saunders’ team hasn’t quite lived up to past successes. It’s also because last year’s group of seniors logged most of the court time for multiple seasons, leaving the up-and-coming players to learn by watching.
On Thursday night, the Maidens kept it close for two of the three games the teams played, but the Blue Devils were too much at the net and too well-rounded for Waynesboro to match. The result was a 3-0 Greencastle-Antrim victory.
The Blue Devils, who improved to 12-0, won the first set of last night’s Mid-Penn Colonial Division showdown, 25-19. They had an easier time of it in the second game, winning by the score of 25-12. Then, with Waynesboro’s backs to the wall, the Maidens were close, but not close enough, as G-A won 25-21.
“We’re young,” said Saunders, whose team dropped to 2-10 with six matches remaining in the season. “We’re still making mental mistakes that take us out of the match. If we can get over that hump here in the last six matches, I’d be a happy coach.”
The Blue Devils used the entire court to assert their game. Waynesboro had a pretty good serving game in the match, which was met with solid digs and then solid setting by Madi Eagler. Eagler, whose alley-oop sets were eagerly received by the likes of Abby Eagler, Lily Kauffman and Kate Furnish, wore down the Maidens by sheer repetition of execution.
“When you play Greencastle, you always play with intensity. I felt like we played better, but we had some dips that cost us the match,” Saunders said. “We’ll be back. You know that. I look forward to it.”
Waynesboro’s final six contests are against New Oxford, Big Spring, West Perry, Chambersburg, James Buchanan and Northern York.
The Maidens led 14-13 in the first game. Greencastle-Antrim then scored seven consecutive points with Furnish serving. She served two aces and Waynesboro committed a couple hitting errors to help the Blue Devils pull away.
Senior middle hitter Slaydon Fisher, who along with outside hitters Olivia Fortman and Haven King kept applying pressure at the net, recorded three kills during a 10-4 run by Waynesboro.
Defensively, Savannah Brosius, Autumn Scahill and libero Jada Creager helped keep the match closer than it could have been due to G-A’s high-octane volleys.
Game two was a blip. G-A led 11-9, and after Waynesboro scored on a side out following back-to-back points by the Blue Devils to make the score 13-10, G-A went on a run that stretched the lead to 22-10.
Abby Eagler used a line-drive serve to serve up three aces while leading the surge.
Waynesboro would have loved to make a long night of it, but pulling to within 15-13, they couldn’t put together a rally. It was 23-21, but a side out kill by Olalla Sanchez made it 24-21 and Furnish ended the match with a kill.