UPPER DUBLIN >> Entering this season it was tough to tell how Abington was going to factor in the Suburban One Continental Conference after losing its best hitter, Leah Simmons, and key defensive player Emma Garg.
If Tuesday’s game against Upper Dublin was any indicator the Ghosts should be in good shape even though they did take a 3-2 loss (25-20,24-16,24-26,25-19,15-8) at home at the hands of the Cardinals Tuesday afternoon.
While finding someone to replace Simmons killing acumen, the Ghosts rolled out a trio of hitters who all found some success throughout the afternoon. The combination of Hannah Dalton, Kaley Ehnow and Grace Whitney combined for 32 kills on the day with Dalton tallying a team-high 14.
“We lost a hitter on the outside that could terminate a lot of plays but I feel like we gained a lot also,” Abington assistant coach Jamal Corbin said. “We gained some size. Our blocking is very strong right now.”
For Upper Dublin it won the match with its serving. Abington had trouble with service return and allowed for the Cardinals to capitalize. Even in the second game in which Upper Dublin trailed for nearly the whole game, and did ultimately end up losing, he Cardinals mounted a nice comeback.
The Cards trailed by as many as eight points in the second game but a couple of service scoring runs helped cut into the Abington lead.
“In every set I always tell them, keep putting the pressure on,” Upper Dublin coach Paul Choi said. “Keep putting pace on our serves. If we get points in hurry, we get points in hurry. I was a little bit more focused on there passing. The sets that we lost were because our passes weren’t there.”
Upper Dublin stuck to its usual offensive attack, getting the ball to setter Bryn Stek and let her distribute to the hitters, namely Maggie Weglos and Jenny McAneney as they closed the deal from there.
“At one point this season I was going to tell her the offense is yours,” Choi said of Stek. “You’re the quarterback of the team. Whatever you see right, I’m going to follow your lead. She’s making very good decisions. Who to set, when to set and where to attack. She’s a very experienced player for only being a junior and we rely heavily on her instinct and IQ of the whole game.”
At this point it looks like a given that Upper Dublin will finish near the top of the Continental Conference. Abington could find itself up there with Upper Dublin but there are a couple of things that need to be cleaned up in order for that to happen.
“We feel pretty confident,” Corbin said. “We feel confident when we see (the conference teams) again. We feel like we should be there at the end of the season as well like any of these teams. We feel like we haven’t been outclassed on the court by any of these teams.”