Upper Dublin takes down Abington in 4 games


In previous years, Abington coach Jae Lee might have been satisfied with his team’s narrow four-game loss to Upper Dublin Tuesday afternoon.

This year, Abington enters the season with one of the most talented teams in Lee’s tenure as the Ghosts head coach and he was not happy with his team’s 17-25,22-25,25-21,22-15 loss to the Cardinals.

“We made silly, silly, bad mistakes,” Lee said. “Receiving free balls, not communicating, just simple stuff that we go over in practice.”

Although Abington dropped the match 3-1, the Ghosts seemed to have a decided advantage in serving, 11 aces on the day, and set offense. The size of the Ghosts hitters helped pound balls at Upper Dublin.

Helping run the Abington offense was setter Emma Garg and libero Jaime Kidd. After missing last season with a torn ACL Garg returned as the Ghosts quarterback of its offense as she finished the day with 23 assists to go along with four kills and two aces.

“Just like any other coach I’ll say the setter is very important. It’s the quarterback of the offense,” Lee said. “Jaime did a (heck) of a job playing the libero position. Out of system she was very under control and she knew who to set to.”

Garg has been a key player at setter for several years now in the Ghosts program and she has the best talent at out hitter that she has ever played with. Outside hitters Leah Simmons and Claire Gassman showed their hitting talents Tuesday afternoon as they combined for 25 kills as Simmons chipped in with five aces and Gassman kicked in three aces of her own.

“They can hit a lot better if the offense cleans up the passing,” Lee said. “(We) have the offensive tools. It’s just cleaning up silly elementary mistakes.”

Upper Dublin did an excellent job of playing team defense to combat the heavy hitting Ghosts offense. Even when the Cardinals had to play some out of system defense they never let the ball hit the floor with out a challenge.

“That’s something we’ve been working all preseason on going into the regular season,” Upper Dublin coach Paul Choi said of the Cardinal defense. “In all of our practices we’ve been trying to the change the mental aspect of our defensive game and its really showing.”

Offensively Upper Dublin didn’t match up with Abington size wise and didn’t have the opportunities that often for its hitters to just blast the ball over the net. Instead the Cardinals used some precision drop shots that just seemed to find holes in the Abington defense all day.

“Every team has its holes. I told my girls to play smart,” Choi said. “If they had an opening, take that swing but if they wanted to change it around my hitters have a big tool box of a different variety of shots.”

For Abington, the game goes down as a conference loss and a game that Lee feels got away from his team and that they should have won.

“We beat ourselves. I’ll tell you right now, they did not beat us, we beat ourselves,” he said.

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