Christopher Dock back in District 1-A final after sweeping Calvary Baptist

WHITEMARSH >> The third game was slipping away from the Christopher Dock girls volleyball team Tuesday night.

After convincing wins in the first two sets of their District 1-A semifinal against third-seeded Calvary Baptist, the No. 2 Pioneers stumbled early in game No. 3. The Warriors led by as much as five and were up 18-15 late.

But Dock was not going to let a little misfortune get in its way.

“I’ve done a lot of frustration things in practice because that’s been a big thing with us. We get down, we get frustrated and it hasn’t done well for us in the season,” Pioneers coach Trish Hoover said. “So, we’ve actually really worked hard in the gym to work on the mental attitude when we’re down and it came out good for us there.”

Dock finished the final set with a 10-3 run, collecting the match’s final five points to seal a 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-21) victory over Calvary Baptist at Plymouth Whitemarsh and advance to the district final for the fourth consecutive season.

“They wanted it more than us in that third set. We just kind of let off the gas a little bit, got a little sloppy in our play,” Hoover said. “To their credit, they were very scrappy when they needed to be. Thankfully, we got thinks together in the end and pull it out.”

The Pioneers face top-seeded Sacred Heart — which beat No. 4 Faith Christian 3-0 in the second semifinal at PW — in the Class A final 6 p.m. Thursday at Harriton. Only the district champ qualifies for the PIAA Tournament.

Sacred Heart and Dock have met in the past three District 1-A finals, the last two going five sets. Heart has wins in 2012 and 2014, with Dock taking the crown in 2013.

“I’m pretty nervous, but I think we can do it because last time we played (Sacred Heart on Oct. 14) they beat us in three but our setter (Molly Hand) was hurt,” Dock’s Daphne Hunsinger said. “But I think this time we can beat them.”

Calvary Baptist had a pair of one-point leads late in Game 3 – the final one at 21-20 – but could not force another set and could not earn its first district win since beating Dock in the 2012 semis.

“We were missing, actually, our setter, so when we came in we had to make a whole new rotation like three days before our game,” Calvary Baptist coach Elissa Murray said. “So, I told them they needed to play to the best of their ability and the people that were switched, they came in and they stepped up in their positions.”

Lanae Hunsberger had 10 kills and four aces, Hand handed out 18 assists while Hunsinger had four kills and four aces along with a 13-point service run as the Pioneers blew open Game 2 with an early 14-0 run.

“I just serve where my coach tells me to serve,” Hunsinger said. “So, that usually works out well.”

Hunsinger’s run had Dock up 16-1 and the lead never dipped below 10 and the Pioneers took the game 25-12 for a 2-0 lead.

“That just shows when we’re in system and things are going our way, we can do really well,” Hoover said. “We just have to continue to work really hard on the mental game as a team, cause that’s what can get us off our mark.”

Dock was off their mark at the start of the third and Calvary ran off five straights points to take a 9-4 lead and force the Pioneers to take a time out.

“I think the third set was that they were communicating well, moving well on the court and they were playing their game,” said Murray of the Calvary Baptist’s play in the last set. “Even just when they were winning, they were still playing their game. It didn’t get in their head that they were winning.”

An Isabella Matranga ace had the Warriors up 11-6, but Dock was level at 13-13 thanks to a 5-0 run, the last four points coming on Hand’s serve. Calvary Baptist went back ahead on the next point and had an 18-15 lead before a four-point Pioneer run – a Hunsinger ace putting the second seed up 19-18.

“She’s a very strong server,” said Hoover of Hunsinger. “I can pick locations for her and she can nail them. So, she’s a good one to have on the service line.”

Two straight points had the Warriors back up, with Calvary again holding the lead at 21-20 after Dock served long. That, however, was the Warriors’ final point. Dock pulled even at 21 with a Becca Timmerman kill from the left side putting the Pioneers ahead for good. Three more points gave Dock the 25-21 win and the sweep.

Christopher Dock jumped out to an 11-5 lead in Game 1 and was up by as large as 10 – the last time at 23-13 before taking a 1-0 lead with a 25-18 victory.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply