Spring Grove’s Dakota Godfrey, right, and South Western’s Mariah Krumrine battle for a point above the net as Godfrey’s teammate Brooke
Spring Grove's Dakota Godfrey, right, and South Western's Mariah Krumrine battle for a point above the net as Godfrey's teammate Brooke Osborne looks on during Tuesday night's match at South Western. (THE EVENING SUN --- BRETT BERWAGER)
Spring Grove High volleyball coach Dawn Myers is stumped.

Her team had just finished a 24-26, 25-13, 25-16, 21-25, 16-14 road win against South Western on Tuesday night, and the question asked is how her YAIAA Division I-leading Rockets were so close to being beaten by the fourth-place Mustangs.

"That's a good question," Myers said. "That's what we're trying to figure out."

The five-game match and consistent back-and-forth momentum gave both teams enough opportunities to combine for 190 digs. Kayla Yingling led the Rockets with 32, and Sarah Bortner had a team-high 28 for the Mustangs.

Myers, though, was not at a complete loss for why her team struggled.

"We couldn't find the box when we needed it," she said. "We made some aggressive mistakes. Just some (bad) communication. (The girls) wanted to give us a few more gray hairs tonight."

The dye job began in the first game.

Spring Grove (11-1, 9-1 YAIAA I) jumped to a 10-7 lead, but the three-point margin would be the largest of the game.

The score was tied 13 times throughout the game with South Western (4-8, 4-5) taking four of the last five points, going from a 23-23 tie to a 26-24 win.

That brings up another of Myers' theories about why her team couldn't play well.

"We always tell the girls we struggle here," she said. "We knew not to take it lightly. We know we're in for a battle, and they found that out in the first game. It never fails, no matter what year, what team, South West gives us a rough time in their gym."

There were no worries in the second game as the Rockets coasted to leads of 10-5 and 20-9 before tying the match at one game apiece with a final score of 25-13.

After tying the score at 14 in the third game, Spring Grove fortunately had Yingling lined up to serve. The team earned six consecutive points and won by eight, 25-17, after trailing by five earlier in the game.

"I have to give it to the girls in game three," Myers said. "Kayla had a great serving run in there. That's what it's supposed to look like. Tonight, we couldn't pull it together when we needed to pull it together."

South Western kept the fourth game close, its largest gap a four-point margin. With the score tied at 20, the Mustangs rallied for five of the final six points for a 25-21 win and tied the overall match at two games apiece.

"When we got to that point, we said, 'This is for our seniors,'" South Western coach Cathy Harman said of the team's two seniors -- Katie Harman and Taylor Klunk -- who were celebrating senior day. "'We got to do this for the seniors tonight.' They've played so many years here.

Spring Grove’s Mia Bennet-Greene, middle, and Katie Baynum, right, attempt to block a spike attempt by South Western’s Erin Harman during
Spring Grove's Mia Bennet-Greene, middle, and Katie Baynum, right, attempt to block a spike attempt by South Western's Erin Harman during Spring Grove's five-set victory at The Corral Tuesday night. (THE EVENING SUN --- BRETT BERWAGER)

The Mustangs fell behind 4-0, rallied back to 4-3, and dropped to 9-4 before taking a 14-13 lead. Spring Grove, however, scored once to gain a 14-14 tie and finished the game, and match, on consecutive serves by Sarah Smith, who came off the bench.

"Spring Grove is a very good volleyball team," Cathy Harman said. "If we can play with a very good volleyball team, we can beat all the rest. We got to finish the whole way through. We stuck with them, had our chances."

Smith had 27 digs and teammate Adrienne Marcionette added another 20. Brandi Kinard had 42 assists and 11 digs for the Rockets, who finished with 111 digs.

South Western's Katie Harman had 14 kills to lead her team. Teammate Holly Arey finished with a team-high eight blocks.

dpaulling@eveningsun.com; 717-637-3736, extension 139


at South Western
(24-26, 25-13, 25-17, 21-25, 16-14)
   Spring Grove stats -- Katie Baynum (9 kills, 2 blocks), Dakota Godfrey (14 kills, 1 block), Brandi Kinard (42 assists, 11 digs, 1 ace), Adrienne Marcionette (20 digs), Karli Mummert 15 kills, 1 block), Sarah Smith (27 digs), Kayla Yingling (32 digs, 5 aces). 
   South Western stats -- Katie Harman (14 kills, 3 aces, 3 blocks, 1 assist, 18 digs), Taylor Klunk (4 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs), Sarah Bortner (1 kill, 1 assist, 28 digs), Nicolette Bonagura (2 kills, 1 ace, 10 digs), Mariah Krumrine (4 kills, 2 blocks, 7 digs), Holly Arey (5 kills, 8 blocks, 1 assist, 7 digs), Erin Harman (3 kills, 4 assists, 6 digs).
   JV Score -- South Western def. Spring Grove, 19-25, 25-15, 15-9.