GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: James Buchanan pulls off upset over Greencastle-Antrim
MERCERSBURG >> Last Friday, James Buchanan's volleyball coach Tonya Miller met with her team and told the girls that they were starting fresh.
On Tuesday night, the Rockets certainly did that, and in a big way.
JB pulled off an upset victory over Greencastle-Antrim, beating the No. 2 team in the Mid Penn Capital Division in convincing 3-1 fashion. Even better, it was the first win for the Rockets (3-5, 3-4 MPC) over the Blue Devils (6-4, 5-2 MPC) since 2004 – they hadn't beaten G-A in their last 21 tries.
"This is how I know we can play," Miller said. "Everything came together tonight, and the girls were fantastic."
The Rockets frustrated Greencastle all night, constantly getting into long volleys and forcing the Blue Devils to make plays. James Buchanan took the first two sets, 25-15 and 25-21, and finished things off with a 25-21 victory after losing the third set, 25-12.
"It's beyond frustrating," Blue Devil coach Corry Eagler said. "No one is stepping up, and we have no communication. I didn't feel like there was a fire tonight."
The Rockets got off to a quick start with a convincing win in the opening set. After the Blue Devils went on a three-point run to make it 9-8, JB rattled off five points in a row, and after Greencastle bounced back with a pair of winners, the Rockets took five more in a row to run away with the set.
"We had watched Greencastle play Chambersburg, so we knew this would be a tough game," said Erica Eberly, who led James Buchanan with 14 kills. "I had an idea from watching them where their holes were, and I was able to find some of them tonight. It was a good win."
Miller said, "Erica had a huge game tonight. She was very strong on the attack and was a big boost for the team."
After narrowly falling in the second set, 25-21, the Blue Devils appeared to turn it around. They scored the first nine points of the third set to run away with a 25-12 win.
"It looked like we finally got something going," Eagler said. "We're usually slow starters, but even after we won the third set, I thought we still may have been coasting."
Both teams battled early in the fourth set, but with the match tied at 12, James Buchanan rattled off nine straight points behind two Kayla Cummings aces to pull away and secure the victory.
Eberly said, "If this is the team that shows up every game, we have a chance to do some good things."
Tyana Quivers had four blocks for James Buchanan, including two late in the fourth set, and Cummings had 22 assists and five aces. Logan Souders had seven digs.
For Greencastle, Sydney Shepherd (11) and Keri Gearhart (10) combined for 21 kills, and Chloe McKenzie had 26 assists. Madison Goodwin finished with 14 digs, and Gabby Baughman added 10 digs and five aces.
James Buchanan 3 Greencastle 1
Sets — JB 25-15, JB 25-21, GA 25-12, JB 25-21
Kills — Sydney Shepherd 11, Keri Gearhart 10; Blocks — Gearhart 2; Assists — Chloe McKenzie 26; Digs — Madison Goodwin 14, Gabby Baughman 10; Aces — Baughman 5.
J. Buchanan Statistics
Kills — Erica Eberly 14; Blocks — Tyana Quivers 4; Assists — Kayla Cummings 22; Digs — Logan Souders 7; Aces — Cummings 5.
JV score — James Buchanan 2, Greencastle 1 (16-25, 26-24, 15-9).