YORK —A finishing touch.
That was the different between Lititz Christian and Mount Calvary in the District Three Class A girls volleyball championship match Saturday at Central York High School.
Two of the three sets in the match went over the 25-point cap. In those two sets and in the third, it was Lititz Christian that prevailed 3-0 (30-28, 26-24, 25-23). The victory enabled Lititz Christian to successfully defend its district title and claim the second district championship in school history.
Thanks in part to its serving, Lititz Christian moved out to leads of 7-0 and 14-6 and even 23-14, only to see Mount Calvary coming charging back. The Chargers' first lead came at 25-24 and they were on the verge of completing that comeback. Lititz Christian staved off another set point before forging a 29-28 lead on a Mount Calvary error. The Eagles' Kierra Flahive then ended the marathon set with a kill.
“That seems to be our personality,” Lititz Christian coach Denise Kennedy said. “We get ahead and start to play cautiously.”
Both of the timeouts Kennedy called during that opening set halted some Mount Calvary momentum.
“I told them to take a deep breath,” Kennedy said. “But I have confidence in them.”
Another late rally by Mount Calvary narrowed a 22-19 Lititz Christian lead to 22-22 in the second set. But with the score knotted at 24-24, Kyiah Flahive, who finished with a team-high 10 kills, came up with a tip kill and followed it with a conventional swing following a long rally to give the Eagles the 26-24 win.
Constant through the match was the play of Lititz Christian setter Karen Tsnchiga, who finished with 27 assists.
“I was nervous, so I just tried to pass well,” she said. “I trust my teammates.”
“Karen moves the ball around very well,” Kennedy said. “She can get to any ball out the court and still put up a good set.”
Their lead was never a big one, but the Eagles never trailed in the third set after tying the set at 6-6. An ace by Mount Calvary's Grace Hilsher drew the Chargers within one at 23-22. But the Chargers suffered two service errors during the closing points to give Lititz Christian the set and match.
The Eagles’ Evie Cadwalader finished with nine kills and a team-high three blocks. Libero Moriah Kreiser patrolled the back row and came up with 14 digs.
Kennedy said that her team's loss to Linville Hill Christian in the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference tournament title match may have been what her team needed to propel it to a district title.
“That loss was almost good for us,” Kennedy said. “It didn't come at a good time and maybe the girls were looking ahead but it forced us to re-focus. We didn't get that (championship) but then we were ready to go for the bigger one.”
Setter Kara Locker had 10 kills, 15 assists and three aces for the Chargers, who may have changed the match outcome by winning that first set.
“We fought back,” Mount Calvary co-coach Kate Ferrari said. “It didn't end the way we wanted it to, but we went into the second set ready to go.”
“For a lot of our girls, it's the first time on this stage,” co-coach Tiann Rutt said. “For me, I thought they played well under those circumstances.”
Both teams advance to the PIAA tournament, which begins Tuesday. Lititz Christian (19-1) will play the District Two top seed while Mount Calvary (17-3) will play the District Four top seed at sites and times to be determined.