By Chris Metcalf
GREIGSVILLE – Kaitlin Kolb knows all about winning a sectional volleyball title.
The veteran York volleyball coach played on the Lady Knights’ last championship team back in 2003.
Some 20 years later, sixth-seeded York is making another run in the Section V tourney as they will visit No. 2 Cuba-Rushford in the Class D1 semifinals Tuesday at 6 p.m.
No. 1 Alexander hosts No. 5 Bolivar-Richburg in the other semi.
The two winners will meet Friday at 7 p.m. at Wayland-Cohocton for the title.
This year’s York squad is extremely talented, featuring 11 underclassmen, most of whom start and see a lot of playing time.
There are no seniors in the starting line-up.
Eighth-grader Bailey Orman and junior Ariana Roessel are the team’s outside hitters, while juniors Mia Hilyard and Rylee Cuozzo are the middle hitters. Sophomore Lena Balisciano and junior Haley Miller are the setters on the attack while junior Paola Rios-Santiago is the Lady Knights’ Libero.
Orman has enjoyed a tremendous first season on varsity contributing a team-best 116 kills and 136 digs while Roessel has also come up huge with 257 digs and 103 kills.
Rios-Santiago leads the team with 305 digs.
Also for York, Balisciano and Miller have both been very versatile this season with Balisciano contributing 219 assists, 106 digs and 53 kills and Miller registering 143 assists, 61 digs and 31 kills.
The two in the middle, Hilyard and Cuozzo have identical stats with 78 kills and 24 digs apiece.
York’s last trip to the sectional semifinals was a year ago in Class D2 when they ran into the buzzsaw known as Kinglsey and Zinkievich of Pavilion Central.
Pavilion defeated Cuba-Rushford in the finals a year ago.
York also made the semis back in 2018 and 2013.
Cuba-Rushford is 15-2 on the season, winning the Allegany title with a 12-0 record.
But, this York team seems ready for the challenge – their coach sure is.
“We are very excited to be in the semifinals this year,” coach Kolb said. “We made it a goal at the beginning of the season to get back, to make it at least as far as we did last year. We’re happy we’ve reached our goal and eager to surpass it.”
Doug McFarland Photography