Bermudian Springs girls’ volleyball coach Mike Beachy can relate with Nate Staub.
And that’s unfortunate.
Dealing with injuries has hampered Beachy and his club throughout the 2022 season so far. Setter Madelyn Wagner missed a few weeks with a leg injury, while another player is still out with a concussion.
That brings us to Staub, the Delone Catholic girls’ volleyball coach. Staub had been fortunate to avoid the injury bug so far this year. Coming off a thrilling five-set triumph over rival York Catholic last week, the Squirettes and Staub were feeling good about themselves.
That all came crashing down Monday as star outside hitter Denae Bello suffered an injury to her leg at practice that could potentially cut her standout season short.
Without Bello in the lineup Tuesday, the Delone girls struggled against a feisty Bermudian side. Trailing 24-22 in Set 1, the Squirettes rebounded to claim the final four points to avoid an early setback.
Delone seemed to get more and more used to playing without Bello in the lineup as they claimed the next two sets to secure a 26-24, 25-19, 25-19 sweep at Bermudian Springs High School.
“We just couldn’t pass the ball at that point,” Beachy said of his team’s collapse in Set 1. “But they have a lot of good servers and they put up some nice serves there.”
The Eagles fell behind 7-1 in Set 1 before Beachy called for a timeout. That break seemed to spur on the Eagles, who erased the lead midway through the opening set. After falling behind again 20-17 late in Set 1, the hosts went on a 7-2 run to regain the advantage.
That resiliency is something that the Bermudian boss has seen glimpses of throughout the season. Missing key components at various and sometimes overlapping times has been a thing that Beachy’s club has had to deal with quite a bit.
“We are young,” Beachy said. “But there is definitely a lot of room for improvement. We have mostly sophomores and I just think we need to see our opportunities and take advantage of them better than we have.”
Taking Set 1 would have been a big accomplishment for the Eagles. Not only could it have energized a lineup that features seven sophomores, a freshman, a junior and one senior, but it could have possibly sent the Squirettes into a downward spiral.
Instead, the Eagles failed to capitalize on two chances to close it out before seeing the visitors rally back to complete the comeback.
“What you saw tonight wasn’t really our best,” Beachy said. “We need to play with a lot more energy and, who knows, winning that first set might have changed the whole complexion of the match. You just don’t know.”
One thing that Beachy is certainly hoping for the rest of the season is for his squad to stay healthy.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries we’ve had to deal with,” Beachy said. “We had one of our better players out for a week and our starting setter was out for three weeks. But we’re kind of getting healthy…we have one that is still dealing with a concussion, but that’s pretty much it.”
Beachy is hoping a healthy roster can help jumpstart his team over the final seven games of the regular season. He saw some of that here and there against Delone, but seeing it on a more consistent basis would be helpful as his team looks to lock down a District 3 2-A playoff berth.
“Overall we need to play with more aggressiveness,” Beachy said. “We need to attack the full game and our attacks need to get better.”
Without Bello in the lineup, Staub was admittedly worried both about his own team as well as facing an up-and-coming Bermudian squad.
“Injuries are part of the game,” Staub said. “But Bermudian came out and they were scrappy. It seems like every time we come up here and play them in their home gym that they play us tough. They dig balls and bring balls back in. And, yeah, we are now running a different lineup due to Deane being out, but at the end we finally figured it out and I think that was big for us to get that first one.”
Meredith Keefer led the Squirettes (11-3, 7-1 Y-3) with 17 kills while setter Campbell Chronister dished out 36 assists. Ella Means led the Eagles (6-5, 5-3 Y-3) with six kills, while Elaine Cook finished with five kills and two blocks. Wagner finished with 16 assists and three aces for Bermudian.
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