SHEFFIELD, Pa. – Winning is sweet. Winning against your county rival is even more satisfying.
(Photo: Sheffield’s Kassidy Orinko goes up for a kill attempt.)
The Sheffield Wolverines did just that on Friday night, sweeping Eisenhower for the second time this season, 25-10, 25-12, 25-10 for their eight consecutive victory.
“The county rivalries are always a little bit more intense,” said Sheffield coach Melissa Lemay. “We’ve played Youngsville and Eisenhower twice this year, and normally we don’t get to do that. It’s fun. Everybody gets amped up for a county game, mostly because we’re familiar with them.”
County foe or not, it hasn’t really mattered who’s on the schedule this season, the Wolverines have beaten them, to the tune of a 9-1 record.
And they did it, because of restrictions in COVID-19 gathering guidelines, in front of a big crowd for the first time this season.
Unlike previous seasons, playing in a league with much bigger schools in the likes of Bradford, St. Marys, and others, Sheffield is showing exactly what they are capable of against a more balanced schedule.
To be fair, it’s not like they haven’t been competitive in past years, but in 2020 they are dominating opponents.
“To be very honest with you, it sure helps to have a more balanced schedule,” Lemay said. “I told the girls at the beginning of the year, we’re not in the bubble we’re normally in. There’s no excuses this year – now show people what you can do. And this is what they can do.”
Friday’s game against the Knights was all Sheffield right from the get go.
The confident Wolverines showed a crisp offensive attack and a strong defense.
Kadence Steffan ran the offense perfectly to the tune of 27 assists, and Lynzie Grubbs (13 kills), Emily Leichtenberger (8 kills) and Annabel Sheldon (7 kills) had plenty of big swings.
After winning the first game 25-10, Sheffield had leads of 22-7 in the second and 22-5 in the third before closing each one out.
It was another impressive display from a team that is gaining more confidence with each match.
“Starting off with those wins gives them confidence,” Lemay said. “It gives them the confidence to say ‘You know what? We are good.’”
Leichtenberger also had five aces, Kassidy Orinko had five kills and 11 digs and Steffan also had 11 digs.
Sheffield also won the JV match, 2-0 (25-15, 25-15).
Orinko led the way with 7 kills and 5 digs.
“Now, they have confidence, and they’re amazing,” Lemay said. “They’re beyond ‘we have to serve well, we have to pass well.’ And it’s so fun to watch.”
They will go for nine in a row on Tuesday when they travel to DuBois Central Catholic.