SILVER SPRING TWP. — When Josh Titus looks around the court at his Cumberland Valley teammates, he doesn’t see many tried-and-true upperclassmen with long varsity tenures.
What the Eagles’ junior setter does see, though, is plenty of talent and a group of hitters in whom he can trust — and those aspects have young CV already playing beyond its years on the roster.
The Eagles continued their early-season run Tuesday evening at CV’s Dome Gym, where they claimed a three-game sweep of Commonwealth Division foe Chambersburg. CV won by game scores of 25-17, 25-18, 25-18, the Eagles’ fourth sweep in four matches.
CV hopes it can continue that type of play in next two matches: Thursday’s backyard scrap with Carlisle and next Tuesday’s critical Commonwealth matchup against Central Dauphin.
“It’s definitely a confidence thing,” Titus said. “Once we beat those first two teams (State College and CD East) we really got things going. These guys started believing in themselves, and we’ve been performing like we should. It’s been working really well so far.”
Almost everything worked in Tuesday’s meeting — there were some challenges in the service game — and the Eagles wasted little time in asserting themselves against the Trojans. After committing errors on their first two swings and falling behind 3-0, CV reeled off a 6-0 run behind two kills and a block from outside hitter Caleb Reisinger. Only a service error interrupted the run, and CV immediately followed that hiccup with three more points to go up 9-4.
The Eagles continued to attack the middle of the court against an undersized Chambersburg line, and the Trojans could never close that CV cushion once it was established. The Eagles cruised to the 25-17 victory.
“I was looking to spread the ball and take the blocks,” Titus said. “We want to run smart plays and open up guys to swing. They were getting open kills against single blocks.”
The second game saw more of the same. Reisinger and outside hitter Blake Liprando had kills as part of an early 5-0 run by CV, and the Eagles looked poised for another easy win. But Chambersburg soon tightened on the block, and the Trojans scrapped back and stayed within striking distance. They finally closed the gap with a three-point run capped by a William Simmers kill, tying the game at 18-18.
CV was then able to get a sideout thanks to a Liprando kill, and then the sophomore closed things out by reversing the Eagles’ service performance. CV had made five service errors in the game to that point (nine in the match), but Liprando served up six straight points, including an ace, to give the Eagles a 25-18 victory.
“It’s kind of a hybrid jump serve, and it doesn’t tumble like a normal jump serve,” CV coach Terry Ranck said. “It kind of dives and has a knuckle effect. It’s pretty tough if he keeps it away from the passers and in the seams. It’s really big to go on those kinds of runs. Especially coming up, we’re going to need that kind of stuff.”
Liprando really hit his stride in the third game, piling up six kills. He did the work early, and then the rest of the Eagles finished it late, closing the game on a 6-0 run to finish the 25-18 win and the sweep.