Barons storm back to knock off Cocalico

By on April 6, 2016
Cocalico’s Isaac Carpenter follows through on a kill attempt during Tuesday’s match vs. Manheim Central. Photo by Stan Hall.

Cocalico’s Isaac Carpenter follows through on a kill attempt during Tuesday’s match vs. Manheim Central. Photo by Stan Hall.

Manheim Central remained among the unbeaten in Lancaster-Lebanon League boys’ volleyball Tuesday night in Denver, roaring back from a two set deficit against Cocalico for a 3-2 hard fought victory.

The Barons (2-0 league, 3-0 overall) lost the first two sets 25-22 and 25-19 despite leading each set early (10-4 in the first, 7-2 in the second) over the Eagles (1-2, 1-2). Cocalico even led the third set briefly by a score of 8-7 in an effort to sweep the match.

“The team that captured the effort plays, finished rallies and translated that into points,” responded Baron Head Coach Craig Dietrich, when asked what the difference was on this night. “We had a lot of unforced errors in the first two sets.”

Cocalico skipper Steve Strunk also commented from the Eagle point of view.

“Our inconsistency in serving was our downfall. ,” he said. “Give them credit, they really hustled. This is a game of momentum. The hard part is keeping it.”

Central came back to capture the third set by a 25-17 score then held off the Eagles 25-22 in the fourth, setting up the winner-take-all fifth set.

At that point one would think that Manheim had the momentum firmly planted on their side of the net, but consecutive blocks by Cocalico’s Avery Stark and Caleb Horning gave the Eagle’s a 2-0 start.

A third block appeared to really keep the ball rolling but the referee waived it off as a net violation. Another block by Eagle senior Nick Baxter made the score 3-1 as both teams were very aggressive at and around the net. A Baron kill closed the gap to 3-2 and they blocked the 6-5 Baxter’s swing on the next point, but when the ball came back to Baxter, he found an open spot on the floor at the back corner.

A swing error by Manheim gave Cocalico a 5-2 lead but the Barons took four of the next five to tie the set at six all. The two clubs split the next four points before a block by Manheim senior Zach Wagner gave the Barons their first lead of the set at 9-8, one they would not give up. After a Wagner kill bumped the margin to 10-8, The Eagles called time out to slow the Manheim charge. Baxter responded with a kill to close within one at 10-9. The two teams traded the next four points, but at 12-11, at was the last point the Eagles would score. The Barons ran off the final three scores to close the match at 15-11.

“I was happy with the effort,” added Strunk. “We’re playing with four first-time players, who are coming along. Give credit to Central. They are well coached and they never gave up.”

“It’s a very mental game,” noted Dietrich. “It’s a step in the right direction to be down 2-0 on the road and come back to get the win.”

Leading the way, offensively for Manheim was Wagner, with 20 kills and one ace, while Ben Burkhart coordinated the play with 35 assists. Defensively, Brad Myer had five digs and Wagner contributed five blocks.

The Eagles’ front line was led by Baxter’s 26 kills and three aces along with Isaac Carpenter’s successful 18 swings. Gavin Stark spread around the ball to the tune of 41 assists. Defensively, Baxter had 17 digs with help from Deep Bhavani (14). Carpenter and Avery Stark had two blocks apiece.

While Ephrata was idle Tuesday, the Mounts kept their impressive start to the season going Monday night at Schuylkill Valley with a 3-0 victory over the Panthers.

Nick Farlow had a huge night for the Mounts (2-0 section, 4-0 overall), leading the team in kills (14), blocks (2) and aces (5) in the 25-13, 25-10, 25-18 victory. Larry Rupp added nine digs while Alex Modrzecki collected 28 assists on the night.

Ethan Everson had five blocks, two blocks and one ace for the Panthers (1-2).

Last Thursday evening at Cocalico, Ephrata got by the Eagles in three-straight to earn a big 3-0 decision.

In the 25-15, 25-15, 25-19 win, Farlow had 17 kills, 11 digs and three aces to lead the Mounts to victory.

Modrzecki contributed 30 assists while Hunter Lehman chipped


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