Eagles sweep Ephrata in league volleyball opener

By on March 28, 2018
Cocalico’s Bryce Templin (16) goes up for the block against Ethan Sensenig of Ephrata during Tuesday’s match. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Cocalico’s Bryce Templin (16) goes up for the block against Ethan Sensenig of Ephrata during Tuesday’s match. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Section Two play began for Lancaster-Lebanon League boys’ volleyball Tuesday night in Denver as Cocalico blanked Ephrata 3-0.

The set scores were 25-20, 25-20 and 25-18.

With Mounts head coach Bob Witwer in Texas for an annual business trip, assistant coach, and EHS alum (2012) Logan Kopp saw some positives on the night.

“The ability to hit around the block on offense, getting blocks on defense…As much as the 3-0 looks bad, the match was a lot closer than it seemed,” Kopp said.

Set number one certainly started that way.

After ties at one and two, the Eagles grabbed a comfortable 9-4 lead. But Ephrata stormed back with seven of eight points to lead 11-10 before Cocalico took back the lead at 15-14, a lead they would not relinquish.

“We had pretty many missed serves (four) the first set, but we cleaned that up,” explained Eagle head coach Steve Strunk. “We’re a pretty solid serving team when we’re on. Actually tonight, the float was just as effective as the jump serve.”

Set number two was a series of streaks as the two teams traded runs of three or more seven times. When Ephrata out-pointed the Eagles 6-2 late in the set, they had closed to within two at 19-21. As they did in the first set, Cocalico took four out of five to close with a second consecutive set win at 25-20.

“One thing we need to work on is keeping the momentum on our side,” added Strunk. “When you get the momentum, you need to ride it.”

After the Mounts took the first point for the third straight set, Cocalico had a more comfortable lead for the final set’s margin of seven points. Three different Eagles scored aces from the service line and ten swings found the floor as they wrapped up the win.

“There were some mistakes that we weren’t able to overcome,” noted Kopp. “Those will be fixed. They’re all looking at the game more maturely. I’m impressed with what they’re starting to do.”

Offensively, Cocalico was led by seniors Caleb Horning (nine kills) and Bryce Templin (five kills). The duo was set up by fellow senior Tommy Denlinger’s 16 assists. Senior Adin Frey was all over the floor with seven digs, while Horning and junior Avery Stark had two solo blocks apiece.

Senior Trey Farlow had six kills for Ephrata as junior Conner Komancheck dished out 16 assists. Junior Jose Laguer Seda picked up 11 digs, while senior Connor Lehman had two solo blocks at the net.

The Eagles were coming back to the court with little rest as they bested Cedar Cliff in a non-league match on the same floor the night before (Monday). The identical 3-0 margin had set scores of 25-16, 25-11 and 25-19. Templin had six kills and Denlinger had 15 assists in that one.

“We could see the rust coming off,” said Strunk, while acknowledging missing a couple of days missed in practice time due to last week’s weather. “We’ll just need to pay attention to the details, and we’ll be fine.”

The Eagles won’t have any time to savor the wins, as they host state ranked Manheim Central tomorrow (Thursday) in Denver.

“Central is a machine,” allowed Strunk. “But if we play to our ability, we’ll be able to compete with them.”

The Mounts won five of 11 sets in a pre-season tournament at Conestoga Valley on Saturday.

“We got to see jump-serves and a faster pace,” added Kopp. “Knowing who’s next to you when the serve is up in the air. That’s something that you can only experience when there are different colored uniforms on the floor.”

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