Eagles take down Ephrata

By on March 29, 2017
 Cocalico’s Radislav Denisenko, Tyler Eberly and Adin Frey go up to block the kill attempt by Ephrata’s Trey Farlow (17) during Tuesday’s match at the Ephrata Middle School. Photo by Missi Mortimer


Cocalico’s Radislav Denisenko, Tyler Eberly and Adin Frey go up to block the kill attempt by Ephrata’s Trey Farlow (17) during Tuesday’s match at the Ephrata Middle School. Photo by Missi Mortimer

The start of the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s 2017 Section Two boys’ volleyball play came to the Ephrata Middle School on Tuesday evening. The combatants were backyard rivals Cocalico and Ephrata. The match tied at one apiece after two sets.

But the Eagles had too much experience and too much momentum for the host Mounts.

Cocalico took the last two sets for the 3-1 victory. The scoreboard read 24-26, 25-17, 25-13 and 25-18.

“Volleyball is all about momentum,” stated Eagle second year head coach Steve Strunk. “If you can keep it, you’re probably going to win the match. We did that once we started serving better and got a little more confident.”

Ephrata ninth-year head coach Bob Witwer had his eye on Cocalico senior co-captain Isaac Carpenter.

“When they get him the ball, they’re a better team,” he said. “First game, we tried to keep the ball away from him and it worked. The other sets, he had enough touches to go in their favor.”

Carpenter led the Eagle offense with 12 kills and two aces, but had plenty of support from his mates. Junior Caleb Horning added seven kills and two aces. Sophomore Avery Stark added five kills while producing six blocks on defense. Junior Thomas Denlinger set up the “O” with 27 assists and also chipped in two aces.

Strunk acknowledged the depth of the offense.

“We do,” he said. ‘The key to volleyball is ball movement around the offense. We started to get that ball movement around the net in the second set.”

Defensively, in addition to Stark’s stone wall, senior co-captain Deep Bhavani was all over the court with six digs while adding two aces from the service line. Junior Adin Frey had five digs and two blocks as part of a total team effort.

For Ephrata, Farlow pelted the court with 13 kills. Sophomore tri-captain Connor Komancheck set up Farlow and others with 23 assists while collecting two aces. Senior Tri-captain R.J. Crossgrove chipped in seven kills. Defensively, junior Matthew Ueberroth and Jose Laguer Seda each had 18 digs to keep the Mounts competitive.

“In the first set, we played good defense, we played tough and we blocked well,” added Witwer. “In the other three games, those are the things we had problems with.”

The Eagles were playing the second of two back-to-back matches this week. Cocalico blanked Dauphin County’s Cedar Cliff 3-0 Monday evening in Denver by set scores of 25-14, 25-15 and 25-16.

“We served extremely well Monday night,” explained Strunk. “We had a bunch of aces (led by Carpenter’s eight). We scored a lot of points off serving. Also, when we had to block (Stark two) and play offense, we did.”

The Eagles face a stiff test tomorrow (Thursday) when they travel to Manheim Central. They stay on the road Monday with a non-league test at Brandywine Heights before returning home Tuesday to host Garden Spot.

Ephrata hosts Schuylkill Valley in a non-league match on Monday then travels to Lebanon on Tuesday.

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