Late surge lifts Mounts past Cedar Crest
Simply put, the Ephrata boys volleyball team found a way Tuesday night at home vs. Cedar Crest in the Section One opener.
It certainly wasn’t easy, as the Mounts were mixing and matching their lineup due to several injuries. In fact, 6-foot-7 Clayton Kurtz puts some time in on the back row to help his team.
But with the score tied at 5-5 in the fifth and deciding game, the Mounts strung together nine-straight points which keyed an eventual 15-6 decision to clinch a 3-2 team victory, their first of the season.
“We’re scrapping,” Ephrata Coach Bob Witwer said of his team’s effort in Tuesday’s win. “We are playing a lot of people in spots they don’t necessarily play, but we don’t have a choice right now because of the injuries. And we have a young team, and young kids are going to make young mistakes. You kind of hope that you can just eliminate as many of them as you can.”
Tuesday, they did that in crucial times, which is one of the reasons they were victorious.
Ephrata opened the match with a 25-20 victory in Game One. The Mounts used a late 5-2 surge to seal it. However, Cedar Crest took charge early in the second game.
The Falcons led 6-2 early before ballooning the lead to 15-6 in an eventual 25-15 decision to even it up. But in Game Three, Ephrata had another late run to win a 25-22 decision to forge ahead 2-1. During that late stretch, Kurtz delivered one big kill and also had a block to put his team in the driver’s seat.
But, the Falcons rallied to win Game Four, taking the final two points in a 25-23 squeaker to force the fifth game. Then took a quick 2-0 lead in the fifth before the Mounts seesawed back in front at 5-3.
However, after Crest tied it at 5-5, the Mounts had their longest run of the night to open it up to 14-5 before Kurtz eventually ended it with a kill.
While Kurtz certainly did his part, leading the team with three blocks, sophomore Nick Farlow was a force at the net all night long, finishing with a match-high 21 kills.
“He really plays at a high level,” Witwer said. “It’s hard to stop him. We had Jordan Shultz last year, and he was a great player, and before that my son was here and he was a big player, but Nick could be really something special. But then again, he can’t do it all. He sure as heck tried today.”
In addition to Farlow’s and Kurtz’s exploits, Alex Modrezecki led the team with two aces.
James Mackie and Zach Levering each had 11 kills to lead the Falcons. Jeff Lesher served up three aces and Ross Sattazahn chipped in with 13 blocks.
Ephrata opened the season Monday night on the road in a non-league match vs. Daniel Boone.
The host Blazers got 10 kills apiece from Connor Choate and Dan Downs to key a 3-0 victory over Ephrata.
Boone earned a pair of tight wins in the first two games (25-21, 25-23) before earning a decisive 25-13 win to clinch it.
Kurtz and Farlow both had 11 kills each to lead Ephrata.
Ephrata will hit the road to face Hempfield on Thursday.