Mounts sweep season series with Cocalico

By on April 27, 2016
Ephrata blockers (left to right) Alex Modrzecki, Trey Farlow and  Hunter Lehman try to stop the kill attempt by Cocalico’s Isaac Carpenter during Tuesday’s match. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Ephrata blockers (left to right) Alex Modrzecki, Trey Farlow and
Hunter Lehman try to stop the kill attempt by Cocalico’s Isaac Carpenter during Tuesday’s match. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

The Ephrata boys volleyball team remained tied atop Section Two of Lancaster-Lebanon League play Tuesday night, besting backyard rival Cocalico 3-0 at the Ephrata Middle School. The Mounts (7-1 league, 10-1 overall) controlled the match throughout over the undermanned Eagles (4-4, 5-5) by set scores of 25-14, 25-18 and 25-12.

“We still missed eight serves tonight,” said Ephrata coach Bob Witwer. “We told them to come out and be aggressive. That could have had something to do with it. They know they still have work to do.”

That work includes, but is not limited to a match with Manheim Central (7-1, 8-2), who kept pace Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over Elizabethtown.

“We still have to do the basics,” replied Witwer. “If you look too far ahead, you set yourself up for a fall.”

The Eagles played the match without their 6-5 senior captain Nick Baxter, who broke a finger in an April 7 match at Garden Spot.

“We’re trying to keep afloat until he comes back,” added Cocalico coach Steve Strunk. “Hopefully we get another chance at (Ephrata) in the playoffs. Until then, we hope to continually improve. Ephrata is a good team. Kudos to them.”

Witwer also had kind words to say about the Eagle senior.

“Baxter is a great player,” he said. “They miss him. He is a great server and provides big swings.”

The Mounts showed off their depth Tuesday night, with multiple players registering numbers on the stat sheet. Offensively, senior all-star Nick Farlow had 18 kills but had plenty of help from co-captain Hunter Lehman (12) and Spencer Linton (9). Fellow captain Alex Modrzecki set up the swings to the tune of 33 assists.

The Eagles were led by senior Gavin Stark (6 kills) while junior Isaac Carpenter and sophomore Adin Frey had three kills apiece. Stark and Carpenter had five sets each as Cocalico utilized a two setter configuration.

Defensively, Ephrata kept the ball off the floor as sophomore Trey Farlow led the way with 16 digs while brother Nick had 10, senior Moua Vang saved eight while Modrzecki and senior Larry Rupp had seven apiece. Lehman led the blocking line with three solo blocks.

Cocalico was paced by junior Deep Bhavani with eight digs while sophomore Caleb Horning had five.

One statistic that may have told the story of the night. Ephrata converted on 46 percent of their swings, while limiting the Eagles to 27 percent of their attempts.

The Mounts go to the road Monday and Tuesday at Conestoga Valley and Lebanon while keeping their eyes on a May 9 date at Manheim Central with the potential for the Section title to be on the line.

Up next for Cocalico, a re-match of a five-set loss at Manheim Central on Thursday before hosting Brandywine Heights in a non-league match on Monday.

Last Thursday at home vs. Lancaster Mennonite, Ephrata suffered its first loss of the season in a marathon 3-2 loss to the visiting Blazers.

After each team split the first four games (18-25, 30-28, 25-19, 20-25), Mennonite took the fifth and deciding game by a score of 15-11.

Ephrata’s Nick Farlow did all he could, collecting 38 kills, three blocks, 19 digs and two aces to lead the Mounts in the loss. Modrzecki also had a whopping 53 assists for Ephrata.

Monday night in non-league action vs. McCaskey, the Mounts cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Tornado.

In the 25-18, 25-20, 25-19 victory, Nick Farlow had 15 kills and 11 digs for the winners. Trey Farlow served up three aces for the Mounts while Modrzecki (17 assists) and Lehman (2 blocks) also chipped in.

In addition to Tuesday, Cocalico also was in action last Thursday where the Eagles cruised to a 3-0 victory over Lebanon.

In the 25-11, 25-9, 25-10 victory, Carpenter (8 kills), Bhavani (8 digs) and Thomas Denlinger (8 assists) led the way for Cocalico.

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