Sunday, February 18, 2018
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Mounts drop Barons

There may not be another match in the Lancaster-Lebanon Boys' Volleyball League this season that was a 3-0 sweep but felt like it was destined to go five sets.

Host Ephrata was on the winning end of such a match Thursday night, 25-22, 25-20, 25-14, dipping into its experience to fend off a young but certainly game Manheim Central team.

The Mounts' win broke a deadlock atop Section Two. Ephrata is now alone in first at 5-0 (6-0 non-tournament record). The Barons are 3-1, 4-1.

Nick Farlow paced Ephrata with a match-high 21 kills. Teammate Hunter Lehman had seven. Zach Wagner led the Barons with eight kills.

"That's the most nervous I have been all season," said Ephrata assistant coach Joe Orrs, who guided the team in place of Bob Witwer, who was away on business. "Central has a really good team. They are young but they play with a lot of heart."

That heart kept Central ahead for the early stages of the first set until Ephrata tied it 12-12. From there, there were six ties until the Mounts put together a 4-0 run, which included an ace by Trey Farlow.

Central never tied it thereafter but stayed on Ephrata's heels the whole way. Lehman's cross-court kill and a Central net violation gave the Mounts the first set.

Thanks to four kills and a block from Nick Farlow, Ephrata got off to an 8-3 lead in the second set.

"We knew they would try to triple (block) Nick, so we tried to mix it up as much as possible," said Orrs, who picked up the win on his birthday. "But if our passes aren't there, we can always go to Nick and he finds a way to put a ball down."

But after a Central timeout, the Barons ripped off five straight points, with kills by freshman Mason Nissley and Gabe Stewart among those points.

Like the first set, the second was tied eight times in the teens, the final time at 20-20. But the Barons made four errors over the next five points, helping Ephrata to the second-set win.

Barons coach Craig Dietrich didn't think there was anything to Ephrata's late-set ability to get the sets to the finish.

"I think they just made plays," he said. "We had our opportunities but they made plays. At that point, you have to make the aggressive plays. Ephrata was more aggressive in the moment."

Experience was a difference in the match. Ephrata started six seniors. Central has two seniors on the roster and started four sophomores and a freshman.

"When you're young, you don't realize that there are times when you have to take chances," Dietrich said. "But this match will go a long way to where we want to go this season."

Ephrata used an 8-2 run in the third set to take a 16-9 lead. The Barons, which earlier showed the talent to close a deficit, couldn't close the gap in the third set.

"I know Central is a team that can win matches when they are down," Orrs said. "So, I told the guys that every point matters. We struggled with our serve and passing at the beginning. But we cleaned that up and played much better."