Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Ephrata closes in on Section Title

Maybe the difference between a senior-laden team and one that is full of sophomores is just what volleyball fans witnessed at Manheim Central Monday night.

The Mounts, with five senior starters, have been through enough matches that they can draw on their experience in tight spots.

The Barons, starting four sophomores and a freshman, haven't yet acquired that extra ingredient to push to overcome a one- or two-point deficit.

As a result, Ephrata defeated Central 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-23) and moved closer to its first Lancaster-Lebanon Boys' Volleyball League Section Two crown.

The Mounts (10-1 league, 15-1 non-tournament record), can claim that title with a win over Elizabethtown Wednesday.

The Mounts got another strong match from senior outside hitter Nick Farlow, who finished with a match-high 24 kills and added two blocks. Zach Wagner led the Barons' attack with 12 kills.

Central led for most of the first set. But trailing 20-18, Ephrata reeled off five straight points to take a 23-20 lead. It was Farlow's younger brother, Trey, who scored three of the last five Ephrata points to win the set.

"When we practice, we push the fact that we must finish, finish, finish," said Ephrata coach Bob Witwer. "Trey has really stepped up for us. He's starting to look like Nick when Nick was younger."

In the second set, the Barons (8-3, 10-4) narrowed the Mounts' lead to 19-18 on a Wagner back row swing. But big brother Nick Farlow took over, scoring four of the last five points of the set en route to the win. One of the points had two great Ephrata digs before Farlow sent a push kill into the back left corner.

"(To win close sets), you've got to make the plays," said Central coach Craig Dietrich. "When the opportunities presented itself, I felt like we were too passive. We weren't finishing the rally when we got second and third chances."

The Barons, playing without regular setter Ben Burkhart, who suffered a broken bone in his hand in a match last week -- Tanner Stauffer subbed at setter for Burkhart -- stayed with the Mounts in the third and tied the set at 19-19.

But Ephrata scored points on a Central error and Farlow kill and played sideout volleyball from there to win the set.

"Nick has gotten much smarter with his location on kills," Witwer said. "When he gets tripled and gets a good set, he can go high off the top of a block or go to a corner."