Sunday, February 18, 2018
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Penn Manor eliminates Mounts again

Depth may have been the key components for both Hempfield and Penn Manor Monday night with both teams claiming victories in the Lancaster-Lebanon Boys' Volleyball League semifinals at Garden Spot High School.

The Black Knights fashioned a 3-0 sweep of Manheim Township and the Comets topped Ephrata 3-1 to earn a spot in the L-L championship match, slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Manheim Township.

Hempfield and Penn Manor will play for the title for the third time in the last five seasons. The Comets won both previous matchups, in 2014 and 2012.

It's also the fourth time the two have met in the last 10 seasons with Hempfield winning in 2007.

Both teams suffered significant graduation losses from last season's teams. But here they are back in the final.

"Hempfield lost some very good players but somehow they are better (this season)," said Penn Manor coach Chris Telesco. "But I'm willing to say our team is as good or better than last year's because we didn't get to the final last year."

Hempfield has defeated Penn Manor in three matches this season, twice in Section One play and once in the finals of the Wildcat Tournament at Dallastown. That match was the best of three sets with the Black Knights winning 2-1.

"If I look ahead to districts and states, there is no team I would rather play than Hempfield to improve our game," Telesco said.

Penn Manor over Ephrata, 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-27, 25-14) -- The match gave fans the chance to see two big hitters in the Comets' Sam Greenslade and the Mounts' Nick Farlow.

Both had their share of big kills, blocks and digs. If the two cancelled each other out, it was Penn Manor (15-2 non-tournament record) with a few more hitting options and a tougher serve.

"We just had a few memory lapses in the match, forgetting an assignment," said Ephrata coach Bob Witwer. "In tight matches, that's tough."

The Comets got a pair of kills from Greenslade (19 kills for match) and one from Alex Newport in a spurt that broke a 20-20 and led to the first-set win.

The second set was tied at 23-23 but an Ephrata error and a tip kill from Dan Fry gave the Comets the second set.

Penn Manor appeared to have won the third set when a Farlow hit sailed out of bounds on match point. But upon further review, the ball deflected off a Penn Manor player, giving the Mounts life. They went on to win the set on a Farlow (27 kills, six blocks, 12 digs) ace.

Ephrata (17-2) could not get a bounce off of that third-set win.

"We didn't step up on some of their short, floating serves," Witwer said. "Sometimes there's a letdown after a win like that."

Telesco noted the play of his middles, Cory Cummings, Coleman Raush and Newport (nine kills).

"They were on fire," Telesco said. "They put balls away and kept Ephrata busy. Our goal was to serve tough. If we did that and passed well, we'd be fine. Not blow them out of the water because they have a good team."