Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Barons Drop Mounts

For Manheim Central’s boys volleyball team, it’s all about trusting the process.

Doing things the right way. Practicing hard. Playing matches even harder. And winning.

The Barons are taking that motto quite seriously: They have “trust the process” printed on the back of their warmup shirts.

“It’s the process of how they learn and what we’re teaching them in practice,” Manheim Central coach Craig Dietrich said. “It sounds kind of silly, but to be successful you have to do everything right in practice, and hope it translates into the games. If everybody does their job on the court, everyone is in synergy together. I think it’s working for us.”

Big time.

Manheim Central roared to 5-0 in Lancaster- Lebanon League Section Two play on Tuesday night, dropping defending section champ Ephrata 3-0 in Manheim. Game scores were 25-11, 25-6 and 25-10. The Mountaineers, who dipped to 0-4 in section play, never led, and there were two ties in the entire match — 1-1 and 2-2 in the first game.

Manheim Central has not dropped a game in league play, and the Barons’ lone loss this spring was a 2-1 setback against host Penn Manor in the Comets’ invitational tournament title match last weekend. And that one was close: Penn Manor won 2225, 25-23 and 15-13, but Manheim Central led in the second game and couldn’t close it out.

So the Barons proved they can play with L-L Section One and Class 3A talent.

And this fun factoid: Dietrich’s club has just one senior on the roster in hitter Chase Fahnestock, so this is a young — but talented — pack of Barons.

Folks around the state have taken notice. Manheim Central opened the season at No. 2 in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class 2A state rankings, and the Barons were still on the 2-line at the start of this week, behind another District Three outfit, Northeastern.

Another York/Adams team, York Suburban, is in the mix, so the district tournament next month could be mega interesting.

“It’s cool that we’re ranked that high,” Fahnestock said, “and it’s working out really well because it gives us a lot of confidence to keep getting better as a team and just to keep working hard.”

While trusting the process.

“I don’t think the ranking bothers us,” junior setter Ben Burkhart said. “It definitely motivates us more. We use it to push ourselves. It does put a bull’s-eye on our heads, so we want to come out every night and prove that we deserve that ranking.”

Like Tuesday, when Manheim Central throttled Ephrata. The Mounts won Section Two last spring, but they were hit hard by graduation. The Barons, who have a two-game lead in the section race, are poised to unseat Ephrata atop the standings.

Mason Nissley, a skywalker sophomore hitter, had 10 kills and four aces and Burkhart dished off 15 assists for Manheim Central in the victory over Ephrata. The Barons used a 9-0 blitz to pull away for good in the first game; got three service winners in a row from Brandyn Musser to sew up the second game; and Nissley had six kills in the third game to ice it.

“I really like the way we’re playing, and that we’re playing really well in all facets of the game,” Dietrich noted. “We’re young, yes. But they don’t play like inexperienced players.”

“We’re all clicking really well and the communication has been great,” Fahnestock said. “We all know who is going to be where and what’s going on with each other and what we can do. We’re trying to play as hard as we can, and we’ll see how far we can go.”

If the Barons keep trusting the process, the sky seems to be the limit with this bunch.