MC prevails in battle of Section Two leaders Boys Volleyball
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
There is only one unbeaten team remaining in the Section Two boys volleyball standings.
Something had to give when Manheim Central played at Lancaster Mennonite last Thursday in a battle of unbeatens, and the Barons were the last ones standing.
Thanks to a big night from senior star Josiah Hershberger, the Central boys outlasted the Blazers 3-2, clinching the team victory with a 15-10 fifth-game decision. All five games (25-27, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 15-10) were decided by seven points or fewer.
With the win, the Barons improved to 5-0 in L-L play, one game ahead of the Blazers (4-1).
"At this point, we’re right where we want to be," MC coach Craig Dietrich said. "We’ve got a good challenging match tonight with York Suburban so we’ll see kinda what the best of the rest of District Three has out there for us."
As it turns out, the Barons handled themselves well against that challenging opponent. Hershberger finished with 16 kills and five blocks and Nate Ginder added three aces to help lead the Central boys to a 3-0 win (25-23, 25-20, 25-15) over the Trojans.
In their match against LMH last Thursday, Central had leads of 13-9 and 19-15. But the Blazers didn’t go quietly, and they scored 12 of the final 18 points to get the early upper hand.
"We were a little tentative in the first game," Dietrich said. "We were up and didn’t close them out. We had a lot of opportunities … They’re one of the top teams in District Three Double-A, so we know when we play them, we’re going to get their best and they’re going to get our best. I think we’re the better team now, but that doesn’t mean at the end of the season if we don’t continue to improve that we will be the better team because they are going to get better."
The Barons finished their opportunities in the second and third games, winning by scores of 25-18 and 25-20 while capitalizing on effective jump serves and tough blocking. Nate Ginder served four aces, while Hershberger led the squad with nine blocks and Luke Spang chipped in with six.
"Our serving was really good," Dietrich said. "We’ve got four guys that can jump serve, so that can definitely be a weapon. We blocked extremely well in the second and third games and that of course is a huge advantage when it comes to scoring."
The Blazers, though, had some weapons of their own. Jon Snader delivered 16 kills and four blocks, while Joel Sensenig also added 16 kills, and LMH pulled even with a 25-23 fourth-game win. But the Barons would not be denied. With Hershberger finishing the night with a match-high 20 kills, MC finally prevailed with a five-point win in the decisive fifth game.
"Josiah’s a monster at the net," Dietrich said. "He’s a huge impact player. I think people know who he is now and he’s just one of those guys that’s going to go out there and make plays every night."
This past Tuesday night, Central improved to 6-0 in Section Two, easily turning aside Lebanon (25-6, 25-3, 25-13) in three games. More MC VOLLEYBALL, page B-8