BOYS' VOLLEYBALL: Lancaster Mennonite rolls into district title game
YORK- With the exception of a minor hiccup in the second set, Lancaster Mennonite steamrolled their way to their first District 3 Class AA title game in four years after downing Schuylkill Valley 25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18.
"We talked about focus and energy tonight," Blazers coach Gary Martin said. "Those are two things that we sometimes lack and tonight, we had both of them. With that, the intensity follows."
With the score tied 7-7 in the first set, Mennonite pulled away with a 6-0 run and was able to keep the Panthers at arm's length for the remainder of the game.
"Sometimes you can play the first game with some nerves and anxiety," Martin said. "To win that game; it just settles you down a little bit."
The Blazers couldn't keep their initial momentum going in the second set; falling behind 8-4 before batting back and taking a 13-10 lead.
Schuylkill Valley would ultimately pull out their lone win of the match thanks to three runs of three points or more down the stretch.
Frank Melvin led the Panthers in kills with 17 while Keegan Fouse added 14.
"Our captain Eric Peachy is a great motivator. He keeps us focused and told us to forget about that game and come out swinging like we did in the first game," Blazers senior hitter Zack Alderman said.
And come out swinging they did as Mennonite jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the third set and didn't look back; taking a 25-17 decision.
"We had given them a big lead in set two and fought back but ended up losing. I told the guys that we needed to come out fired up in game three and they did," Martin said. "We got out to a huge lead and I don't know how they did it other than some extra focus."
The Blazers carried their regained momentum into the fourth set, this time jumping out to an 8-3 lead before finishing off the Panthers on a 6-2 run with an Alderman kill as the exclamation point.
"My first thought was that we're going to the district finals. We put in all this work over the season and it paid off. We get a chance at that top spot," Alderman said.
Alderman led the Blazers with 19 kills and 13 digs while Jarred Sands added 11 kills.
Setter Garyd Martin had 45 assists and 12 digs.
"It feels great. We're going to put this game behind us and use it as motivation to play even harder in the next game," Alderman said.
"We have to go back to work tomorrow and then just come ready to play," Martin said. "We can't be scared."