L-L VOLLEYBALL: Spartans shift into high gear - LancasterOnline: Sports

L-L VOLLEYBALL: Spartans shift into high gear

Weaver’s move from middle to outside keys win over Barons

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Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 11:39 pm | Updated: 3:09 pm, Mon Jan 20, 2014.

Zack Weaver has played most of the volleyball season as a middle.

The Garden Spot junior was certainly competent there but Spartans coach Ben Rutt knew Weaver could be more of a force on the outside, a position he had played prior to this season.

Weaver went back to his outside hitter spot Tuesday night against Manheim Central and the shift was one of the keys in Spot's 3-2 victory over the Barons, which avenged an earlier five-game loss to Manheim.

"When Zack played middle, we just weren't getting the ball to him enough," Rutt said. "He's a great offensive threat and this allows him to get more comfortable. He wasn't real comfortable in the middle but he took one for the team because we were very young there."

Weaver recorded a team-high 19 kills and contributed four blocks, the last being the match winner as the Spartans (7-3 Section Two, 8-4 overall) took the fifth and deciding game, 17-15.

"(The switch) made it a little easier on me," Weaver said. "But it depends on how we are passing and tonight we passed pretty well. We flowed well."

Taking the match to five games let alone a Garden Spot victory could not have been predicted after the first game, won by the Barons (7-2, 8-3) by a resounding 25-9.

But the Spartans rebounded, and frankly, looked like a different team, in winning the second and third games. In the third game, Spot fended off a late charge by Central to win 26-24 on Weaver's kill, which hit a spot on the floor deep in the corner.

The key for the Spartans in those games was defense.

"We had some nerves early and then there was the beat down they gave us in Game 1 but then our defense settled in," Rutt said. "And I've preached defense to them all season. That's the way we're going to win."

Dylan Hess and Matt High led the defensive effort with 17 digs apiece.

Central, which got a match-high 21 kills from Josiah Hershberger, rallied to win the fourth game, 25-16, and square the match.

The fifth game was tied nine times, the last time at 15. Weaver then posted a kill from the left pin and made a block to win the game and match.

"We just got out of system a lot," said Manheim Central coach Craig Dietrich, especially in the second and third games. "We weren't able to run our offense and got into predictable situations. Garden Spot made good plays off of those situations."

Spot victory puts Lancaster Mennonite in a strong position to win the Section Two title. The Blazers are undefeated and play two of their final three matches against teams with losing records. Central could finish second but must defeat Lancaster Mennonite in the final match of the regular season.

kfreeman@lnpnews.com

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