It took an extra day, and a makeup Section 2 match, but the Lancaster-Lebanon League boys volleyball playoff bracket is complete.
Lancaster Mennonite gained the final spot in the field Thursday night, compliments of a 3-1 victory over Lebanon, plus an edge over Ephrata in the tiebreaker criteria, as the Blazers punched their ticket into the bracket.
Every other L-L League club finished section play Wednesday, leaving Mennonite and Lebanon alone on the big stage — and Ephrata sweating it out for the result.
Elijah Lazor (26 kills), Joe Nguyen (42 assists) and Josh Gingrich (21 digs) paced Mennonite, which outlasted Lebanon 25-23, 25-20, 22-25 and 25-17 in four closely contested sets Thursday as the Blazers finished 5-7 in league play.
Ephrata also finished 5-7, and the Mountaineers and Mennonite split their season series 1-1. The Blazers took the tiebreaker thanks to outscoring Ephrata 5-4 in head-to-head sets. Mennonite also has a better District 3 power rating through the regular season.
Mennonite’s reward for earning the fourth seed out of Section 2? A quarterfinal against reigning champ and 23-time league winner Hempfield, the Section 1 co-champion at 11-1. That match is Friday at 4 p.m. at Hempfield. In the nightcap at Hempfield, Section 2 runner-up Manheim Central (10-2) will take on Section 1 third-place finisher Conestoga Valley (8-4).
Friday’s other quarterfinal doubleheader is at Garden Spot: Section 1 co-champ Warwick (11-1) will square off against Section 2 third-place finisher Elizabethtown (8-4) at 5 p.m., followed by Section 2 champ Garden Spot (12-0) against Section 1 fourth-place finisher Penn Manor (6-6) in the nightcap.
The semifinals are set for Monday at Garden Spot, with a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. The championship match is on tap for next Wednesday, also at Garden Spot, starting at 7 p.m.
Hempfield beat Warwick in the 2019 title match, before last season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.