Volleyball is back. For the first time since early May, 2019, L-L League teams played head-to-head section matches on Tuesday, as the league season got cranked up. There were five matches; two ended in shutouts, and one local squad added to its nifty winning streak. Here’s the roundup …
Hempfield 3, Manheim Township 0 — The reigning L-L League champs got off on the right foot, blanking the host Blue Streaks 25-8, 25-4 and 25-6 as the Black Knights cruised in their section opener. Ryan Givens — one of just two returning league all-stars from the 2019 season — picked up right where he left off two years ago with 13 kills, and Mason Orth sparked Hempfield’s defensive effort with 12 digs. Lemair Jean had eight kills and Arnav Dixit set up eight assists for Township, where first-year coach Eleanor Schultz was making her section debut on the Streaks’ bench.
McCaskey 3, Cedar Crest 1 — The host Red Tornado spotted the Falcons the first game, and then roared back for a 20-25, 25-14, 25-12, 25-23 victory as Cade Smucker piled up 18 kills and two blocks at the net, and Johnaxdier Lugo blistered four service aces for McCaskey. Ben Doutrich teed up 14 assists and Judah Wise had an active match for Cedar Crest with 13 kills, eight digs, seven blocks and an ace. Falcons’ first-year skipper Monica Sheaffer made her section coaching debut on Cedar Crest’s bench.
Conestoga Valley 3, Penn Manor 1 — The host Comets won the first set in new coach Dustin Hornberger’s first section match, but the Buckskins rallied nicely for a hard-fought 19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 win. Sawyer Shertzer dominated at the net with 20 kills, Dom Brabant dished off 22 assists, and Charles Janvrin had four digs and four service aces for CV. Meanwhile, Derek Warfel had 16 kills and Wyatt Rohrer had 26 assists to pace Penn Manor, which made the Bucks earn it. FYI: The Comets are set to renew their longstanding Section 1 rivalry against Hempfield on Thursday in Millersville.
Manheim Central 3, Lebanon 0 — The streak continues. Blake Wagner smashed 15 kills to go along with a pair of blocks and five digs, and returning all-star setter Jeremiah Zimmerman had 23 assists for the host Barons, who earned a 25-14, 25-10, 25-18 win over the Cedars for the 37th Section 2 triumph in a row. Central will go for No. 38 on Thursday at Cocalico. Isaac Matias had 17 digs and Janet Quintana and Abdiel Vega-Rivera had four kills apiece for Lebanon.
Also in Section 2 on Tuesday, Garden Spot continued its red-hot start with a power-packed 3-1 victory at Lancaster Mennonite. Here’s the story, plus a PHOTO GALLERY ...
THURSDAY’S SECTION MATCHES
(JV at 6 p.m., followed by varsity)
Manheim Township at Cedar Crest
Hempfield at Penn Manor (LNP coverage)
McCaskey at Warwick
Manheim Central at Cocalico
Garden Spot at Ephrata
Lancaster Mennonite at Lebanon