The Elizabethtown Area High School boys volleyball team stepped up in a big way, taking two of the best teams in the state to the limit, albeit in different circumstances.
The team hosted the Elizabethtown Varsity Challenge Tournament in Daubert Gym on Saturday, April 28. With 10 teams in attendance, the field was split into two pools of five. Each team faced the other four in their pool twice, and the top three in each pool moved onto a single-elimination playoff bracket.
Elizabethtown started off strong, sweeping Reading 2514 and 25-21. They split two games with Tunkhannock, winning 25-16 and losing 2518, before falling twice to Palmyra 25-16 and 25-14 and finishing off pool play with another split against Central Dauphin East with a 25-21 loss and a win by the same score.
They moved on to face Cedar Cliff in the first round of the playoffs, dominating with a 25-10 victory. Kennard Dale was next in the semifinals, and Elizabethtown won a tight matchup 25-20 to face Palmyra again in the finals.
Palmyra is presently ranked third in District 3 Class 2A, but Elizabethtown took to the challenge, winning the first finals game 2518. The Cougars came back to win 25-15 in the second, forcing a deciding third game to 15. It was close, but Palmyra was able to emerge with a 15-11 win, giving the Bears a second-place finish.
The Bears had a rematch with Lancaster Mennonite, the second-ranked team in District 3 Class 2A, in an away game on Tuesday, May 1. The first game didn’t go well for them, with the Blazers easily winning 25-12. Elizabethtown fought back during the final two games but ultimately came up short, losing 25-22 and 25-20 in a clean, threegame sweep.
Senior Brice Reiman led the team with 4 kills. Senior Narvin Chhay had 16 assists to go to 246 on the season, while sophomore Jake Sevcik chipped in with 5 digs.
Stephen Baak had a gamehigh 10 kills for Lancaster Mennonite. Ben Lefever led all players with 35 assists, as did Konrad Martin in digs with 7.
Currently fourth in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League with a 5-7 record, Elizabethtown will have a chance to secure a spot in the league playoffs during their last three regular season games. Their final home game is scheduled against Cocalico on Thursday, May 3. They’ll then go on the road to play Ephrata on Monday, May 7, and Garden Spot on Wednesday, May 9.