QUAKERTOWN >> It all clicked for the Dock Mennonite boys volleyball team Tuesday night.
“That right there was probably one of the best overall, complete matches we’ve played,” Pioneers junior Lincoln Bergey said.
Dock’s well-rounded effort answered every challenge from District 2 runner-up North Pocono and gave the District 1 champs a 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-20) sweep in the PIAA Class AA first-round contest at Quakertown Community High School — earning the Pioneers their first state quarterfinal appearance since 2004.
“This is one of our most complete matches,” Dock coach Trish Hoover said. “We have struggled on serve/receive throughout the season, we were really strong on that. And we’ve also struggled serving. We like to try to serve out of their offense and we did that really well tonight.”
Bergey provided the winning points in all three sets as he finished with 16 kills, seven digs and two aces while Ryan Class collected 14 kills, eights an two aces as Dock moves on to face four-time defending state champ Northeastern Saturday at site and time to be determined.
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) May 31, 2017
“As much as Lincoln put away, Ryan was right behind him with two less kills,” Hoover said. To have two guys that are just making that much of a contribution and then Jason (Landis) connecting in the middle and stuff like that.
“Lincoln brings a lot of passion and energy to the court whether it’s from the back row, front row, whatever, and so we really look to him to be a leader on the team and he did a great job tonight.”
Dylan Derstine had 36 assists and made seven assists for Dock, which was playing in its first state match since 2012. Jaden Hunsberger had 24 digs, Jeremy Yoder added 11 digs and Jason Landis chipped in seven kills.
“Defense wins games in our books and we preach that always,” Hoover said. “And from Day One of the season said, you know, we can do everything we want offensively but if we can’t play defense weren’t not going to win games.”
Dock jumped out to early leads then held off the Trojans in the opening two sets, but in a tight third the Pioneers needed a late burst to complete the sweep. Holding a 20-19 edge, Dock used a 4-0 burst for match point.
“We just said one point at a time. And that’s been how our whole mindset has been all season,” Bergey said. “Just one point at a time, next ball mentality.”
A Pioneer serve sent out of bounds made it 24-20 but on the next point a Bergey blast could not be returned.
“This is a good win tonight but we know that it only gets tougher from here,” Hoover said. “So hopefully our season has prepared us for the tougher teams coming down the road here.”
Dock never trailed in the opening set after going out to a 5-0 lead but still have to fend off the Trojans, who quickly knotted the game 8-8.
The Pioneers posted six of the seven to regain the five-point advantage on a Landis kill before North Pocono fought back to twice pull even, the last time at 17-17. Four in a row put Dock ahead for good as the Trojans could only get within three from there. Bergey sealed the 25-19 win with an ace.
“We just played a complete game. It’s simple but it’s true,” Pioneers junior Lincoln Bergey said. “With serving, it was much better. The way the served tonight we were able to keep them out of their offense.”
Dock used a 10-4 run in the second set to take a 12-6 lead. North Pocono sliced its deficit down to 14-12 but seven on the next nine points went to the Pioneers, pushing their advantage to 21-14. After that, Dock’s lead never went below five, an empathic Bergey kill capping the 25-18 victory.
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