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Volleyball tops Freedom

The Whitehall Zephyrs secured a 3-1 win over Freedom in boys volleyball on April 3 at Whitehall.

The Zephyrs played from behind after dropping the first set, 18-25, and won the next three, 25-18, 25-18, 25-21.

“We just got in a rotation where we couldn’t get out, and unfortunately, the way the lineup ran... we got stuck,” said Whitehall coach George Cowitch. “Tonight, we started in at Rotation 3 to serve and we served in at 2, and then I wanted to move it a little bit to get away from their one good blocker so that Jack (Kocher) could have a little bit more free swinging, and that helped us. Just one click of the lineup got us a better matchup.”

Kocher ended the match with 15 kills, 10 digs, and 2 aces.

Omar Tembo added 10 kills, often finding that open space to score for the Zephyrs.

“Usually when I sub in before the play, Jack will tell me if there’s a hole in the block, where to go to, so that always helps,” Tembo said. “Usually when I’m on outside, I would go to the 1or the 6, and on [opposite], I go to the 1 all the time.”

Tembo tallied three points in a row toward the end of the fourth set.

“I just wanted to make sure our team won, and if I’m the best hitter at the time, I want the ball to come to me,” he said. “I just wanted to get the game over with as fast as possible. I didn’t want them to gain momentum.”

In the fourth set, the Patriots scored six straight points to pull within three of the Zephyrs, and after Tembo’s points, Cole Richards had a tremendous kill at 23-19.

“We want to go down swinging if we’re gonna go down. I was just happy for him. That’s a confidence builder,” said Coach Cowitch.

Freedom kept the set alive for two more points, but a Kocher kill ended the game.

Ethan Ringenberger tallied 7 kills, 23 assists, 2 blocks, and 12 digs.

Michael Rabih added 5 kills and 1 block.

Brandon Bird had 19 digs.

“We have to find a way to be consistent now,” Cowitch said. “That’s the key word: consistent.”