Governor Mifflin defeats Wilson to win BCIAA Men’s Volleyball Championship


Few in the Berks County volleyball community expected Governor Mifflin’s boys to hold the BCIAA Championship trophy this spring.

But they did.

“We knew we could do it,” said setter Jonathyn Ebling. “We played all summer. We played club volleyball in the fall and winter. We were arrested. We were pushed. There were many doubts. No one except us expected this.

With no seniors on the roster, the Mustangs held off Wilson 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19) to claim their first Berks League title since 2016 on Saturday at Gov. Mifflin Intermediate.

Aidan Young had 18 kills, four digs and an ace and Tyler Knoop had 12 kills, two blocks and four aces for Governor Mifflin (14-4), who beat the Bulldogs (11-7) for third times this season.

“It means everything,” Young said, choking back his emotions. “Seeing what we’ve accomplished is so special. We all thought this was going to happen.

Many of them started playing together some time ago. Mustangs coach Ryan Stubler, then an assistant to Matt Davis, entered middle school three years ago and appealed to all eighth-graders who might be interested in playing volleyball.

The nine juniors who celebrated the championship on Saturday were part of the volunteers.

“We’re a strong group,” Knoop said. “We worked day in and day out. I believed we could get here and win. That’s exactly what we did.

Neither team led the first set by more than two points until Mifflin surged 4-0 and took an 18-13 lead behind Young’s offense at net and Knoop’s serves. .

Wilson, however, rallied and tied it at 22-22 on a Nik Skaf kill. The Bulldogs then erred on three of the following runs, allowing the Mustangs to win 25-23.

In the second set, Wilson raced 9-3 to take a 19-14 lead behind Eric Makosch’s strike on the outside and Jameson Black in the middle. The Mustangs eventually tied it 21-21 on a Knoop block and a Bulldogs misspell. Wilson took advantage of two errors from Mifflin before Makosch unleashed a shot that won the set and tied the match.

Early in the third set, Stubler called a timeout to calm the Mustangs down.

“One point at a time,” he told them. “Re-focus and play as a team.”

He also told them to hand the ball to Knoop and Jeremiah Aulenbach in the middle. With the teams tied 10-10, Knoop killed four of the next five points and seven in the set. Aulenbach scored four of the Mustangs’ final seven points in the set and Knoop finished it with a pass kill from Ebling.

“Tyler and Jeremiah are a big part of our offense,” Stubler said. “Middles are the hardest for defenders to read, so I told them every ball had to go through the middle.”

Wilson stayed close again in the fourth set, trailing 11-10 before the Mustangs scored 10 of the next 14 points to take command. Ebling spread the ball to the outside and middle hitters, and the Bulldogs had four service errors, including the game’s final point.

“We just didn’t do very well and missed too many serves down the stretch,” Wilson’s coach Andrew Olree said. “When you miss serves against a good team like that, it’s hard to win.”

Skaf had 12 kills for the Bulldogs, Aidan Hunter had 11, Makosch had nine kills and 12 digs, Black had nine kills, Eric DelPizzo had 43 assists and 12 digs and Luca Marchio had 21 recoveries.

For Mifflin, Aulenbach had six kills and five blocks, Josh Wert had five kills, an ace and five digs, and Ebling had 43 assists.

“We knew this year was our year,” Ebling said. “We arrived as outsiders. We knew that all these teams wanted to beat us. They know who we are now. It means the world to us.


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