The Wildcat volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss to Manheim Catholic in Class AA action.
For the second straight year, Western Wayne's volleyball season came to an end in the first round of the PIAA state playoffs.
The Wildcats rolled to an undefeated record in the Lackawanna League and finished third at the District Two Class AA tournament.
Coach Tim Snyder's lads then opened their latest quest for a state medal against Manheim Central Wednesday evening.
Sadly for a small but vocal contingent of fans who made the long trek from Varden to Wilson High School in West Lawn, Western Wayne was simply no match for the Barons.
Led by senior middle hitter Josiah Hershberger, Manheim Central rolled to a 3-0 win and a berth in the quarterfinals.
"This just wasn't our night," Coach Tim Snyder said. "Just not a good night for the Wildcats."
Next up for the Barons, who finished as runner-up in District Three, is a battle with Holy Redeemer. The Royals, reigning champions of District Two, cruised to a 3-0 win over Schuylkill Valley.
In addition, North Pocono also punched its ticket to the quarters with a 3-0 romp over Carver High School of Engineering & Science.
The Trojans are now set to clash with District Three powerhouse Northeastern, who's fresh off a victory over defending state champ Bethlehem Catholic.
These matches are slated for Saturday afternoon at Minersville High School.
Over & Out
Manheim Central leapt out to a blistering start in Game One.
Thanks in large part to the play of Hershberger, the Barons opened up a 10-2 lead, causing Coach Snyder to burn the first of his team's timeouts.
"He's a fantastic player and they were running some back row attacks for him that we haven't seen all season," Coach Snyder said.
"We tried several different things to counter him, but none of them worked too well."
Hershberger was recently named Most Valuable Player of the L-L League's Section Two and he had all of his considerable skills on display Wednesday.
Manheim Central upped its advantage to 18-8, which prompted Coach Snyder to use his second timeout ... to no avail.
The Barons closed out Game One by a lopsided score of 25-11 and the rout was officially on.
Hershberger was the ring leader all evening long. He piled up a match-best 18 kills, recorded six blocks and ripped three aces.
To their undying credit, the 'Cats refused to surrender and fought bravely in the second and third games. However, the results were the same.
"We made a couple of nice plays early on, but then things got away from us," Coach Snyder said. "We weren't as aggressive on our serves as I would've liked and our passing was very inconsistent."
Manheim Central cruised to a 25-10 triumph in Game Two, then sealed the deal on a spot in the quarters via a 25-15 win in Game Three.
Michael Trygar, who is the reigning Lackawanna League Player of the Year, paced the Wildcat attack with four kills and a pair of blocks.
Junior outside hitter Pat Miller chipped in with two kills and one block.
Sam Hoch looked to jumpstart the offense from his setter position, but managed only eight assists on the night.
Jon Hanna rounded out his team's numbers with three kills and an ace.
With this 3-0 loss, the 'Cats officially closed out their season with a record of 15-2.
"We had a great season, but I'm disappointed with the way it ended," Coach Snyder said.
"I think we could have gone deeper at states, but we made some mistakes against a god team and they took advantage."
Score by Games...
WW (15-2) 11 10 15 - 0
MC (19-3) 25 25 25 - 3