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Exeter boys volleyball remains undefeated with win over Gov. Mifflin

Exeter’s Gaige Gabriel goes for one of his match-high 18 kills during the Eagles’ three-set victory Thursday over Gov. Mifflin at Exeter. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Exeter won 3-0 over Gov. Mifflin in a Berks Boys Volleyball League Division I matchup Thursday at Reiffton.

The Eagles won by game scores of 25-20, 29-27 and 25-13.

Carrying on in strong fashion, the undefeated season continues for Exeter (6-0, 13-0) and the Eagles have not lost a single set.

However, Gov. Mifflin (4-2, 7-3) kept things interesting in the first two sets Thursday night, as they only lost by a combined seven points.

“We really haven’t been pushed in about two weeks,” Exeter coach Matt Hadley said. “We had a tight third set against Delaware Valley last week. That’s really the first time we’ve been pushed. We’ve been playing pretty well the past couple of weeks. We got a little sloppy tonight and I give them credit. They played a lot of good defense, served tough, and made a lot of good swings to keep the pressure on us.”

Exeter’s Ashton Wilson makes a save during the Eagles’ three-set victory Thursday over Gov. Mifflin at Exeter. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

In a rematch of last season’s Berks championship, both teams traded blows in the first set.

The Mustangs led 17-14 before the Eagles went on an 11-2 run to secure the win. Momentum began to shift after senior Chase Nugent’s hard-hitting kill set the tone the rest of the way.

In the second, the Mustangs controlled most of the set and appeared to be in position to tie the match at one apiece.

However, after trailing, Exeter fought back to tie the set at 24. Each team matched the other’s point before the Eagles closed it out on a point that led to a discussion of whether or not the ball was in bounds.

Gov. Mifflin’s Armani George makes a kill to tie the score late in the second set during Exeter’s three-set victory Thursday over Gov. Mifflin at Exeter. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Nevertheless, Exeter took the 29-27 win looking to close the match out in the third set.

“Mifflin always plays us tough,” Eagles co-captain Gaige Gabriel said. “We know those guys, we know their coach (Ryan Stubler) and we’re good friends with them. They always play us tough no matter what time of year it is. In the second set, they really played us tough. They kept us on our heels and in the third set I think we came out with a little more intensity, a little more focus and did our thing.”

Exeter took full control in the third set, as it came out on a 5-0 run and did not look back. They had their offense and defense rolling to take the 25-13 win.

For the Eagles, Chase Nugent had 10 kills, five digs and one block, Jack Forry had 28 assists, one ace and seven digs and Tyler Campbell had seven digs, two aces and four assists.

Carter Weyant had eight kills for the Mustangs and Derek Kintzer had five kills.

“I mean it’s amazing,” Gabriel said on how the team feels at this point in the season. “We come in and work every day at practice. This is something that we thought was going to happen and it’s happening so, it’s a good feeling.”

Exeter’s Chase Nugent scores one of his nine kills during the Eagles’ three-set victory Thursday over Gov. Mifflin at Exeter. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

PIAA Class 2A semifinalists a year ago, the Eagles are hoping to make another deep playoff run, as the regular season is coming to an end with only six games remaining.

“Good man,” Hadley said of where they’re at as a team. “We realize everywhere we go there’s a target on our back. Which is a good thing, means we’re doing something right. We’re still one game at a time. Just keep getting better every day of practice, and make sure every time we step on the court, we’re ready to go.”

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