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Frontier boys volleyball healthy, back to final

After stumbling through an injury-plagued regular season, the Frontier boys volleyball team entered the postseason expecting to hit the road while turning things around. So far, that is exactly what has happened.

Led by the serving of Dylan Durni and net play of Zach Gerken, the Falcons opened the Class A Section VI tournament play with a 19 – 25, 25 – 21, 25 – 19, 25 – 21 win against Lancaster in a quarterfinal game on Oct. 30. They followed that, two days later, with an upset of top-seeded West Seneca West, which had been virtually unbeatable, during the season.

“We’ve been the walking wounded for the last month, so it was nice to have our lineup ready roll,” Frontier coach Bill Faust said, after the Lancaster win. “At times, we had to persevere, but collectively we endured and I thought collectively we did a nice job.”

Durney had 14 kills to lead Frontier, while Hatten added 10. Jake Gleason dished out 30 assists. But it was at the service line that Hatten made a difference, collecting four aces and leading a number of runs by the Falcons.

“Eric Hatten — holy cow,” Faust said. “What a performance tonight. Zach Gerken had a great game; I had a lot of seniors step up.”

During the fourth and final game, the Redskins surged out to a 10 – 5 lead, but Frontier battled back. Even with a lead at the end, Frontier had to hold off a game Lancaster challenge — and again, Hatten delivered, when the team needed him most.

Lancaster had beaten Frontier all three times the teams had faced each other, this season. Frontier moved on to the Class A final against Lockport to be played Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Hamburg. The first of two Section VI finals start 6 p.m.

“Even as the last couple points of that fourth game, he did a great job,” Faust said. “I thought about calming them down, but then I said, ‘No, don’t overthink it. Let Eric put them down.’ And he did a great job.”

“From day one of the playoffs, we knew we were going to have to go into other gyms,” he added. “West Seneca West is tough; we’re going to have to bring it.”

They did just that, and now Frontier is back in the final, where it will try to recapture the crown it earned in 2010 and 2011.

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