Posted/Updated: 6/7/2017 11:22:01 AM

Emmaus falls to Central York in PIAA 3A boys volleyball semifinals

The Emmaus boys volleyball team wasn't its usual self against highly touted Central York in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals. But at no point did the Green Hornets back down.

Ranked No. 1 in the state, the Panthers have easily disposed of each of their opponents this postseason. Despite pushing Central York to its limits, the Green Hornets eventually fell in four sets (22-25, 25-15, 25-23, 27-25) on Tuesday at Exeter Township High School.

Both teams put forth a great defensive effort with many prolonged points. But the difference for the Green Hornets was their uncommon conservative style.

All season long, Emmaus fired away on offense. Senior Carson Landis said the team got away from its comfort zone against Central York, the District 3 champion.

"Central York is a great team but I thought this would be the year we beat them," a dejected Landis said. "We had stretches where we played great defense, but we tried to play safe and ended up making too many mistakes."

Emmaus came out fired up in the first set. Junior James Haag had seven of his team-high 19 kills in the first to put the Green Hornets ahead early.

Central's big hitters, Cole Johnson and Braden Richard, started heating up in the second as the Panthers evened the match before heading into a wild third set.

The Panthers and Green Hornets were at a 20-20 deadlock late in the third before Richard put down four kills to give Central a one-set lead.

Emmaus had two set points in the fourth. But the Green Hornets could not capitalize as Johnson had a pair of kills to close out the match. Johnson finished with a match-high 23 kills.

"I'm not disappointed," Emmaus coach Ken Dunkle said. "Central York is No. 1 in the state for a reason. I told the kids to keep their heads up because we had a great season. Losing in the state semifinals is nothing to be ashamed of."

Haag's effort in the semifinals gave the Green Hornets a spark, but Landis (9 kills), Noah Bacon (9 kills, 3 aces), Brendan Dunkle (12 digs, 3 aces), and Cam Parsons (43 assists) also played vital roles, as they have all season.

As the Green Hornets close out an excellent season, Central York will advance to Saturday's PIAA Class 3A finals at Penn State University, where it will take on District 7 champion North Allegheny.

"I'm really proud of the team. The younger guys really stepped up, including James, he played awesome." Landis said. "Our coaches put a lot of time into the team. I really love volleyball and it's tough knowing it's over."

 


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