|Posted/Updated: 5/17/2018 12:49:13 PM|
Emmaus sweeps Whitehall for second straight EPC volleyball title
Emmaus sweeps Whitehall for second straight EPC volleyball title - The Morning Call
After winning a tight Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinal match against Parkland on Monday, the Emmaus boys volleyball team brought a different outlook into the Wednesday's finals at Allen High School.
The Green Hornets played relaxed and showed no signs of nerves in their sweep over Whitehall [25-16, 25-19, 25-15] to claim their second-straight EPC title.
Led by a balanced attack in all three games, Emmaus gained confidence throughout the contest. Senior Matt Swanson said the team made sure to bring a specific energy into the finals.
"We definitely knew we needed to change some things," Swanson said. "We needed to play confident and bring a positive energy. This is a sweet win and we finished strong."
Swanson, James Haag, and Stephen Reynolds each registered seven kills to ignite the Green Hornet offense. Seniors Haag and Swanson, both named to the EPC first-team all-stars prior to the finals, provided leadership and steady play against the Zephyrs, as they have all season.
Senior Cameron Parsons, also an EPC first-teamer, had a match-high 35 assists for the Green Hornets and will continue to play a key role in his team's success at districts and beyond.
"The big thing [Wednesday] was playing loose," Emmaus coach Ken Dunkle said. "On Monday, the boys had the mentality that they'd win easily, but Parkland played like it had nothing to lose. My message since then was to play loose and have fun. I'm glad we were tested on Monday. It's a silver lining."
Backed by Harrison Dottery's nine digs, the Green Hornet defense also put forth an impressive effort against Whitehall. Dottery was solid at the service line as well, coming up with two big service aces to close out the second game.
Whitehall, the tournament's No. 2 seed, received strong performances from its big hitters in Sami Barhoum (five kills), Dylan McGinley (four kills), and Joseph Herman (eight kills).
Next up for both teams is next week's District 11 Class 3A tournament, which begins Monday. Emmaus did not drop a single game in the regular season and is the obvious No. 1 seed, while Whitehall is No. 2.
"We still have stuff to work on. I need to see more consistent play from this team," Dunkle said. "I believe we have the talent and mental fortitude to accomplish our goals. We definitely feel good heading into next week, and we will continue to make sure we are prepared."
Added Swanson: "Now, it's back to work. We want to get to states and win it. Everything that's happened thus far in the season has been building up to that goal."
EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
MVP - James Haag (Emmaus)
Brad Turocy (Freedom)
Dante Terenzio is a freelance writer.
Questions/Comments? Contact Scott Trumbauer