|Posted/Updated: 5/23/2019 8:59:08 PM|
District 11 boys volleyball: Parkland, Whitehall advance to 3A championship
Both Parkland and Whitehall faced adversity during a District 11 Class 3A semifinal doubleheader on Tuesday at Catasauqua High School.
In the first matchup, the No. 3 Trojans fought off a furious rally from an energetic Easton squad to win in four sets [26-24, 25-22, 13-25, 26-24].
In the nightcap, unbeaten and top-seeded Whitehall was forced to come back to upend No. 4 Freedom, also in four sets [21-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-22].
Parkland trailed at pivotal points in all four sets against the No. 7 Red Rovers, but was able to answer with authority.
Sophomore JT Siggins led the way for the Trojans with 13 kills and five blocks. Ian Dashukewich added eight kills while Jordan Lewis and Ryan Nemesh finished with seven apiece.
Senior captain Seth Fine also turned in a solid performance with six kills, six digs and 28 assists.
"I asked the team to reduce the errors, which is easier to say than to actually do," Parkland coach Scott Trumbauer said. "Easton was picking us apart and it took us a while to get back in. We had some balls bounce our way and we were able to close out those close sets."
The senior-led Red Rovers brought fire and determination to the court, and coach Matthew Velekei had nothing but positive words to say about his team.
Ryan Mattes led Easton’s offense with 16 kills, and also chipped in on defense with 13 digs. Samuel Rich, Maki DeSilva and Connor Wilson combined for 18 kills in the match, while Enzo Martellucci added 33 assists and 13 digs.
"All the sets were very close and I couldn’t ask for a better effort out of my team," Velekei said. "We had high hopes coming in. I feel we brought positive vibes and we played together as a team. Hopefully the underclassmen will see what these seniors have done here, and the success will continue in the future."
The Patriots, who lost in straight-sets to Whitehall just a week ago, ran the proper lineup in the early going of their semifinal match.
The Zephyrs had trouble adjusting, which resulted in several errors. More importantly, they had issues getting the ball to league MVP Joseph Herman.
Whitehall exploited the Pates in the second set, and that’s when Herman took over. The senior finished with a school record 31 kills to pace the Zephyrs.
"Freedom ran its lineup the right way early on," Whitehall coach George Cowitch said. "We moved to setting the ball to JoJo, and he hit it where they weren’t. That’s why he’s the MVP, and that’s why we gave the ball to him."
After winning the second set, the Zephyrs had a scare when big-hitter Dylan McGinley went down with an injured ankle.
The junior took the third set off to receive evaluation from the athletic trainers. He returned in the fourth set and immediately made an impact and finished with nine kills in the match.
"I was a little scared when I rolled my ankle. I wasn’t sure what to expect," McGinley said. "I didn’t want to risk the rest of the season, but I felt OK after doing some jumping exercises with the trainer. I knew I had to give my team everything I had."
Whitehall’s Aziz Atiyeh was once again solid defensively with 31 digs. Ricky Melosky had a whopping 52 assists and Alex Khouri contributed with 10 kills and three blocks.
David Barnes (11 kills), Brad Turocy (10 kills), and Thales Maciel (15 assists) led the way for the Pates.
Next up for the Trojans and Zephyrs is the District 11 Class 3A championship at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Catasauqua. Both teams have already qualified for next week’s PIAA tournament.
Questions/Comments? Contact Scott Trumbauer