Posted/Updated: 6/27/2019 1:19:09 PM

Morning Call all-area boys volleyball: Whitehall is 2019 team of the year

Expectations were high for the Whitehall boys volleyball team this past spring.

After enjoying postseason success last year, the Zephyrs returned nearly their entire starting lineup to this year's senior-laden team.

Of those seniors, Joseph Herman and Alex Khouri provided a high-flying offense for the Zephyrs, but could not have done so without the precise passing from classmate Ricky Melosky. Defensively, Aziz Atiyeh was a rock for his team all season. Add junior Dylan McGinley to the mix, and Whitehall became the overwhelming favorite in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference this past season.

The Zephyrs ran through league competition, dropping only four sets in 18 matches en route to an unbeaten regular season. The team then won EPC and District 11 Class 3A titles without any real speed bumps. Whitehall’s historical season came to a close in a PIAA quarterfinal five-setter at the hands of Northeastern.

 Coming off a historical season where the team finished with a 24-1 overall record, Whitehall has been named The Morning Call boys volleyball team of the year.

"The key element to our success is the hard work our guys are willing to put in on a daily basis. We are not the biggest of schools in the EPC or District 11, but we’re also not about making that our excuse,” Whitehall coach George Cowitch said. “We knew we needed to outwork other programs and [the results have] been showing the last couple of years. We also have great leadership. The five seniors have set the standard on how to do it. Also, the athleticism we bring to the table is helping the cause for sure."

Whitehall's volleyball program is chock full of multi-sport athletes. But when the players are not partaking in other sports, they are either in the weight room or playing club volleyball.

"Those who aren’t doing something else, they are in the weight room getting stronger," Cowitch said. "Most of the players play club at Velocity Lehigh Valley, leading up to the season. There really isn’t much down time in our program."

The Zephyrs will lose key contributors next season, but Cowitch believes the seniors have left their mark on the program, and now it's the underclassmen's job to hold the torch.

"We lose five seniors, four of them were on the EPC all-conference list, so that will be a huge loss for sure. We have guys that have been mentored by these five seniors and are ready to step up and go next season. We feel good moving forward, based upon the leadership and example this senior class left. Honestly, it will be tough shoes to fill, but we have a lot of confidence in our guys."

Dante Terenzio is a freelance writer for The Morning Call

 

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