Posted/Updated: 3/26/2019 1:37:32 PM

Lehigh Valley boys volleyball preview: Can rebuilding Emmaus repeat as D-11 3A champ?

League coaches expect depth and a high level of parity in this year's Eastern Pennsylvania Conference boys volleyball season.

A number of top players have graduated, especially from last year's District 11 Class 3A champion Emmaus. The Green Hornets may be in the midst of a rebuild, but they are still considered one of the top dogs in the EPC.

Receiving the preseason edge is Whitehall. The Zephyrs return all but one player from last year's district runner-up and state qualifying team. This could be the year Whitehall gets over the hump.

Traditional power Parkland is also young this season but can never be counted out. Liberty and Freedom return a wealth of talent in skill positions and undoubtedly will duke it out against the area's best.

Overall, the EPC undoubtedly will produce some of the state's best teams. Expect District 11 to make a deep run in the state tournament in June.

Five Teams to Watch

1. Emmaus: After a dominant few years in the EPC, the Green Hornets will face an uphill battle this season, but that will not deter the current players. The expectations will remain the same for Emmaus, and look for them to remain a contender.

2. Freedom: Area coaches are big on the Patriots this season. The team returns two big hitters along with other experienced players. Freedom's success will be based on the team's improvement throughout the season.

3. Liberty: Camaraderie and an upbeat atmosphere is coach Neiad Ammary's philosophy. Add a significant height advantage, and this Hurricane team could be lurking near the top of the EPC come season's end.

4. Parkland: Regardless of the team's experience or skill level, the Trojans are arguably the area's most consistent team each season. Coach Scott Trumbauer always gets the best out of his program, and this year will be no different.

5. Whitehall: The Zephyrs pushed the state's best teams to the brink in last year's postseason and return many players with big-match experience, all of whom are hungry to reach new heights.

Five Players to Watch

1. Seth Fine (Parkland): The senior will contribute to the Trojans' cause as a setter and outside hitter. Fine, a second-team All-Area selection last year, will be Parkland's go-to guy in big situations.

2. Joseph Herman (Whitehall): Played an integral role in the Zephyrs' success last season. Herman will be called upon often this season to put Whitehall over the edge. The outside hitter was a second-team All-Area selection last season.

3. Alex Khouri (Whitehall): The lone returning Morning Call first team all-area selection in the EPC, Khouri will look to lead the Zephyrs on and off the court this season. The senior will provide big-time offense for Whitehall as a middle-hitter.

4. Stephen Reynolds (Emmaus): Much of the Green Hornets' season will rely heavily on what Reynolds can produce as an outside hitter. The senior was a second team all-area selection a year ago.

5. Brad Turocy (Freedom): An EPC second-team all-star last year, Turocy will carry a heavy workload for the Pates. The senior is considered one of the big threats in the EPC.

Five Matches to Watch

1. March 28: Parkland @ Freedom

2. April 9: Whitehall @ Freedom

3. April 11: Emmaus @ Whitehall

4. May 10: Freedom @ Liberty

5. May 10: Whitehall @ Parkland

Dante Terenzio is a freelance writer.


Questions/Comments? Contact Scott Trumbauer