The Parkland boys volleyball team celebrated a district championship this past weekend after an emotional victory over rival Emmaus.
But while the Trojans enjoyed the title, their next matchup with Central Dauphin loomed in the back of their minds.
The Rams, who scraped their way through a highly talented District 3 tournament with a third-place finish, were an unsettling PIAA first-round match for the Trojans.
Parkland came out fired up when the Trojans squared off with the Rams on Tuesday night at Southern Lehigh High School.
But that energy fizzled late in the first set and never returned as Central Dauphin claimed a 3-0 [25-23, 25-14, 25-14] win to end Parkland’s season.
“We knew Central Dauphin has been in the top five in the state all year and they’re coming out of a really strong district,” Parkland coach Scott Trumbauer said. “Credit to them, they played great.”
The Trojans jumped out early in the match when they led 21-16, but that was the last run Parkland would go on.
The Rams’ offensive spread impressed. Tyler McConnell (10 kills) and Logan Tinsley (6 kills) led the way while Braden Berkebile and Nathan Wickenheisser combined for 10 kills.
Jacob Miller (25 assists) and Gavin Yutesler (7 digs) also contributed for the Rams.
On the other side of the net, Parkland (21-3) didn’t get its usual effort from its big guns. JT Siggins was mostly held in check with six kills and two blocks, while Jordan Lewis had four kills.
Azhar Sumar (12 digs), Ben Robbins (8 digs), Mason Bergstein (21 assists) and Matt Bauer (7 kills, 2 blocks) also chipped in for Parkland.
“Our first touches complicated our second touches, which turned into a lot of hitting errors,” Trumbauer said. “Our emotions helped us early on but the pressure started getting to us and we eventually cracked.”
Emmaus moves on
Emmaus was also in action on Tuesday. The Green Hornets swept District 2 champion Delaware Valley 25-20, 25-11, 25-18 at Solomon Plains Jr. High School near Wilkes-Barre.
Emmaus, which improves to 24-3 this season, were led on offense by Kyle McKiernan (10 kills, 3 aces), Nick Blose (9 kills), Gannon DeFrain (6 kills), and Chris Patel (3 aces).
Haydn Child and Ben Maskiell led the Green Hornet defense with 14 digs combined.
“Overall, I was happy with our match. We came out a little slow, but once we got our rhythm half way through the first set, we didn’t look back,” Emmaus coach Ken Dunkle said. “We put a lot of pressure on them with our serving which made it difficult to get their offense going.”
Emmaus advances to Saturday’s PIAA quarterfinal round where it will take on the winner of District 3 champion Hempfield and District 1 third-place Neshaminy.