|Posted/Updated: 5/17/2022 11:02:51 AM|
Varsity volleyball notebook: Wide open field in District 11 3A tournament
Parity ruled in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference boys volleyball action this season.
Several matchups boiled down to who had the better day, which was also the case last week in the EPC tournament as No. 3 seed Parkland picked off the top teams en route to the title.
The Trojans claimed the EPC crown and the top seed at the District 11 Class 3A tournament, which begins Thursday with the quarterfinal round.
In recent years, it was fairly well-known who would be at the top of the district podium.
In fact, just three teams have won the past 11 district crowns. Emmaus has won five titles in that span, while defending champion Parkland captured four, and Whitehall two.
Any of those three juggernauts could certainly win this year’s championship. But with the emergence of Northampton and Easton, it’s anyone’s tournament. And once again, it will come down to who has the better day (or week).
In the quarterfinals, No. 2 Northampton hosts No. 7 Nazareth. The Konkrete Kids should be pleased because this is a good early matchup to get their feet wet in an even bigger tournament setting than EPCs.
With a win, Northampton would need to bring confidence into the semifinals, where it gets the winner of No. 3 Whitehall and No. 6 Easton.
The Zephyrs started the season strong with an eye-popping 14-0 record, but have hit a bit of a rut as of late — including a 3-0 loss to the Rovers.
While Parkland waits in the wings, No. 4 Emmaus and No. 5 Freedom will square off in what should be another closely contested bout.
Switching gears over to the District 1/2/11 Class 2A Subregional tournament, Southern Lehigh is the lone area team to earn a qualifying berth. The Spartans enter as the No. 7 seed.
Here are the district and subregional seeds, along with predicted winners.
DISTRICT 11 CLASS 3A
1. Parkland (17-4)
2. Northampton (18-2)
3. Whitehall (17-3)
4. Emmaus (13-4)
5. Freedom (14-7)
6. Easton (14-7)
7. Nazareth (10-8)
MOST INTRIGUING QUARTERFINAL
No. 3 Whitehall vs. No. 6 Easton
A lot of excitement is swirling around this matchup. The Zephyrs will need to establish momentum early on in this one, otherwise Easton’s energy could take over.
PICKING THE 3A BRACKET
Finals Prediction: No. 1 Parkland over No. 3 Whitehall
The Trojans just aren’t making errors right now. They are also the only playoff team that will receive a bye in the quarterfinals. If we know coach Scott Trumbauer, that crucial extra day of practice will be spent game-planning and mentally preparing his team to make a run at another district title.
This final will be closer than their last meeting in the EPC semifinals. Perhaps the biggest prediction is seeing Whitehall return to form and advance to the finals with wins over two very tough teams. The Zephyrs have history on their side, and that should be enough to get them to states.
Other Predicted Semifinalists: No. 2 Northampton and No. 4 Emmaus
No doubt, the Konkrete Kids are enjoying their best season in many years. They gained valuable experience in pressure situations at EPCs, but here’s the big question: will they rise up when it counts most?
The Green Hornets should slip past Freedom in a competitive quarterfinal before running into seasoned veteran Parkland in the semifinals.
DISTRICT 1/2/11 CLASS 2A SUBREGIONAL
1. Dock Mennonite (D1; 16-2)
2. Tunkhannock (D2; 16-2)
3. Blue Ridge (D2; 12-2)
4. Berwick (D2; 11-2)
5. Holy Redeemer (D2; 11-5)
6. Dallas (D2; 12-4)
7. Southern Lehigh (D11; 15-5)
8. Forest City (D2; 8-5)
MOST INTRIGUING QUARTERFINAL
No. 2 Tunkhannock vs. No. 7 Southern Lehigh
This one will be fun to watch because, although a seven seed, Southern has to be taken seriously as the favorite here. The Spartans have played against some top teams this spring. And while Tunkhannock has put up impressive wins, the Tigers just don’t see the competition Southern does.
Expect a tight match, but the Spartans have the edge. A win here will likely mean a semifinal win as well.
PICKING THE SUBREGIONAL BRACKET
Finals Prediction: No. 1 Dock Mennonite over No. 7 Southern Lehigh
Dock is strong on a yearly basis. The Pioneers were in last year’s final, but fell to this year’s No. 5 seed in Holy Redeemer. They’ll be hunting for gold next week.
Southern Lehigh hit a jackpot of a draw, staying opposite bracket of Dock. Potential victories over Tunkhannock and Blue Ridge are very possible, which would qualify the Spartans for the state tournament.
Other Predicted Semifinalists: No. 3 Blue Ridge and No. 4 Berwick
The Red Raiders have solid wins over Holy Redeemer and Dallas this year and will be a stiff test for Southern Lehigh in the semifinals, should that matchup come to fruition.
The Bulldogs defeated defending district champion Holy Redeemer just a few days ago, and could give Dock a challenge in the semifinals.
Questions/Comments? Contact Scott Trumbauer