|Posted/Updated: 5/25/2022 11:15:40 AM|
District 11 3A volleyball semifinals: Parkland and Northampton advance to finals on Thursday
Not many teams can match the energy Northampton brings to the volleyball court.
Once the Konkrete Kids find their rhythm — and as soon as the crowd gets involved — the rest is history.
Tuesday’s first match of a District 11 Class 3A semifinal doubleheader featured a back-and-forth battle between Northampton and Whitehall.
But in the blink of an eye, a boisterous K-Kids squad went on a huge run late in the match, resulting in a 3-1 [25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 25-15] victory, abruptly ending the Zephyrs’ season.
Top-seeded Parkland shut out Emmaus [25-21, 25-20, 25-21] in the second match of the night at Catasauqua High School, setting up Thursday’s final showdown with the Konkrete Kids.
“This will be the first district finals appearance we’ve ever had in our program,” Northampton coach Sue Arndt said. “We knew [Whitehall] would bring pressure, and we just played to our strengths. We drove hard and fast. Our serve-receive was strong, and so was our level of energy.”
The K-Kids picked up a close first set win to set the tempo of the match, but the Zephyrs came back strong to capture the second.
With the score knotted at 10-apiece in the third set, Northampton started looking to its big hitters.
Alex Schoenen (9 kills, 4 blocks) and Jackson Fehnel (6 kills, 9 digs) led the way, as the K-Kids built a big lead and eventually won the third set.
The fourth set was close, and again, went to 10-10. That’s when Northampton took complete control.
While Schoenen and Fehnel lit up the scoreboard, teammates Johnny Martinez (8 kills, 5 blocks), Landon Nickischer (9 kills) and Keller Repasch (49 assists) helped seal the deal in front of a large K-Kids cheering section.
“This really was a team effort,” Arndt said. “We love our crowd, especially with them sitting right behind us.”
Parkland vs. Emmaus: As usual, the Trojans are peaking in the postseason. But it’s not because of on-court practices.
Parkland spent the week watching film and mentally preparing for the Green Hornets. And while the Trojans offense was once again explosive, it was their defensive positioning that proved to be the difference against Emmaus.
“I wish I could say there’s a method to what we do, but really it’s just load management,” Parkland coach Scott Trumbauer said. “We’re trying to maximize our kids’ physical ability. So, this week we watched film and came up with a game plan to neutralize their aggressive serve and keep them out of system.”
On defense, Chase Robbins, Lukas Dashukewich, Owen Rodgers and Matt Bauer combined for six blocks. Robbins and Ahzar Sumar also tallied 26 digs together.
The Trojans put up bolstering numbers on offense as Bauer (12 kills, 3 assists), Robbins (9 kills, 19 assists), Dashukewicz (9 kills, 2 assists), Rodgers (7 kills), and Will Stiles (22 assists) were all heavy contributors.
“On any given night anyone can be our superstar, and that’s a really nice thing to have,” Trumbauer said. “We showed some nerves tonight, but we have so many players on the court and on the bench who can contribute.”
Southern Lehigh made the long trek to New Milford, and made quick work of Blue Ridge in a District 1-2-11 subregional semifinal matchup.
The Spartans, seeded seventh, jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back as they shut out the No. 3 seeded Red Raiders, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22.
Leading the charge for Southern Lehigh was Hansen Fan (15 kills, 9 digs), Trey West (9 kills, 10 digs and 2 aces) and Quincy Brunner (30 assists, 2 kills and 2 aces).
Next up for the Spartans is a trip to the subregional finals where they will take on top-seeded Dock Mennonite on Thursday in the first match of a doubleheader at Catasauqua, with the 3A final to follow.
Dante Terenzio is a freelance writer for The Morning Call.
Questions/Comments? Contact Scott Trumbauer