|Posted/Updated: 6/8/2022 7:36:45 AM|
PIAA volleyball tournament: Northampton’s impressive season comes to an end
The writing was on the wall for the Northampton boys volleyball team on Tuesday evening.
Across the net from the Konkrete Kids was a big, powerful force in Central Dauphin.
While the K-Kids brought their best effort, they were simply overmatched by the state’s top-ranked team.
The Rams went up big early and would not look back, as they steamrolled Northampton in the PIAA semifinals, 3-0 [25-12, 25-14, 25-17] at Exeter Township High School.
Post match, the distraught Konkrete Kids huddled with their heads held high, as they closed out their best season in program history with an overall record of 23-3.
“We’re trying to look at all the positives, and looking back, it really is an amazing feeling because no one expected us to get this far,” said Johnny Martinez, who finished the match with five kills and six digs. “I love these guys; they’re my family. We will keep our heads up and will always talk about this amazing journey.”
Central Dauphin, who will play North Allegheny in Saturday’s final, did not waste any time establishing its dominance against the K-Kids.
The Rams quickly went up 16-4 and cruised to a first-set win.
Northampton showed some fight early in the second and took a 7-3 lead. But the Rams stormed back with a 16-3 run, eventually closing out the second set at 25-14.
The K-Kids went down early in the third but were able to make it a competitive set towards the end, but eventually fell 25-17.
Leading the way for the Rams was Michal Zukowski, an intimidating hitter who finished with a match-high 14 kills.
Other contributors for Central Dauphin were Gavin Yutesler (7 digs), Tyler McConnell (8 kills), Braden Berkebile (6 kills), Jacob Miller (31 assists) and Conner Foxwell (7 blocks).
The K-Kids were paced by seniors Duane Milnes (5 kills, 7 digs), Keller Repasch (17 assists, 6 digs), Alex Schoenen (4 kills), and Jackson Fehnel (3 kills, 6 digs).
Led by that talented group of veteran players, Northampton accomplished a great deal this season, including a first-ever district title and two impressive wins in the state tournament.
“It’s going to be hard for the seniors to take that shirt off,” Northampton coach Sue Arndt said. “These kids found each other in middle school, bought in, and came ready to work. They have so much composure and so much drive. Winning a district title was huge for this program.”
Schoenen went on to reinforce his coach’s words.
“We gave everything we could tonight, and all season,” the middle blocker said. “I’ve learned so much from my coaches and teammates. This whole season has been such a surreal feeling.”
Dante Terenzio is a freelancer for The Morning Call
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