Posted/Updated: 7/12/2022 7:47:13 AM

Varsity volleyball honors: Northampton is The Morning Call’s team of the year

The Northampton boys volleyball team relished being the underdog. Heading into the spring, the Konkrete Kids felt they were a respected team, but still slightly overlooked.

All of that changed when the K-Kids hit the court on the first day of competition this spring. The team’s enthusiasm and unwillingness to lose went unmatched. A regular-season match record of 17-1 and a set record of 53-7 attest to the team’s prowess.

But then there was a letdown in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals, a 3-1 loss to traditional power, Parkland.

The senior-led Northampton group refocused their energy leading up to the district tournament and went on the most memorable run in program history.

The team was crowned District 11 Class 3A champion after picking off Whitehall and Parkland, then edged both Warwick and Neshaminy in the PIAA tournament.

After a state semifinal finish and a season for the ages, Northampton is The Morning Call All-Area boys volleyball team of the year.

“The biggest thing that made it so special is the kids came together at the beginning of the season, with an idea of what other people felt about us, and we turned that into a positive,” Northampton coach Sue Arndt said.

“We set mini-milestones and carried them out. We heard rumors that we couldn’t pass, so we made that a milestone. We did it in small increments, set goals in the beginning and had weekly meetings. The work ethic carried out and we talked about just an all-in culture. Being all-in for each other and having each other’s back.”

Arndt went on to talk about her team leaders and what they’ve meant to the program. The senior stat leaders were: Alex Schoenen (352 kills, 246 digs, 51 blocks, 64 aces), Jackson Fehnel (269 kills, 394 digs, 18 blocks, 25 aces), Johnny Martinez (236 kills, 293 digs, 67 blocks, 24 aces), Keller Repasch (851 assists, 42 blocks, 245 digs, 30 aces), Duane Milnes (282 digs, 120 kills, 51 aces) and Austin Sheytah (178 digs, 13 aces). Sophomore Landon Nickischer was also a key player for the K-Kids, finishing with 151 kills, 64 digs and 18 blocks.

“I met the seniors when they were in eighth grade. They all said that it was so much fun in middle school, but once they kicked it into high school, it would still be fun, but with a ton of work and a ton of commitment,” Arndt said. “The mindset was to bring it at practice every time, go hard at practice so that the games are like another practice. It’s one thing to say all that, but another to carry it out. That ripple effect will be felt for a long time.”

Dante Terenzio is a freelancer for The Morning Call

 


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