Mintzer paces historic season on court
Arguably the most successful boys team at Emmaus last year was the volleyball squad.
The Green Hornets (19-3, 11-1) brought home gold in both the league and district playoffs. In the District 11 final, they knocked off rival Parkland in the fifth and final set to qualify for the state tournament. Emmaus dominated District 11 all season, and that was due in large part to the play and leadership of senior Travis Mintzer.
Mintzer was one of only three returning starters off of last year's team, which had lost five to graduation. Not just was he looked at for his phenomenal kills (he went over the 2000 mark this year), but for his leadership on a somewhat younger team.
His success on the court, individually and as part of the team, helped lead the way to being named the East Penn Press Male Athlete of the Year.
"In volleyball, it's not just all about one player," Mintzer said. "You need a good core of players because one person can't do everything. Our setter Quocmy [Nguyen], did a great job this year, and our libero was fantastic all season as well, and that helped us win a lot of games."
A great deal of the credit goes to head coach Deb Schlosser, Mintzer's aunt, for her love of the game and coaching ability. Schlosser noticed how tall her nephew was in the fifth grade. Mintzer first picked up the game that year because his aunt thought he was tall and could really be a successful volleyball player. It turned out she was right.
Volleyball wasn't even his only option as an athlete. While playing club ball in middle school, Mintzer also ran around on the soccer pitch and stood tall on the baseball diamond. But once he enrolled at Emmaus freshman year, he focused only on volleyball.
"I knew we might not have been as strong as we've been in the past," Mintzer said. "But that motivated me and my teammates to work harder. I still knew we had a good chance to win districts back-to-back (in 2011 and 2012)."
Mintzer credits a lot of his success to Schlosser and her son Dylan, a senior on the team in 2011.
"My cousin Dylan and I are pretty close," said Mintzer. "He was a great part of our team last year, and he's helped me a lot with my game. If I ever need any help with anything I can go to him."
Mintzer said he felt right at home playing for Emmaus. The coaching staff knew him well and that helped with building confidence and rapport.
"It meant a lot to me to play at Emmaus," he said. "Playing for my aunt, and some of my club coaches that are assistant coaches, I just love the atmosphere at games and practices. The coaches helped me with a lot, including setting my college career. I couldn't imagine playing for anyone else."
Mintzer will now set his sights on New Brunswick, New Jersey. He will be a freshman at Rutgers University and reports in early September for fall classes.
"I really liked the coach and the academics part of it all," said Mintzer. "I also love the campus. It's big, but it's small. I'm happy to say that's where I'll be playing for the next four years."
With only a few returning players to the fairly new volleyball program, the accounting major should see plenty of time as a freshman.