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DON HERB/THE PRESS Lisa Wallitsch had 28 assists in a loss to Parkland. DON HERB/THE PRESS Lisa Wallitsch had 28 assists in a loss to Parkland.

Volleyball girls suffer first defeat

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 by TODD KRESS Special to the Press in HS Sports

Both Emmaus and Parkland's girls volleyball teams entered last week's Lehigh Valley Conference showdown unbeaten.

And after winning game one 26-24, the Hornets were in good position to hand the Trojans - last season's district and state champion - their first loss.

But that wouldn't be the case. The Trojans responded to win the next three games to defeat the Hornets 3-1 (24-26, 25-14, 26-24, 25-14) to remain perfect on the season.

"When my girls put forth what they put forth tonight, I can't be upset about that," said head coach Gwen Millets. "It's Parkland [and] it's the middle of the season. We have a long way ahead of us. And we have nowhere to go but up."

With both teams each holding a game, it was the third game that changed the landscape of the match.

After facing a 20-15 deficit in that third game, the Hornets (8-1, 7-1 LVC) put together a furious rally and led 24-23 at one point. But the Trojans (9-0, 8-0) responded to score the next three points - capped off by two Alicia Weigel kills set up by Taylor Krause - to grab the tiebreaker game.

Heading into Tuesday's game, the Trojans hadn't lost a game or faced a deficit in any match this season.

"With the girls coming back and regaining those points, it just validates that they can play together and when they work together as a team, they can accomplish anything," said Millets. "It's just we made a couple of errors. And sometimes this is a game of errors."

The Hornets made a run in the midst of the fourth game, bringing the score to 14-18. But the Trojans once again responded with a statement, scoring the final seven points to close out the match.

"I know my girls can get ahead and stay ahead," said Millets. "They just have to believe in themselves. Us coaches - Audra [Kahr], Alecia [Weaver] and I - we believe in them so much sometimes that it hurts. We know that they can go above and beyond."

"Having those runs where we're ahead, it's fantastic and it makes them feel good. But we've got to learn how to keep those leads."

Lisa Wallitsch recorded 28 assists and 14 digs for the Hornets, while Allie Traynor added 13 kills and 15 digs. Mackenzie O'Brien had seven kills and 11 digs.

The Hornets will next travel to take on fellow LVC heavyweight Bethlehem Catholic on Thursday at 6 p.m.

"I think my girls can compete with anybody that they put their minds to," said Millets. "When my girls work together and play together they can beat anybody."