Parkland tops Emmaus in D-11 volleyball title match
A fourth time in a row as defending district champions wasn't the charm for Emmaus last week, as the Green Hornets fell to rival Parkland in the District 11 Class AAA volleyball championship in four games 25-19, 20-25, 15-25, 19-25.
Winning the first game of the series put Emmaus back down memory lane of their recent title frenzy, but Parkland proved to be the better team in the next three games, sweeping in deciding fashion to push the Hornets into a runner-up battle against District One champion Neshaminy in the PIAA tournament Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Abington High School.
Emmaus head coach Deb Schlosser has been through the roller coaster of winning and losing over the years and understands the realization of last week's defeat.
"Well, you can't go back and change anything," she said after the loss. "Nobody likes to lose and nobody likes to come in second, but we didn't do what we needed to do. We had too many mental breakdowns. It took us too long to recover from some of our breakdowns and all of a sudden it's too late and you can't do that in a district championship."
Emmaus started off on the right foot in the first game last week, asserting themselves and trading blows with the Trojans back and forth before putting the game to bed 25-19.
From there, however, Parkland proved to be the more mental ready opponent, as they scored nine of the last 11 points in the second game to pull out a 25-20 win. The Trojans pushed ahead in the series with a comfortable 25-15 win in game three before cementing the title in the fourth game.
Schlosser knows that it's difficult to repeat, let alone win a fourth straight district championship, but understands that this year's group had some missing components from their previous championship teams.
"I think it has something to do with not having the same type of leaders we had the past three years," she said. "I just needed somebody on the team to believe that we were going to win no matter what. I think our guys believed it but never really became it."
Now the focus moves to PIAA play, where the Hornets will have a tough task playing against an always difficult Neshaminy squad.
"I think that we're pretty good with regrouping and knowing that you can't change what happened in the past," she said. "The beauty of the game is that you get to begin again every single point and every single game. I think with some time to think about things, we'll be ready to go in states."