EHS falls to Nazareth in league playoffs
The Emmaus girls volleyball team’s time in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference tournament was shorter than the Hornets had hoped. They were the three seed and came into the quarterfinal round matchup with a 14-3-1 league record.
But the top six teams in the conference are all very evenly matched. Any one could beat another on any given night, and that happened last Tuesday.
Nazareth tookthe Hornets to the brink and then left Emmaus High School with the victory in five games, f 25-21, 26-28, 25-19, 15-25 and 15-10.
With a five-set match there were some players that stuffed the stat sheets.
Macy Van Den Elzen tallied 16 kills and nine digs, Adelina Rivera-Woolard had 23 kills and five blocks, with Caroline Bond contributing 44 assists and 20 digs. Georgia Traynor tallied 16 digs, and Kaitlyn McGinley and Rebecca Dalstad each had nine digs.
“Nazareth is a really good team,” said Emmaus head coach Gwen Millets. “They have tough outside hitters, a great setter and really good serve-receive and defense. We played them a number of times this year including a scrimmage, the First Kill Tournament, twice during the regular season and then in EPC’s. We know how tough they are mentally and physically. We must be on the top of our game when playing them.”
The match was back-and-forth, and just like the last time they played during the regular season, it went down to the final point in the fifth set.
“We had some really good moments during the match,” Millets said. “We have to learn how to play consistently and finish strong. Working as a team is critical even when the going gets tough.”
Now, with over a week off, the Green Hornets have been practicing and training to make a deeper run in the district tournament.
Emmaus is currently ranked ninth in the state in Class 4A and a large part of its success has come from the upperclassmen and experienced varsity players.
In the middle of the offense is the junior setter Bond. She has 869 assists on the year, along with 262 digs. She is the facilitator of the offense.
At the front of the net is Rivera-Woolard (264 kills) and Van Den Elzen (272 kills). The two lead the team in kills, followed closely behind by freshman Jaya Bhagat (248 kills).
Traynor is the defensive stopper in the back, compiling 294 digs on the season. Dalstad has 152 digs, and Kelsie Baus recorded 118 digs.
Emmaus will be hungry for some district wins. The Class 4A brackets were not released as of Press deadline. The Hornets ended the season fourth in the District 11/2 subregional rankings. They will likely open the tournament with a quarterfinal matchup against the winner of a Stroudsburg-Nazareth pigtail game.
“Preparing for districts has been a thread of every practice and game,” said Millets. “In order to strengthen our consistency, we are focusing on our serve receive, defense and blocking. When we are capitalizing on our strengths and playing together, we are tough to beat. The key is playing together.”