EHS tops Trojans, 3-0
Fresh off a district championship in 2017, questions arose for the Emmaus boys volleyball team after graduating five seniors.
It looks as if most of those questions have been answered early this spring for a Hornet team that appears just as strong as it did a year ago.
Emmaus stayed unbeaten with last week’s dominant sweep over rival Parkland. The Hornets (9-0) jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the first set and downed the Trojans (25-9, 25-15, 25-20) last Tuesday at Emmaus High School. Emmaus had not lost a set all season through the win over Parkland.
“We haven’t been challenged really hard yet,” Hornet head coach Ken Dunkle said. “I was happy with our first two sets. We talked a lot last week about just focusing on what we need to do over here, and executing on every play and not worrying who is on the other side of the court.”
After that win, Emmaus dispatched of Becahi last Thursday (25-14, 25-14, 25-11) and played well in Saturday’s Koller Classic in it’s pool with Northern Allegheny, Central York, Hempfield and Pennsbury.
A big factor in the Hornets’ early season success, which has transitioned from 2017 without missing a beat, is due to three returning senior starters in setter Cam Parsons, outside hitter James Haag and middle hitter Matt Swanson. But plenty of others have stepped into new roles and kept Emmaus as the class of the East Penn Coneference and District 11.
It showed early on against Parkland, which had been the area’s top team for three straight years before last season. The Hornets built an 11-5 lead in the first set after four straight serves from Haag that Parkland couldn’t return. Swanson (8 kills), who gave the Trojans a problem at the net all night long, had two key kills late to push Emmaus’s lead to 19-9.
The Hornets closed the first set on a 9-1 spurt.
“We actually graduated five starters from last year,” Dunkle said. “That was kind of our core remaining three, but we had some talent on the bench.”
The second set was similar to the first with Emmaus taking an early lead and being dominant at the net. Parson’s ace put the Hornets ahead 23-12 late, and junior outsider hitter Stephen Reynolds’ kill two points later put he Hornets in commanding control.
Parkland actually led in the third set at 7-5, but Emmaus kept its unblemished record in tact as Haag (9 kills) and Parsons (33 assists, 3 kills) traded kills midway through the set to take an 18-13 lead. Freshman outside hitter Nick Blose’s soft touch made it a 20-15 game.
“We actually try to run a really balanced team,” Dunkle said. “[Those three] are certainly contributing and contributing at a high level. I think Matt hit .889 tonight, which is just monstrous. But I think [junior middle hitter] Owen Kennedy was right in there with .600. All of our guys are capable of contributing at a high level.”
The Hornets travel to Easton on Wednesday as they look to stay perfect in the EPC standings. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.