East Penn Press

Friday, May 25, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBStephen Reynolds digs a ball as teammat Mitchell Shoemaker backs up the play during last week’s win over Whitehall. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBStephen Reynolds digs a ball as teammat Mitchell Shoemaker backs up the play during last week’s win over Whitehall. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

EHS volleyball stays undefeated with win

Thursday, May 3, 2018 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

Earlier in the week, the Emmaus boys volleyball team was dealing with injuries. Not having lost a set in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference play all season, the job was a bit harder without some of its regular contributors.

But after another unscathed week, the Hornets were back to full strength when they needed to be most. Facing Whitehall, the second-place team in the EPC, first-place Emmaus defeated the Zephyrs in three games, 25-12, 25-22 and 25-14 last Friday night in front of a packed gymnasium on the Hornets’ senior night.

Emmaus (12-0 EPC) recognized six seniors before the match including Cam Parsons, James Haag, Matt Swanson, Tom Mazzella, Mitchell Shoemaker and Sam Workman.

“We’ve been waiting four years for this night,” said Parsons. “Getting a win against a really good Whitehall team is all we could’ve asked for. It was very competitive like it always is against them. And as you saw in game two, we had to battle for every point tonight.”

These two teams know each other well. Emmaus won its first district title in four years last season by beating Whitehall.

The Zephyrs (9-2) are strong once again this season, and feature a couple of strong hitters. They were in every game, as neither of the three reached a double-digit margin. Whitehall was just a few hits away from winning game two, but Emmaus made the necessary plays to hold on for the three-point victory.

“They’re a great team,” Parsons said. “Our energy level was really high in game one, and I think we got into their heads a little bit after that one. But they brought it in that second set and we just didn’t have that same energy level, so they took advantage of it. Luckily, we were able to pick it back up and finish it off.”

After an emotional second set, Emmaus had an easier time in the third set.

The win over Whitehall marked the third straight EPC victory of the week, after defeating Dieruff and Easton in straight sets.

The Saturday before, Emmaus went 3-5 in the Koller Classic, competing in a tough pool with the state’s Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 8 ranked teams. The Hornets qualified for the quarterfinal round, but were eliminated by top-ranked North Allegheny.

Parsons, who picked up an injury during that tournament, still liked what he saw and experienced with his team at the event.

“Stephen [Reynolds] and I both got hurt, so it was tough for us to have to sit and watch our teammates compete,” said Parsons. “But that meant that some of the younger guys had to come in and step up, and I think they did that.”

The Hornets headed into this week with four matches remaining and a two-game lead over Whitehall for the EPC regular season title and the top seed for the upcoming league playoffs. Emmaus was slated to play Pocono Mountain East on Monday, then finish off the schedule with matches against Northampton (Wednesday), Freedom (Friday) and Allen (Tuesday, May 8).