Emmaus advances to D-11 girls volleyball semifinal
Emmaus senior setter Caroline Bond wanted her season and volleyball career at Emmaus to keep moving on.
Lst Thursday night on the Emmaus home court, the Green Hornets were able to allow Bond and the other senior members of the team the chance to keep playing for a District 11 Class 4A championship by downing Whitehall 3-1 (25-14, 16-25, 25-21 and 25-13) in the district quarterfinal round.
Emmaus was also just happy to get back out on the court after falling in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals to Nazareth a week prior.
“The win meant a lot because at this point in the season it’s do or die basically,” said Bond. “If we lose then it’s over, and everyone on the team is committed to making our season go as long as possible. So it was great to get a win after losing in EPCs, but it meant more to us to know that we advanced to district semis to have a shot at the district title.”
The top-seeded Green Hornets (24-5-1 overall) had little trouble dispatching the Zephyrs in the first set, winning 25-14. But then Whitehall won the next set by nine points before Emmaus battled for a four-point victory in set three.
“The main thing was focus,” Bond said. “I think we lacked a bit of that mentally going into the game and it showed because we just played sloppy all around. And it was collective, it wasn’t just one or two people.
“After losing the second set we just all took a deep breath, discussed what we had to adjust to be more successful and thankfully we were able to execute that in the third and fourth sets.”
Emmaus did not allow the Zephs to stay close in the fourth set, taking down Whitehall 25-13 to clinch the match and advance to the District 11 semifinal round.
“I’m so excited that we get to play Liberty because it can get repetitive playing the same teams over and over again, so I’m pumped to play against a program who we haven’t seen all season,” said Bond. “Liberty traditionally has a good volleyball team, so it will no doubt be a tough game, but we’ve been working really hard and are excited to get the chance to compete for a spot in the district finals.”
Bond, the EPC MVP, finished with 44 assists, six kills, 11 digs and three service aces. Macy Van Den Elzen had 19 kills and seven digs and Jaya Bhagat contributed 14 kills and five digs, while Makenzie Krasley added 10 kills. Rebecca Dalstad (20 digs), Caley McLaughlin (nine) and Kelsie Baus (eight) all played solid defensively for the Green Hornets.
The semifinal was played Tuesday, after Press deadline.
A win over Liberty in the semi would put Emmaus in Thursday’s title match against either No. 2 seed Parkland or No. 3 Nazareth. It would also mark the Hornets’ first district championship appearance since 2014.