EHS tops PV in quarterfinal
In her first season as head coach, Brianne Giangiobbe has the Emmaus girls volleyball team in the postseason competing for championships.
Following a setback in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals, the Green Hornets (16-5) were victorious in their first district game. Emmaus earned the No. 3 seed for districts and took down sixth-seeded Pleasant Valley (11-7) in straight sets 3-0 by scores of 25-9, 25-20 and 25-9 last Thursday night at Emmaus High School in the District 11 Class 4A quarterfinals.
Following a loss to Bethlehem Catholic seven days before in the league semifinals, Emmaus got after it in practice and worked on things to prepare for a run at a district title.
“We’ve been working on serving more aggressively at practice, and I think that made a difference [against Pleasant Valley],” said Giangiobbe. “We also minimized our errors, at least our aggressive errors. I feel like practice has transitioned well into games and they stayed very focused.
“We’ve been focused on one game and one practice at a time. There was a point in the season where they were exhausted because of all the matches, so just thinking one match at a time has helped with that.”
The Green Hornets showed that they were the better team for the majority of the match, and were never really threatened in the first and third sets. But the Bears made them work for the win in set two. After getting their feet wet in the opening set, Pleasant Valley regrouped and played with the Green Hornets for the entire second set, falling just by five points. At one point late in the set, the Bears were behind by eight points (21-13), but scored six of the next eight and trailed by just four (23-19) before Emmaus was able to pull it out in the end.
“Staying mentally focused and doing the little things correct is beneficial,” Giangiobbe said. “In one set we got beat a couple of times off free balls, so that was our focus in the next set, converting. It’s more about focusing and adapting to changes we need to make.”
Macy Van Den Elzen led Emmaus with 10 kills against Pleasant Valley, followed by Jaya Bhagat with eight kills and 12 digs. Pheobe Lingold had eight digs and Kassidy Hallman recorded seven. The duo also contributed 15 and 20 assists, respectively.
Emmaus advanced to the semifinals to take on seventh-seeded Northampton Tuesday at Catasauqua High School. That game was played after Press deadline.