It has been a tough last week or two for Emmaus volleyball head coach Ken Dunkle and his team. The two-time defending District 11 Class 3A champs have lost two players recently because of different reasons. One-time starter Ethan Parvel left the program and regular starter Stephen Reynolds has been injured.
After nearly a week off since their last match, the Green Hornets got off on the right foot Monday evening. They won the first set, but then dropped the final three sets in falling to Liberty 3-1 by scores of 25-11, 17-25, 23-25 and 18-25 at Emmaus High School.
The last week has been a hard one for the Emmaus boys lacrosse program. After a fast start, winning its first 10 games of the 2019 regular season, the Green Hornets have lost two straight, both to long-standing Eastern Pennsylvania Conference rivals in Central Catholic (11-5) and Parkland (9-8).
The Emmaus boys volleyball team recently experienced something it had not in over a year: a loss in league play.
The Hornets (8-1) won their first seven Eastern Pennsylvania Conference matches to begin the year, continuing a streak that spanned all of their league matches in 2018. But last Thursday night at Whitehall, Emmaus suffered its first setback in two seasons, falling to the Zephyrs (9-0) in straight sets.
It was an early season battle of unbeaten teams that included both of the top two boys lacrosse squads in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 when Emmaus and Easton met on a rainy field last Friday afternoon at Easton High School.
The Green Hornets (6-0 overall, 5-0 EPC) took control of the game and gave themselves some breathing room in a three-goal second quarter where they held the Rovers (5-1, 4-1) scoreless and then outscored Easton 6-3 during the final two quarters to win 11-4.
Rome was not built in a day.
That is kind of the type of motto that the Emmaus boys volleyball team may have used to open its 2019 regular season. It took five sets to win the season-opening match against Liberty two weeks ago, after a 2018 campaign that saw the Green Hornets win every Eastern Pennsylvania Conference match via a 3-0 sweep.
But Emmaus has seemed to find itself, winning its next two matches in three sets, and did so again at rival Parkland Monday night, defeating the Trojans 3-0 by scores of 25-20, 25-15 and 25-23.
During the 2018 season, the Emmaus boys volleyball team rarely was tested. The talent and experience possessed by that group led to back-to-back Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 championships.
Entering the 2019 campaign, head coach Ken Dunkle and his team knew that they would have to work hard for every set, and that showed right off the bat in the season-opener. The Green Hornets were taken to the final game in a five-set match win at Liberty last Friday afternoon in the EPC opener for both teams.
Emmaus girls lacrosse head coach Roxann Betz is entering her third year at the helm of the program. She is no longer new to her players and their talents, and her players know what is expected of them.
Last season showed what the Hornets are capable of and can be capable of as they finished the 2018 campaign 25-16 and qualified for both the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 Tournament.
The Emmaus boys volleyball team has been a model of consistency over the last two seasons. It has also been the class of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11.
The Green Hornets have won back-to-back District 11 Class 3A championships and also won the EPC title the last two years. It has been one of the best runs since the Hornets dominated the sport in the old EPC two decades ago under head coach Dave Stever.
The Emmaus boys basketball team was itching to get back on the court.
Following a heartbreaking loss in the final seconds of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title game, the Green Hornets had a week off to think about that game and to prepare for a district title run.
The time off and hunger from that loss helped as top-seed Emmaus came out fast and led from start to finish, taking care of ninth-seeded Pocono Mountain West 76-60 last Saturday night at Allen High School in the District 11 Class 6A Quarterfinal Round.
Adversity. That was a word that senior Zach Sabol of the Emmaus boys basketball team was faced with early on in his high school playing career.
Sabol reached the 1,000-point milestone for his program earlier this month, back on February 8. And he did it on a big stage and in front of his home crowd, climbing the plateau against Central Catholic in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference quarterfinals at Emmaus High School.