Momentum is something that every team wants to have.
The Emmaus boys lacrosse team was outscored 5-1 in the second half of its first-round state playoff game and fell 7-3 to District 12’s St. Joe’s Prep last Friday evening in the PIAA Class 3A tournament at Northampton High School’s Al Erdosy Stadium.
The loss defeat came after Emmaus took down two-time defending District 11 champion Parkland to win the program’s first district title since 2015.
The Parkland boys lacrosse team has not only been a thorn in the side of Emmaus over the last couple of years, but it has also given the same feeling to every other District 11 boys program.
The Trojans had won the last two district championships, and grabbed a couple of Eastern Pennsylvania Conference titles along the way. They entered this year’s district title game undefeated at 20-0.
The Emmaus boys volleyball team dealt with some unexpected adversity all season. Unlike the past few seasons, this year’s team had a young and inexperienced roster and then injuries and roster turnover made it more difficult to win matches in a balanced Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11.
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.