It seems that every year, the Emmaus and Parkland volleyball teams meet in the postseason. They have played some closely-contested matches during the 2016 regular season, and last Thursday night was no different.
After a thrilling five-set win against Bethlehem Catholic just two days earlier, the Green Hornets (14-7 overall, 12-5 EPC) were forced to rally for an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinal match.
Parkland came out and played a sound match, winning all three games by scores of 25-20, 31-29, and 25-20 to advance to the league championship game.
Emmaus football head coach Harold Fairclough told his team on Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after a 17-6 victory at Easton, that they only have one more guaranteed game.
The Green Hornets (8-1 overall) have won eight of their nine games this season, but the experienced coach knows that anything can happen, and nothing is a guarantee.
That one more game left to play during the regular season is a rivalry showdown against Parkland (7-2 overall) at home on senior night. It’s also for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title.
It’s not often that the Parkland girls volleyball team loses an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference match, let alone a single game in the best-of-five match. But last Tuesday night’s clash against Emmaus was a hard-fought match.
The Trojans were nearly taken to the brink, and could have easily lost the first two games.
The defending state champs made the plays when they had to and put the Green Hornets away in the fourth game to win the match 3-1 by scores of 28-26, 25-21, 20-25, and 25-19 at Emmaus High School.
The Emmaus boys soccer team made the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference tournament as the eighth seed of eight teams The Hornets won their last four games of the regular season to clinch the final spot.
Last Saturday afternoon in the conference quarterfinal, however, the Green Hornets (9-6-4 overall) didn’t look like the underdog. They played like the league favorite that they have perennially been over the past decade under head coach John Cari.
The Emmaus football team is in unfamiliar territory after last Friday night’s game against Nazareth.
The Green Hornets lost that game 41-21, their first defeat of the season, and for the first time this season, they will be tasked with bouncing back after a loss.
This week’s preparation is one that first-year head coach Harold Fairclough will use for the rest of the season to be able to see what they have accomplished through seven weeks.
It seems like it has been the norm as of late, especially during the 2016 season. When the Emmaus and Parkland boys soccer teams meet, the games are competitive, and usually end up with a close score in the end. Last Monday night’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference showdown at Emmaus High School’s Memorial field was no different.
Parkland’s Josh Kiser scored with exactly one minute left on the clock in regulation, negating an earlier goal by the Hornets’ Jon Heberlein and tying the game at 1-1.
It was an electric atmosphere inside Emmaus High School’s auxiliary gym last Thursday night. Not only were there two Eastern Pennsylvania Conference contenders playing against each other, but the game helped raise awareness for pediatric cancer.
In years past, the Green Hornets held a home match which they called “Dig Pink.” The name changed this year to “Spike Out Cancer.” The players wore pink or purple ribbons in their hair, and an Emmaus elementary student named Sam was honored before the match.
The Emmaus football team started the second half of its season with an important Eastern Pennsylvania Conference win over Freedom to remain unbeaten at 6-0 overall. It is one of the best starts the program has had in years, but head coach Harold Fairclough knows the importance of keeping his team focused.
“We’ve had a good start to the season, but I always tell the kids that it’s not over,” Fairclough said. “I don’t want them to listen to all of the talk from outside of the program. We want to stay focused and work hard each and every day and keep getting better.”
Coming off a five-game thriller between Emmaus and Liberty just four nights earlier, the Green Hornet girls volleyball team had another tough test awaiting it Monday night. And the Hornets were motivated to face the defending state champion and rival Parkland.
“The girls are always up for this game and ready to go,” said head coach Gwen Millets. “They love playing against Parkland because of the rivalry and because they are all friends off the court.”
Emmaus girls volleyball head coach Gwen Millets was able to play most of her deep bench Monday night as the Green Hornets took care of Pocono Mountain East in three straight games 25-13, 25-10, and 25-10 for their fourth regular season win in four tries.
It has been like that for a majority of the Hornets’ wins as Emmaus (4-0) has yet to lose a game in any regular season match. They beat East Stroudsburg North, Southern Lehigh and Stroudsburg all in three straight games.