The goal was simple for the Emmaus girls tennis team this season show improvement.
After a rough 2011 campaign, the young Hornets grew up, posting 11 wins, eight in league play, this year. That made Monday's Lehigh Valley Conference tournament the icing on the cake.
"We had some tough draws today and ran into some good opponents early on," head coach Kelly Musselman said. "But over the season we really couldn't be any happier. They worked really hard and they all improved so much and I really couldn't ask for much more this season."
Volleyball teams have fairly defined roles.
One player does the bulk of the setting and the rest fall into two groups: hitters and diggers.
It's rare a team finds a player who can contribute greatly in both areas, and that's what makes Mackenzie O'Brien a rare player.
The Emmaus sophomore outside hitter was a force on both ends of the court in a big early season matchup with Central. She racked up 12 kills and 14 digs as the Hornets stormed back from losing a tight first set to drop the Vikettes in four games, 23-25, 25-13, 25-16, 25-17.
Grant Schumaker knew he needed to pick up his play over the last few holes of Emmaus' key Lehigh Valley Conference tri-match with Bethlehem Catholic and Parkland last Tuesday at Iron Lakes Country Club.
The Hornet junior was trailing Becahi's JT Barker by four strokes standing on the tee at the par 5 16th hole. Schumaker would make birdie on that hole and finish with a birdie on the daunting par 3 18th, while Barker was four-over during the same stretch.
Kyle Wambold's senior season with the Emmaus golf team couldn't have started much better.
The Hornets' top player needed just two holes to announce his presence as one of the odds-on favorites for the Lehigh Valley Conference and District 11 title. Wambold eagled the par-4 11th hole at Bethlehem Golf Club en route to a four-under par 67 to lead Emmaus to a season-opening win over Liberty and Nazareth on Monday.
"I hit a really good drive and then chipped in from about 10 yards off the front of the green," Wambold said. "That got me going a little."