The Emmaus boys volleyball team was one of the last eight Class AAA teams still alive in the state playoffs heading into last weekend.
But the Hornets' season came to end Saturday afternoon at Mechanicsburg Area High School as they lost to Hempfield, the third place team out of District 3, in four games (25-16, 25-18,23-25, 25-13).
Five Emmaus athletes competed in the PIAA Track and Field Championships, held last Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium.
Hornet distance runner Katie Bacher was the only one to finish in the top 10, taking 10th place in the 1600-mter run.
Bacher, a junior who was the East Penn Conference Cross Country MVP last fall, went to states with a seed time of 5:07.74 from districts. She ran a 5:06.02 for sixth place in her heat and 11th-best overall out of both preliminary heats, which were run on Friday.
Four more Emmaus athletes signed letters of intent to colleges at a ceremony held last week at the high school.
Cheerleader Erica Ferrizzi (Lindenwood College), pole vaulter Kate Lynch (West Chester University), volleyball player Patrick Bryan (St. Francis University) and swimmer Tori Bingham (Shippensburg University) all announced their college athletic intentions at the event.
The Emmaus girls lacrosse team graduated seven key players from last year's team, all of which either started or saw significant playing time.
While the Hornets are trying to fill those holes this season, several players return that were a big part of last season's 11-10 team that won a league playoff game and qualified for the District 11 tournament.
Sometimes it takes a few postseason games before a young team can get over its nerves and learn to succeed in playoff basketball.
Last week Emmaus took a team with just one senior into Allen's gym for an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference boys quarterfinal playoff game.
When their only senior got into early foul trouble, things went south quickly for the Hornets, which fell 53-41 to the Canaries.
Eleven Emmaus athletes representing seven sports signed letters of intent to colleges last week.
Athletic director Dennis Ramella estimated the total amount of scholarships to be around two million dollars.
The student-athletes have an average grade point average of 3.46 and include five National Honor Society members, three All-Americans and six all-state players.
The Emmaus' girls cross country team already has the winner of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference's Most Valuable Player award in junior Katie Bacher.
If the conference also gave out a Rookie of the Year award, that would likely go to an Emmaus runner as well.
Freshman Abigail Dalton continued a stellar freshman postseason last week by taking fourth place in the District 11 Class AAA Championship race in Bethlehem.
Emmaus needed to play nearly a perfect game to stay with Whitehall last week. And probably would have needed a flawless performance, or some Zephyr mistakes, to beat one of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference's best teams.
The Hornets had just the right game plan and executed it as well as they have all season. But it still wasn't enough. A late touchdown gave Whitehall a 48-41 win. But even in defeat, Emmaus proved it can play with the top teams in the league.
Before the season started, Randy Cuthbert got some funny looks when he told people his offensive line would be better than last year.
The Hornets had graduated everyone. Not just interior linemen, but tight ends and receivers, too. This year's team has fresh faces up front from sideline to sideline.
But Cuthbert, who took over the team in late spring of 2013, knew the players that would take over in the trenches had been in the weight room all offseason. He knew how close they had become and how big and strong they were compared to last year.
Over the first 45 minutes of last week's Eastern Pennsylvanie field hockey championship game, both teams had some scoring chances, but neither could capitalize.
Finally, with 12:03 left in the game, Stroudsburg's Jennifer Bukowski sent a shot from the top of the circle that bounced through Emmaus' defense and got past keeper Tori Laczo for the game's only goal.
The win gives the Mountaineers the league's first title trophy and keeps the Hornets without a league title for the first season since 2003.