May 23, 2018
By: Erica Rose

I’ve been covering boys volleyball all season, so I’ve had the chance to get to know the teams and their strengths and weaknesses. Heading in to last night’s District XI 3A semi-final I had a feeling Parkland would pull off the upset as the 6 seed, over the #2 seed Whitehall. The Zephyrs are just too streaky and the Trojans have been playing extremely well. After all, they are the only squad this season to hand the Green Hornets a set loss.  (Whatever head coach Scott Trumbauer does with his teams is so impressive.) Well I was wrong. They lost.  However, they were right there until the end, and if it weren’t for an awful lapse they would be playing again on Thursday night. The Trojans had the Zephyrs playing on their heels most of the night; taking the 1st and 3rd set and nearly coming back in the 2nd. But, according to Whitehall head coach George Cowitch, the Zephyrs were not ready to hang up their uniforms. They proved that. In the 5th set the Zephyrs trailed 8-2. Parkland had all the momentum, but a few mistakes here and a few points there had Whitehall right back in it. The Zephyrs tied it at 13 & 14 and thanks to junior Alex Khouri, they would advance 16-14 in set 5.  

What makes this team so interesting is the fact that they have been able to pull out wins like last night, ALL season. They are never pretty, but somehow they manage. What is even scarier is the team only has 1 senior on the roster. So if they can clean up the errors, they should be in a good position for next year. The win also guarantees them a spot in the state tournament.

The second match of the night was between Emmaus and Nazareth. This one I had right. The Green Hornets, the defending District XI Champs, as well as current EPC Champs came out and took care of business in 3 sets. Something they had already done earlier this season. The thing is, the Green Hornets aren’t even playing their best volleyball yet as surprising as that sounds.  

One factor that makes Emmaus so scary is that they have so many players they can rely on and expect the Green Hornets to win yet another championship on Thursday. Now I know after the game head coach Ken Dunkle said it is difficult to defeat a team three times in one season, but I cannot see Whitehall pulling off the upset. What I can see is a similar match to the EPC championship. A sweep. Emmaus is a special team and I truly believe they have a chance to go very far in the state tournament. They are humble, hungry and determined.