Parkland Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Andrew Hillman sets a ball during a match last week. Copyright - DonHerb                                               PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Andrew Hillman sets a ball during a match last week. Copyright - DonHerb

Boys volleyball team takes down Whitehall

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

The defending PIAA Class 3A champion Parkland boys volleyball team is off to the start it were hoping for. The Trojans came fast out of the gate, going 17-1-2 in their first 20 matches, including wins over Derry High School (No. 5 in state in Class 2A) and Pennridge (No. 3 in Class 3A). The only defeat came last weekend against Northeastern (No. 1 in Class 2A) in the Bobcat Invitational Tournament, which the Trojans finished second overall.

Parkland kept the foot on the pedal in its next match after the tournament, sweeping Eastern Pennsylvania Conference foe Whitehall 3-0 by scores of 25-18, 25-14, and 25-18 Tuesday night at Parkland High School. And the Trojans’ early season gauntlet of a schedule has helped prepare them for District 11 play.

“It’s definitely been good for us,” said Ohio State-bound senior setter Andrew Hillman. “Coach [Scott] Trumbauer has gotten us to face great teams, state ranked teams, and it’s just been great to see those teams so later on in the year we will know what to expect and what we have to do to win.”

Hillman, an Ohio State commit, had a large part in the three game sweep of the Zephyrs. Offensively he had eight kills but also dished out 20 assists, and had two blocks on defense. But what really fueled the Trojans offense was his five aces.

During the first game, the two teams traded points, but Parkland could never take a lead until Hillman’s three straight service aces put the Trojans ahead 11-8, where they held on from there.

“I definitely work on it a lot at practice,” said Hillman of serving. “There’s been games where it’s been totally off, and then games like this where it’s been on. It still needs a lot of work, but it felt good out there tonight.”

Hillman had his hand in four straight points for the Trojans in the final game, as they took a 4-0 lead and never led by less than three. Senior Andrew Fine’s kill gave Parkland the match at 25-18.

With the exception of game two, where the Trojans took a 16-11 lead and scored nine of the last 12 points, it was a battle to get the match win.

“They were a tough team and we knew that coming in,” Hillman added. “They were 3-0 in the league coming in already so coach had us ready for it and what to expect. It was just good to come out and take it in three sets.”

Senior hitter Kyle Stout tallied nine kills and two blocks, and senior libero Jared Silverstein had 20 digs and an ace in the win.