Zephs take down PHS in five games
Parkland boys volleyball head coach Scott Trumbauer had the fire of a first-year coach, even though he has been head coach of the Trojans for the last 17 seasons.
With every point of every set, which turned out to be five, Trumbauer and his team faced different emotions. Ones of excitement and joy, and those of frustration and sadness.
Parkland won games one and three, but could not get that final point of the final game, giving up a 14-13 lead in game five, falling to Whitehall 3-2 by scores of 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 10-25 and 16-14 in the District 11 Class 3A semifinals Tuesday night at Allen High School’s Sewards Gymnasium.
“They just stayed aggressive all match,” said Trumbauer of Whitehall. “I got angry there towards the end because our guys were doing what we were doing for most of the game. When it came down to those clutch situations, we seemed to veer away from the game plan. We served to the wrong guy there in the end, and they were able to get a side out and then rattle off three straight to win it.”
This match was a typical back-and-forth with each team giving their best shots and then having to respond. Four of the five games were decided by six points or less.
In game one the biggest deficit was four, 15-11 in favor of the Trojans. Tied 22-22, Parkland (16-7 overall) went on a run and was able to earn three of the next four points to get out in front up one game.
“That was important for us as a younger team,” Trumbauer said. “You always want to get the first one and gain that momentum and not have to come from behind.”
The Zephyrs climbed back into the match with a game-two victory. They led for the entirety of the set, but had to hold on to a 24-18 lead, almost giving it up, winning 25-22.
Parkland then bounced back in game three, leading by as many as nine (20-11) before finishing off Whitehall 25-19 to take a 2-1 lead.
But the Zephyrs answered once again. The league runner-up would not go down without a fight. Whitehall was never challenged in a 25-10 game four victory to even the match at 2-2.
Game five was more of the same. Parkland raced out to an 8-2 advantage, but Whitehall got to within one point at 9-8.
The Trojans scored four straight, followed by the Zephyrs recording four of the next five. With the score tied 13-13, Parkland received a huge block at the net by junior setter Seth Fine to take a 14-13 lead.
With all of the momentum in hand, and just one more point for a victory, it looked as if the Trojans would once again get back to the district championship game.
But Whitehall thought differently, going on a 3-0 run to win the game 16-14 and win the set to advance and take on defending champion Emmaus on Thursday,
“I told the guys to stay positive and keep their heads up,” said Trumbauer. “Everyone always expects Parkland volleyball to be playing for district titles, but we just didn’t have a big star to rely on this year. But to have the season that we did and be in the position we were, a couple points from playing for the title and state tournament, it hurts, but we’ll build off it.”
Parkland will graduate four seniors including Derek Hockenberry, Brayden Koch, Nick Mohr and RJ Corba.