Zephyrs sweep Parkland in championship match
It certainly wasn’t a rebuild year for the Parkland boys’ volleyball team, but few probably thought the Trojans would be where they were last Thursday night.
Parkland, the No. 3 seed in the District 11 Class 3A tournament, found itself playing for a district title after being bounced early from the East Penn Conference tournament a week earlier.
While top-seeded and unbeaten Whitehall picked up a 3-0 win (25-19, 25-13, 25-20), the Trojans kept it competitive in the championship match at Catasauqua High School.
“I think the guys overachieved a little bit this year,” Parkland head coach Scott Trumbauer said. “I don’t know if they thought maybe we would have the record we’d have. We were definitely on the edge of a team to be here. Obviously they proved that they deserved it.
“I definitely think it was a one-pony show all year with Whitehall, and the rest of us were beating each other up until the last match of the year to get to this point.”
After an unforced error, Trumbauer was forced to call a timeout early in the fist set with Whitehall leading 10-5. That lead grew to 22-11 after a big Zephyr run. After Joseph Herman III’s ace to make it a 20-11 lead, Dylan McGinley spiked one of his kills for a 22-11 lead moments later.
Parkland clawed back within five points at 22-17 when Seth Fine set up Jordan Lewis for a kill. Whitehall, however, wouldn’t flinch as it ended the set on a 3-2 run.
“Having seen their capability, it’s what I would have expected to a degree from their side,” Trumbauer said. “I think we didn’t play the best that we could have at certain times. I think the nerves got to us a couple of times. We got uptight and didn’t execute.”
Much like the first set, Whitehall jumped out to a quick lead in the second before Parkland stormed back. The Trojans erased an early 7-2 deficit with four straight points. Parkland was within 18-13 before the Zephyrs closed it out on a 7-0 spurt.
“I think we’ve played a little better [since the Freedom loss in the league playoffs],” Trumbauer said. “After that we had a good match against Liberty. We played pretty well. Then we had Easton…and I thought we played pretty well.”
The third set of the district title match was the most competitive. Parkland’s last lead came at 4-3 early on. Whitehall, which never led by more than five points in the decisive set, found itself clinging to a one-point lead after the Trojans went on a 4-0 spurt. After back-to-back kills from Ryan Nemesh and Lucas Adam, a key block from Ian Dashukewich got the Trojans within 21-20.
The Zephyrs scored the final four points, however. Two of the points came on kills from Herman.
Parkland still earned a berth in the PIAA tournament. The Trojans fell to District 3’s Central York in three sets (25-17, 25-16, 25-20) in Tuesday’s opening round.