Girls volleyball climbs to top of EPC
The Parkland girls volleyball team had an unexpected path in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference tournament. As an underdog in every match, the Trojans were in a position they normally don’t see themselves in.
But just as they normally do, they rose to the occasion and performed at the top of their game when it mattered most. Entering the tournament as the No. 6 seed, Parkland won three straight matches over higher-seeded teams. The Trojans beat Bethlehem Catholic in four sets 25-13, 25-11, 25-27, 25-22 last Saturday afternoon in the EPC championship game at Northampton Area High School.
It’s Parkland’s first EPC championship since 2015, when the program won its sixth consecutive league crown, and the coach running the show on Saturday, was a four-year member of those teams that won all of the league titles in-a-row.
“I think all of the coaches bring a piece to the game,” said assistant coach Taylor Krause, filling in for her father Mike, who was watching his other daughter Kristin play for Penn State. “With all of us chirping different things, we put together a well-oiled machine. I think this was a big win for us and I’m really proud of the team.”
The two teams met during the regular season late last month, a five-set win by the Golden Hawks (15-5 overall), but Parkland (14-5) returned the favor in a bigger stage. Saturday, the Trojans were the sixth seed and Becahi was the fifth seed.
It was the third straight match victory for Parkland, as it defeated third-seeded Central Catholic in the quarterfinals and then second-seeded Liberty in the semifinals.
Sophomore Brynn Dreisbach finished with 14 kills and nine digs to pace the Trojans lineup in the title match. She was forced to step up even more than usual because of the absence of another top hitter in Amber Resendez.
Jackie Malitzki had 37 assists for Parkland. Dreisbach had 14 kills and Lauren Ceh added 11. Junior libero Leah Brunnabend finished with 24 digs.
“We just played hard and everyone played for each other, which we knew we had to do, especially not having one of our go-to hitters out there,” said Taylor Krause. “I think everyone stepped up and the girls who had to fill roles, really became go-to hitters. That was important. That’s what we’ve been looking for all year. So, I’m super proud of them, but we still have some more work to do.”
Parkland will now turn its sights to the District 11 Class 4A tournament when it will be the fifth seed and play at the four seed Freedom Thursday.
“Every team in our district is really competitive,” said Taylor Krause. “We have a couple challenging teams ahead of us. They were on a mission today. I hope they continue to be on a mission throughout the rest of this season.”