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.
Most people likely expected Parkland to punch a ticket into the East Penn Conference boys’ volleyball championship game. And it would have been a good. After all, the Trojans had beaten Freedom twice this spring and they were meeting the Patriots again in the conference semifinal. The latest meeting went in favor of Parkland just 10 days prior in four games, while the Trojans swept the first match back in late March.
Early on it looked as if Parkland would roll to its 12th straight win this season. But Upper Dublin had other plans coming out of halftime.
Fortunately for the Trojans, they were able to hold of the District 1 Cardinals in Tuesday’s nonleague matchup. And Parkland got a big boost from one of its senior leaders when it needed it most.
Parkland’s Morgan Hurd missed much of the 2018 girls lacrosse regular season with a broken wrist. She was able to return for the Trojans’ postseason run that included a district title, but Hurd still admits sitting on the sidelines was tough.
It seems as if the Trojan senior attacker is making up for lost time early this spring.
It’s been a decade of dominance.
No team in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League other than Parkland has won a league championship since 2010. The Trojans earned their 10th straight crown last week and their 13th overall.
In Game 3 of the championship series, Parkland broke away late in the third period to hand Northampton a 6-1 loss last Friday at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena. It kept the Trojans’ streak of LVSHL titles alive after being doubted for most of the year.
Cory Border took a break from wrestling when he reached high school to focus mainly on football. But in his senior season, an opportunity came up to get back involved in the sport. He figured, why not?
He probably couldn’t have written a better script as to how it would pan out.
Border won his fifth-place heavyweight match on Saturday in the District 11 Class 3A Wrestling Championships at Liberty High School to punch his ticket to regionals. He held on for a 1-0 victory over East Stroudsburg South’s Daniel Opong-Duah for the final regional spot in the 285-pound weight class.
Many would have expected Parkland and Freedom, the top two teams all season, to meet in the championship series of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League that began on Monday. Parkland held up its side of the deal, but Freedom was nowhere to be found after Northampton upset the Patriots in a one-game playoff game last week.
With Freedom, which entered the postseason unbeaten, out of the equation, No. 2 seeded Parkland became this year’s favorite. And the Trojans took care of business in Game 1.
Parkland didn’t take care of the ball particularly well against Northampton in its two regular season meetings. Nor did it really utilize its size against the Konkrete Kids.
Both of those things changed on Tuesday night in the opening round of the District 11 Class 6A tournament. The Trojans (14-9 overall; 9-7 in EPC) outscored Northampton 18-11 in the fourth quarter to pull away with a 56-43 win at Parkland High School to advance to the quarterfinals.
For nearly the past decade, no one other than Parkland has won the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League. The Trojans are winners of nine straight league championships and 12 in its program history.
But the 2018-19 season has a bit of a different feel for the Trojans (13-2-1). While both of Parkland’s losses have come against unbeaten Freedom, Monday’s regular season finale win over Phillipsburg cemented the No. 2 seed for the Trojans heading into the playoffs.
Parkland believes it has something to prove to the rest of the league. And mainly to unbeaten Freedom.
Guard Jeremiah Anderson and East Stroudsburg South gave Parkland all it could handle on Tuesday night. And the Cavaliers nearly completed their comeback after trailing by 10 points through three quarters.
Instead, Parkland was able to do just enough down the stretch. It’s been the Trojans’ theme for much of the season—finding a way to win.