EHS volleyball falls in D-11 title game
The Emmaus girls volleyball team entered the district final after some fine performances to end their season and through the playoffs.
The Hornets ended the regular season by taking five-time defending district champion Parkland five games before falling, 3-2. It was the first time all season the Trojans lost a set.
Emmaus earned the No. 3 seed for the District 11 Class 4A tournament and knocked off No. 5 Pleasant Valley in the first round then took down top seed Pocono Mountain West 3-0 in the semifinals.
In the district title match, the Hornets hung with Parkland for the first half of each game, but the Trojans pulled away at the end of all of them for a 25-15, 25-14, 25-17 win and their sixth straight district title.
“I feel like we just came out scared and timid and we never really calmed down from it to play aggressively,” said Emmaus head coach Brianne Giangiobbe. “The girls care about this sport so much and put so much pressure on the game that I think it kind of put them in a rough patch to start and then we couldn’t really rebound from it.”
In the first game, the Hornets stayed within striking distance for a while, trailing by no more than two points until Parkland pulled out to a 15-10 lead in the middle of the game and never led by less than three the rest of the set.
In game two, Emmaus was ahead 9-8 before the Trojans ran off five straight points to take a 13-9 lead that stretched to 21-13 late in the game.
The final game was tied 14-14 before Parkland took the lead and extended it to 23-15 before sealing the win.
The unbeaten Trojans were the No. 2 seed and beat No. 7 Pocono Mountain East in the first round and then went five games with Freedom before winning the semifinal 3-2 over the Patriots.
Trojan head coach Mike Krause said his team team’s regular season finale against Emmaus was a motivating factor for the district title game.
“When we played at Emmaus we didn’t play as sharp,” Krause said. “They’re a good team and they made us do some things. We looked at some film about it and saw things we can control to get better and that motivated them to get better in practice.”
Emmaus (8-3) ends another successful season in the district final for the second consecutive year after having lost to the Trojans in last year’s title game.
“We have six seniors graduating, pretty much two from our starting line up,” said Giangiobbe. “We have a lot of depth on the team so I’m confident next year we’ll be able to perform. But we’re going to miss our seniors.”
All six seniors have been with the program for all four years of high school. They are Isabelle Huzar, Natalia Williams, Jaya Bhagat, Lily Johnson, Phoebe Lingold and Makenzie Krasley.
While the loss in the district final stung, the team was happy to have gotten all the way through a season that just a few months ago was in jeopardy of being canceled.
“The fact that we even had a season – awesome,” said Giangiobbe. “We came into practice every day, worked hard and were ready to go. They really walked into the gym taking practice seriously and taking advantage of the fact they we were even in a gym.
“Without having club season, which is a huge part of volleyball, they really just came back ready to play from day one. A reflection of the season is to look at each match from the beginning of the season to the end of the season and say ‘did I get better?’ They really did.”