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Trojans get revenge in championship

The Emmaus High School boys volleyball team won a thrilling, five-set match over rival Parkland in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship match on May 15. It was the second straight match this year that the two teams went down to the final set to decide the winner.

Part three did not go five, but it was just as competitive.

The Green Hornets played off their tall and athletic outside hitters in the conference final. This time around, the Trojans game planned around that, and it worked. They were not going to lose twice in a matter of two weeks in the postseason to their rival. Parkland knocked off Emmaus 3-1, by scores of 25-21, 23-25, 25-21 and 25-20 last Thursday evening at Allen High School in the District 11 Class 6A final. Both teams advance to this week’s PIAA State Tournament.

“We knew it was going to be hard to beat them again in another final,” said head coach Ken Dunkle. “They had a good game plan and played with a lot of energy this time around.”

The Green Hornets played with a lot of energy inside the small gymnasium of Central Catholic’s Rockne Hall during the EPC final, as their crowd was loud and backed them with every point.

Parkland head coach Scott Trumbauer described his strategy of how he thought Emmaus could be beaten.

“Taking away the outside was 100 percent the game plan because we know they have two very good outside hitters,” Trumbauer said. “That’s no secret. That’s what got them here. That’s why they will be playing in the state tournament.”

Just like with every other match between Parkland and Emmaus this year, it was a back-and-forth affair. The Trojans won the first set, and outside of the final score, mostly maintained at least a five-point advantage throughout and were never troubled. The Green Hornets answered right back, jumping out to a nearly double-digit lead after just 12 points (10-2). The score would be deadlocked three different times, but they were able to hold on in the end to tie the match at 1-1.

But Parkland took control of the match in the third set, never trailing, and then carried that momentum into the fourth to secure district gold.

Kyle McKiernan tallied a match-high 15 kills, and added nine digs. Nick Blose recorded seven kills and 12 digs, Ben Maskiell contributed 19 assists and 10 digs, and Gannon DeFrain added 13 assists. Hadyn Child totaled a team-high 17 digs.

Emmaus took on the District 2 champion Delaware Valley in the first round of states Tuesday, which was played after Press deadline.

PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Jacques Curley-Katrishan serves to Parkland during the District 11 Championship match.
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Gannon DeFrain spikes a ball during the District 11 title match.