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Pates cool off BC

Bethlehem Catholic’s volleyball team has learned from their early season mishaps to hopefully become the postseason threat that they always seem to be.

After dropping two of their first three matches of the season, the Hawks (9-3) have won eight of nine matches, but couldn’t get some revenge on Freedom following Monday’s loss in four games 30-28, 14-25, 25-19, 25-21.

Head coach Kelly Brown was excited about being able to face one of those teams that knocked them off earlier this season in Freedom’s Monday night clash.

“We were extremely excited about taking on Freedom again because they are a great team,” said Brown. “Last matchup against them was extremely competitive and a nail biter. We were expecting this to be another great match.”

Alaina Roman had 21 kills and 22 digs for the Pates, while Elizabeth Barnes contributed 14 kills and 16 digs.

Taking on Freedom (12-1) proved to be a good gauge for the Hawks at this point of the season, as they tune up for the stretch run, even though Monday didn’t work out the way Brown had hoped.

“As a whole, we have finally come together and played as one since the start of the season,” said Brown. “We have had the talent, but we just needed to figure out how to put it together as a whole team and we have done that the last couple of weeks. They have been more focused at practices and giving it their all these past couple of games and it has shown. We cannot wait to see what the rest of the season has to offer.”

The Hawks finish out the week with Easton (5-8) and Liberty (8-4), as they chase Pottsville (10-0) for the top spot in the District 11 3A power rankings.

They’re also battling for a spot in the EPC playoffs, as they came into the week ranked fourth in the conference behind Freedom, Parkland (10-0) and Emmaus (11-1).

The Pates are right at the top of the 4A power ratings and the conference race, as they finish the week out with Nazareth (9-4), Notre Dame (5-3) and Easton.

Liberty has Dieruff (3-11) and Bethlehem Catholic left this week, as the Hurricanes took some weight off their shoulders by knocking off Nazareth in fives games (25-21 19-25 16-25 25-20 15-8) Monday night to clinch a district berth.

Press photo by Mark Kirlin Freedom's Sam Simmers (17) and Grace Hercik (10) look to make a play during the Pates victory over Bethlehem Catholic.