Volleyball reaches EPC title match
High school fall sports teams got back to a full schedule of matches in 2021 after a shortened 2020 season. Results remained mostly the same in East Penn Conference girls volleyball.
Parkland went undefeated during the regular season, which culminated last week when the Trojans defeated Emmaus Thursday night 25-15, 25-16 and 25-11. The Trojans finished 17-0 overall and 16-0 in the EPC.
The previous match between the two teams on September 30 was a lot closer on the scoreboard, but according to Parkland head coach Mike Krause, his team followed a better game plan this time around.
“The team showed they can make adjustments in their preparation from a previous match,” said Krause. “We reviewed the video from when we played at Parkland and saw some areas we could change to help us defend against Emmaus and to help us in our serve receive. Our team showed the ability to follow the game plan and adjust as we identified areas Emmaus was using as their strength.”
The win gave the Trojans momentum heading into the postseason.
“It is very rewarding for the team to have an undefeated regular season finishing with a win at Emmaus,” Krause said. “Their gym brings a lot of challenges in many areas and I felt our girls adapted to those challenges very well. It is nice for the girls to have a favorable outcome from all the preparation they put into the regular season. And to finish it off with a rivalry win always makes it special.”
Behind the offensive attack of Brynn Dreisbach, who finished with 14 kills, the defensive prowess of Scarlett Jago and Sydney Johnston, who each had 13 digs, and the contribution of Maggie Smith, who totaled 28 assists, the Trojans finished off a perfect run in league play.
“The team worked really hard developing consistency on a daily basis,” said Krause. “We trained as if every day had to have a high level of play whether it was in practice or in competition. Our drills and workouts had a high intensity established by our seniors. The seniors were great at modeling how to practice and how to implement what we did at practice into competition against every opponent. Our senior leaders made sure of that. A lot of the credit goes to the seniors and the coaches creating those expectations and challenging the team to meet those expectations.”
Parkland defeated Pocono Mountain East 25-12, 25-12, 25-9 in the EPC quarterfinals Saturday. Dreisbach led the way with 11 kills, six digs and two aces. Sydney Esquieres had eight kills , while Emma Stalsitz added five aces. Setter Maggie Smith had 32 assists and six digs.
The top-seeded Trojans took down No. 5 seed Liberty Tuesday, 27-25, 25-11, 25-15. Dreisbach had 15 kills and 12 digs against the Hurricanes. Elena Pursell added 12 kills and a pair of blocks, while Jago had 21 digs in the win and Smith posted 40 assists and six digs. Esquieres had seven kills and Alli Reimer chipped in with six kills.
Parkland looks to win another league title and solidify its state and regional rankings when it takes on No. 3 seed Emmaus Thursday evening at Rockne Hall at 6 p.m.
“The challenge of living up to the expectations that come with a number one ranking in the state and a No. 2 ranking in the USA today Poll for the five-state Mid-Atlantic region is exciting,” Krause said. “The girls focus on playing and preparing to go against team’s best efforts. We have to be balanced in all facets of the game, our serve receive, our defense, our hitting, our serving and our transitional play has been fun to watch when we are in the gym practicing. The girls demonstrated they can carry that over into competition. I am excited to see how they handle the challenges of post-season play with Saturday matches and neutral sites in competition.”