It was the matchup that many Lehigh Valley high school girls volleyball fans were highly anticipating, a meeting of undefeated teams for a championship. There was a large crowd and the energy could be felt, but one team showed out better than the other.
Top-seeded Parkland took down second-seeded Liberty in straight sets by scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-22 last Thursday night in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title match at Whitehall High School.
“It was definitely hyped up,” said the Trojans’ Elena Pursell, who finished with 10 kills. “I can’t even remember the last time two undefeated teams matched up in the league championship. We tried to just channel the energy into ourselves. We stopped looking at what they would do and focused on our tactics and worked on us. Together, our unity and trust in each other got us this win.”
Set one had eight different ties until the Trojans (19-0 overall) went on a 5-0 run to push their lead to 18-13 as the opening set never got closer from there. Liberty (20-1) took an 8-5 advantage in the second set, but Parkland used another 5-0 run to take the lead back 15-10 and finish it off from there off some kills by Madi Siggins.
Parkland hadn’t dropped a single set all season and Liberty had only fallen in three sets overall, but the Trojans showed why they’re the three-time conference champions and top seed in the tournament.
“Coming into this, they were the number one seed for a reason,” Liberty head coach Connor Swigart said. “If you want to be an athlete, if you want to be a champion, the motivation is inherent. You shouldn’t have to be pushed at this point. I know the kids and I know they’re going to work hard. They’re going to do all the things that are necessary in order to get better.”
Alli Reimer and Ava Adamson both recorded 11 kills. Scarlett Jago tallied 27 digs, and junior setter Maggie Smith and senior defensive specialist Kamira Hoover added nine digs each.
Parkland earned the top seed in this week’s District 11 playoffs and will host the eighth seed, Pocono Mountain West in the quarterfinal round on Thursday.
“It’s so rewarding,” Pursell said. “We’re continuing our undefeated streak, so this set a great tone going into districts.”