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Kids top WHS in volleyball

On paper, the rivalry volleyball match between Northampton and Whitehall on Tuesday looked like it could be a compelling contest.

Both teams had suffered through rough starts to the season but had rebounded in recent weeks. The Zephyrs had won 3 of their previous 5 matches and the K-Kids had taken 4 of their last 7.

Each set started competitively, but Northampton took the match in straight sets, 25-14, 25-13, 25-20.

Whitehall head coach Cristal Fernandez summed up the proceedings, “When we came in we thought it could go either way. Three, four, or five sets, win or lose. For the first 10 points it was back and forth, but once they reached 11 before we did, we stopped playing. They had great servers and took us out of our serve receive, and our pattern and our groove. We want effort over results and the way we played the first 10 points in the first two sets and the way we played in the third is what I want all the time.”

In the first set, the Zephs got out to a 5-2 lead and it was even at 10 before the K-Kids ran off 5 points in a row and never looked back.

Whitehall led 3-1 early in the second set and the score was 7-all before Morgan Chandler’s serve keyed a 10-point Northampton rally that effectively clinched the set for the K-Kids.

In the third set, the Zephyrs held a lead as late as 13-12 and it was all square at 17 before a 5-point run by Northampton put them up for good.

The loss dropped Whitehall to 3-10 for the season. The K-Kids improved to 5-7 with 6 matches to go.

Northampton’s quest to qualify for districts took a major hit due to an ankle injury suffered by outside hitter Claire Erdman. Erdman had been playing at an EPC All-Star level, but severely stretched the ligaments in her right ankle and will miss the rest of the season.

Kids’ head coach Mike Holihan addressed the team postseason prospects, “We can’t dwell on it. Making districts this year is going to be a challenge. We can only absorb 2 more losses and we still have some top-tier teams left on the schedule (Parkland, Central, and Emmaus). We’ll see what happens.”

Morgan Chandler, Alyx Cole, and Quinn Micheli shared the lead in kills for Northampton with 7. Claire Luckenbach had 6. Addie Morgan dished out 25 assists. Lizzy Sheldon had 17 digs defensively. Jessie Domchek had 11.

For the Zephyrs, Kyra Miller led the way with 8 kills. Keona Spooner had 6. Jenna Conrad was credited with 16 assists. Alexis Barhoum had 14 digs for Whitehall. Conrad chipped in 7.