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Northampton volleyball team off to 3-1 start

One year after injuries derailed their defense of the 2022 district championship, the Northampton boys volleyball team is off to an encouraging 3-1 start to the 2024 campaign.

Their lone home match so far was their 3-set sweep against Pocono Mountain East last Friday in Pete Schneider Gymnasium.

While the match was a sweep, the individual sets were tightly contested as the K-Kids won 26-24, 25-22, 25-21.

Northampton got off to a shaky start, falling behind 12-6, prompting an early timeout by head coach Sue Arndt. The Kids responded by running off 7 straight points to claim their first lead of the match 13-12.

From there, the score seesawed back and forth with neither team able to separate themselves by more than a point or two. Senior captain Landon Nickischer finally finished off the set with a crosscourt spike, one of his team-leading 9 kills on the evening.

The K-Kids controlled the second set from the get-go. They built a 24-16 lead, highlighted by a Nickischer split second reaction kick over the net that extended a rally that Northampton eventually won. The Cardinals did win the next six points to create some tension, but an attempted spike to get them to within a point went harmlessly into the net.

The two squads went toe-to-toe in the final set with East holding a 19-18 lead late in the proceedings. Northampton ran off three points at that juncture and Nickischer closed out the match with a jump serve that the Cardinals failed to get back over the net in three hits.

Arndt summed up the Kids’ early season performance, “We’ve been working really hard on the gelling part of it. But we also need time to grow. And sometimes they don’t allow the time to grow and they’re in a hurry to get it done now. They’ve got to get over mistakes quicker and get ready for the next point.”

The K-Kids have a pair of home matches over the next few days. Tonight, they go up against Nazareth. The Blue Eagles are 3-0 on the young season. On Monday, they tackle Pocono Mountain West. The Panthers are still looking for their first win of the season.