Zephs faced challenges
With a loss to Notre Dame-Green Pond, the Whitehall girls volleyball team wasn't able to advance to the postseason this year.
They needed to win one of their two remaining games in order to secure a berth in the District 11 playoffs, but were swept by the Crusaders at home, 25-23, 28-26 and 25-16.
That loss ended their year and wrapped up the 2014 season for the Zephs who finished at 8-10 overall, 7-9 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
It was a year of transition for the Zephs who welcomed a new coach.
Laura Hausman took over the program this year and made some changes, installing a new system that took a while to get adjusted to as they embarked on life in the competitive Skyline Division of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
"It was really tough; we had a tough schedule, a tough season," said Hausman. "To take over a program and change a lot of things were rough with the lack of time.
"We did the best we could. The girls put in as much as they could. They gave a good effort and we just fell short in a couple of games."
With the advent of the EPC, the Zephs had to play a number of teams inside their division who could challenge for a state title. The new alignment placed them among teams who had a combined 54-25 record this season.
With the transition to a new coaching staff and a new system, as well as the adjustment to a new conference, the Zephs were tasked with winning with a young squad against some formidable competition in the Skyline division. All those factors combined to make it a challenging season, according to Hausman.
"It was an uphill battle all the way," said Hausman.
As they look ahead to next season, Hausman said it will be important to move them out of their comfort zone. This season they rotated systems, altered their line-ups, and kept tweaking things as the season progressed.
"They were pretty workable in that they were able to change," said Hausman. "They were willing to try it."
It really amounted to trying to make a brand new team this year, she said.
Still, they had some bright spots. Senior Tanesia Rehrig was a veritable dig machine, keeping the ball in play. In the frontcourt, seniors Rebecca Lutterschmidt and Liz Lynch combined to give them some solid scoring at the net, while Cristal Fernandez supplied some demoralizing blocks as a middle hitter.
Additionally, juniors Korin Kohler and Emily Castro are strong building blocks as they look to get back to the district dance in 2015.
This season was a learning experience for everyone, said Hausman.
"That's really what it was," she said.
Jordan Young - Bethlehem Catholic - MVP
Courtney Horace - Easton
Mackenzie O'Brien - Emmaus
Kristin Krause - Parkland
Siena Salvaggio - Parkland
Brooke Faust - Nazareth
Avery Perosa - Parkland - Libero
Darcy Wolf - Allentown Central Catholic
Jess Attieh - Bethlehem Catholic
Megan Forstburg - Emmaus
Brooke Robertson - Parkland
Brook Lichty - Nazareth
Lauren Heess - Liberty
Sydney Pickering - Emmaus - Libero
Stroudsburg - Britney Hewitt; Nazareth - Katrina Ruggerio, Zoe Attinello; Pleasant Valley - Kalli Walling, Bridget Lozier; Liberty - Kayla Wirth, Amanda Rachwal; Easton- Kennedy Lewis; Freedom - Meghan Edmund; Allentown Central Catholic - Morgan Shoemaker; Pocono Mountain West - Jackie Benitez; Whitehall - Rebecca Lutterschmidt, Cristal Fernandez; Northampton - Sarah Faust; Parkland - Erika Foose; Bethlehem Catholic - Julie Kollar