Volleyball falls to PHS for first loss
The Whitehall boys volleyball team has started off 2016 unblemished through their first three games. Wins against Quakertown to open the season and then Eastern Pennsylvania Conference opponents Northampton and Nazareth the following two, had put the Zephyrs at 3-0.
But Whitehall ran into a freight train in defending PIAA champion Parkland last Tuesday night. The Trojans swept the Zephyrs 3-0 by scores of 25-18, 25-14, and 25-18 to give Whitehall its first loss of the year.
“We talked to the guys coming in about what to expect from them,” said head coach George Cowitch. “They’re a great team. We had struggled hitting the ball our first two games, but starting with the Nazareth game I thought we started hitting well. In some of the games tonight I thought we got a little tight and missed some good hitting opportunities. But that is something that we can fix. I thought we played them tough overall though.”
And the Zephyrs were in each game until the very end, making the Trojans work for each point. They actually held a lead, in game one as the teams traded points until it was 8-8.
Parkland senior Andrew Hillman, an Ohio State commit, had a large part in the three game sweep of Whitehall. Offensively he had eight kills but also dished out 20 assists, and had two blocks on defense. But what really fueled the Trojans offense was his five aces.
During the first game, the two teams traded points, but Parkland could never take a lead until Hillman’s three straight service aces put them ahead 11-8, where they held on from there.
Hillman had his hand in four straight points for the Trojans in the final game, as they took a 4-0 lead and never led by less than three. Senior Andrew Fine’s kill gave Parkland the match at 25-18.
But besides game two, where the Trojans took a 16-11 lead and scored nine of the last twelve points, it was a battle to get the match win.
“I think our conference is really tough,” noted Cowitch. “We had to play Northampton, which is traditionally a great program, and Nazareth always plays well. And then there’s Parkland. So our division is a killer. I like the way that we’ve been playing so far. We’re always going to play everyone tough. We just have to eliminate errors, more so than we did tonight.”
Logan McGinley and Myles Thomas tallied seven kills. Nick Herman had six kills, and Joey Maamari contributed 24 assists.