Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, December 13, 2019
Press photo by Linda RothrockRichard Melosky chases down a ball during the Zephs win over Northampton. Press photo by Linda RothrockRichard Melosky chases down a ball during the Zephs win over Northampton.

Volleyball pulls away to beat Northampton

Thursday, April 11, 2019 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

Whitehall’s match against Northampton on Friday served as a reminder that toppling one of the area’s best volleyball teams is still a tall task for any Zephyr opponent.

While the Konkrete Kids managed to win the second set, tying the match at 1-1, the Zephyrs dropped the hammer in the third set and dispelled any notion that a win was in store for the visitors.

Whitehall won that pivotal third set 25-9, with Joseph Herman firing a couple of emphatic kills down the stretch to help seal the win.

With Whitehall in command 2-1 in the match, they kept up the pressure in the fourth set as Dylan McGinley asserted himself at the net with four kills and some big blocks to help them get the win over the Kids, 25-21, 15-25, 25-9, 25-17.

It was the first time they’ve dropped a set to an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference opponent all season. And while it was just a set, head coach George Cowitch said that there was no way to sugarcoat that second set.

“We played awful,” said Cowitch. “We weren’t good.”

Cowitch said that they can’t afford to play like that against a team that can play the game, but is still young.

However, the Zephyrs didn’t let that blip have any residual effect and bolted out to a 22-5 lead in the third set. They were getting points from their talented frontcourt trio Herman, McGinley and Alex Khouri were pounding the ball into points.

“Set three is who we are,” said Cowitch.

They closed out the match with a 27-17 victory to earn their sixth win of the year.

He said that they didn’t bring their A-game but still won.

“You got to be happy about that,” Cowitch said.

Cowitch said that dropping a set for the first time in league play can be beneficial as it takes the focus off the question whether they’ll lose a set all season.

“That’s gone so that takes a little pressure off the guys,” said Cowitch.

He said that they pressed a little bit in that second set, and it’s good to know how it feels to be down since they haven’t been pressed. Still, he feels that their woes in that second set were more self inflicted.

Senior setter Rick Melosky said that the match against Northampton showed that they’re not invincible, but their ability to rebound and refocus is what they’ll take from their match against the Kids.

“The second set was a tough one for us; we really struggled,” said Melosky. “We used that as motivation for the third and fourth sets and played our team volleyball.”

He said that they played at their pace in the final two sets and got back to Whitehall volleyball.

Melosky, who had 35 assists and eight digs, said that facing adversity can help a team as it goes through its season. And when they encounter it, it’s something they can’t dwell on.

“We just have to keep going and play the next game,” Melosky said. “Forget about the error if something happens, just forget about it and keep going.”

He said that their focus right now is on each opponent on the opposite side of the net. Emmaus and Freedom may pose their toughest tests, but they can’t afford to look ahead.

“As the day goes by we’ll focus on the next team, but tonight we were just focused on Northampton,” he said.

Herman led the way with 19 kills. He also logged four aces. McGinley had 16 kills, six digs, three blocks and three aces, while Khouri had six kills and two blocks.

The Zephs followed that with a sweep of Tunkhannock, winning 25-5, 25-17, 25-9. McGinley had 11 kills and two aces, while Herman dropped nine kills.