Northampton Press

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Press photo by Linda RothrockAlexa Barowski looks for a kill against Emmaus during Tuesday’s opening round of the EPC playoffs. Press photo by Linda RothrockAlexa Barowski looks for a kill against Emmaus during Tuesday’s opening round of the EPC playoffs.

Volleyball falls to Emmaus

Friday, October 18, 2019 by tom wenborg Special to the Press in Sports

With their first-ever EPC tournament berth on the line, the Northampton girls volleyball team went to Nazareth last Thursday and swept the Blue Eagles 25-20, 25-21 and 25-23.

The Kids still needed some help to qualify in the form of a Pleasant Valley win over Stroudsburg. The Bears took care of the Mountaineers in three sets.

The first playoff game in program history took place Tuesday at Emmaus. The Green Hornets came in as the #1 seed, led by EPC MVP and future Penn Stater, Macy Van Den Elzen.

Northampton had taken Emmaus to the full five sets on Oct. 1, so there was reason to be hopeful of pulling an upset.

However, the Kids turned in a listless performance as they capitulated in straight sets, 25-12, 25-15, and 25-16.

It was obvious from the early stages of the first set that the energy and focus needed to unseat the top seed was not present. Northampton went down 14-4 and never got closer than 9 points.

They put up a little more resistance in the second set. A five-point run in the middle of the set got them to within 13-10, but that was the least the margin would ever be.

The Kids led briefly in the third set at 13-12, but there was no momentum to be found as they were outscored 13-3 to end their tournament.

Head coach Jess Finlayson was perplexed by the team’s lack of fire. “We just have a lot of work to do at practice,” she said. “They need to play together as a team, they need to come out there and have energy, and they need to communicate.

“Tonight, they were silent. And they know all these things, it’s just putting it all into play.”

Northampton’s next game will be its first District XI playoff game. Because District 2 is combined with District XI for girls volleyball, there are still some regular season games to be played that will influence the AAAA seeding.

Delaware Valley, which is at the top of the AAAA power ranking as of Tuesday night, will play their final match on Oct. 21. The district tournament is scheduled to start Oct. 22, which seems like bad planning on someone’s part.

The Kids will either be the 6th or the 7th seed. It’s possible that they could host a pigtail round game on Tuesday, or they might go directly into the quarterfinals next Thursday.

The EPC released their all-star teams this week and senior setter Sydney Heffner earned second team honors after having been named to the third team last year.