The seventh-seeded Northampton volleyball team defeated Wyoming Valley West 3-1 inside Whitehall High School on Thursday, May 18, to advance to the quarterfinals of the District 11 playoffs.
Coming into the match Northampton held a record of 9-7 on the year after having only three victories the year prior.
“We knew Wyoming Valley West, they have a couple of key hitters and we knew what to do to keep the ball away from them,” said Northampton head coach David Faust. “We’ve come a long way. We were hoping to finish this game 3-0 but Wyoming played well and earned a set.”
Any athlete or team always wants to be at their best when the postseason comes around.
For Northampton pole vaulter Lexi Barrall, her season started off strong, but entering the East Penn Conference meet was a bit of a different story.
Barrall said she PR’ed [Personal Record] clearing 10 feet in the first few meets of the regular season, but then got stuck at that mark for a while.
Northampton’s softball team drove the message home in the fourth inning by scoring five runs against Pocono Mountain East and won its first round District XI 6A playoff game, 11-1, on Tuesday.
“We were hoping to, and we’re always expecting to,” said Northampton coach Kevin Mann. “We handled them pretty easily last time, but they’re a young team.”
The Kids had a 3-0 lead after two innings, but the Cardinals had runners on first and second base on errors to start the third before Northampton pitcher Taylor Keeney had a strike out, forced a fly ball, and forced a pop up.
For Northampton, unfortunately, the third time wasn’t the time.
The Konkrete Kids met Parkland for the third time this season, this latest time around in the quarterfinal round of the East Penn Conference playoffs Monday afternoon.
The seventh-seeded Kids couldn’t turn the trick, as they fell 4-0 to the second-seeded Trojans. Earlier in their two regular season meetings, the Kids were also blanked on both occasions, 8-0 on April 11, and 3-0 on May 8.
The following are results from last week’s track and field meet along with the top Northampton finisher where it applies.
100 – 1. Julian Liaci (Naz) 10.67, 2. Eddie Brown (ESN) 11.04, 3. Julian Colon (Park) 11.15, 4. Khalil Edwards (PMW) 11.17;
200 – 1. Julian Liaci (Naz) 21.83, 2. Jahvanne Alexander (WA) 22.39, 3. Eddie Brown (ESN) 22.54, 4. Julian Colon (Park) 22.67;
400 – 1. Javier Hernandez (WA) 50.32, 2. Connor Tempro (Park) 50.85, 3. Omari Slocombe (ESS) 50.92, 4. Zahir Linton (Whi) 51.93, 15. Jared Jackson (Nor) 52.96;
Mike Ettl began this season as a member of the Northampton baseball team with a simple philosophy.
“I just want to throw strikes,” said the junior hurler. “I’m not always worrying about striking people out. I’m just always thinking strikes.”
His motto has had residual effect for him and his team. Ettl threw six impressive, four-hit shutout innings in a 5-0 win over Allen April 13. It was his third win of the season in as many outings at the time, as he has worked with a fastball, curveball and slider in his arsenal, his fastball being clocked at nearly 80.
The Northampton track and field team had a very strong showing at the East Penn Conference track and field meet last week, as they got set for the District 11 meet this week.
Alexis Barrall took first place in the girls pole vault to lead the way for the Kids. She cleared 10-0 to lead all other competitors, including Savanah Rivera of Whitehall who was second with a 9-0.
Barrall entered as the second seed, according to the Press’ most recent track and field top performance list with a 10-3, behind only Stroudsburg’s Alexandra Guardo who had a top seed height of 11-0.
The Northampton softball team knew it had a tough draw as the No. 8 seed facing No. 1 Parkland in the first round of the EPC softball playoffs. But the Kids could gain some confidence in the fact that they had played the undefeated Trojans to a one-run loss just four days before their playoff match up.
But Parkland also remembered that game. The Trojans used the first meeting as motivation for the playoff game, where they put up nine runs in the first three innings en route to a 9-1 win over Northampton Friday at Parkland High School.
The East Penn Conference volleyball playoffs will wrap up with Wednesday’s championship match between Emmaus and Whitehall, but the District 11 3A tournament will kick into action immediately on Thursday night with the pigtail and quarterfinal rounds taking place.
Northampton (9-7) comes into Thursday’s action as the seventh-seed, as they’ll square off at Whitehall against tenth-seeded Wyoming Valley West tonight at 5:30 p.m.
The winner will then advance to take on the second-seeded Zephyrs at 7 p.m.
The East Penn Conference softball playoffs will look to beat the rain and get under way Friday afternoon.
By virtue of a perfect mark, the Parkland Trojans are this year’s number-one seed. They will face off against Northampton, which sneaks in as the number-eight seed. The two, of course, are very familiar Skyline Division opponents.
Liberty will take the second seed after finishing 14-2 in the EPC. They will take on seven-seed Whitehall, which is coming off a 9-8 shootout loss to Easton on Thursday afternoon in a game that featured seeding implications.