Hawks fall in states
All good things must come to an end, but for Bethlehem Catholic's volleyball team, it was just a bit too early.
The Golden Hawks lost in their PIAA 2A opener last Thursday to Pope John Paul II in four games at William Tennent High School.
The Panthers (19-0) won 27-25, 25-22, 11-25 and 25-16 and kept their undefeated season going by winning their quarterfinal over the weekend against Berks Catholic to advance to yesterday's semifinals.
Despite the loss, Becahi head coach Paul ABi-Daher knows it was an experience the team can build from as they move forward with the loss of three seniors.
"None of our players have been to states before and I think they see it's a different level of play," said Abi-Daher. "I don't think we were nervous, but we did come out flat. It's a tough game to pin down on what exactly went wrong."
As Abi-Daher knew coming into the match, Pope John Paul II, the District One champion, was quite the test defensively, as the Panthers were able to dig many balls that other teams in the area haven't been able to.
Having that defensive prowess helped hold off Becahi's offensive thrust and their 2012 campaign, but Abi-Daher isn't walking away without a sense of accomplishment.
The Hawks won their first district title in three years, beat Central Catholic for the first time in 16 years and got a victory over Emmaus and pushed Parkland to five games.
Lauren Hess is the lone starter that will graduate from the team, as well as seniors Maddie Lopez and Jen Wilson.
With an experienced squad returning next season, Abi-Daher knows his team will have to meet expectations again.
"We'll have to find a replacement for Lauren, but I see this team expecting to win districts again next year," he said. "I hope we can make a further push in states because we are going to be a more mature team next season."