Bethlehem Press

Sunday, October 22, 2017

BC rally falls short in volleyball quarters

Friday, October 28, 2016 by cj hemerly Special to the Press in Sports

Bethlehem Catholic girls volleyball head coach Paul Abi-Daher knew his team was going to be in for a battle all night when the fourth seeded Golden Hawks (13-4 overall, 13-3 EPC) took on number five seed Emmaus (14-6 overall, 13-5 EPC) last Tuesday evening at home in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference quarterfinal round matchup.

Besides the close seedings and records, the two teams have met in the postseason in recent years, and have been tight contests. Tuesday night was no different.

After Becahi took two of the first three games in front of a raucous home crowd, the Green Hornets rallied to win the final two games and take the match 3-2 by scores of 25-21, 14-25, 18-25, 25-22, 18-16. Emmaus advanced to the semifinals, where they fell to eventual runner-up Parkland.

“Both teams played really hard and are very competitive,” said Abi-Daher. “They are both great teams, and on any given night either one can win. The top 4 or 5 teams in the conference is anyone’s game. It just comes down to the little things that you do during games that goes a long way towards winning. It was just their night.”

Emmaus came into the Hawk’s nest running. They never trailed in the opening game, and used some powerful serves from their setter Caroline Bond in going on a run that gave them an 11-point lead twice. Becahi made it close in the end, but the Green Hornets finished it off in the end.

“When we fell behind 16-5 in the first set, it looked like it was going to be a long night for us,” noted Abi-Daher. “But we came back and made it close. That type of hard work went over into the second and third games and we played really well. We fell short in the fourth game, and were just one shot short in the fifth. It could’ve gone our way, but didn’t, and that’s volleyball.”

But the Hawks came out with a lot of energy in the second game. They took their first lead of the match during the fifth point of the second game to make the score 3-2. They would add on to the lead and also hold two different, 11-point advantages on their way to a 25-14 win.

Game three was more of the same as Becahi scored three straight points, and never trailed, going on a run after the score was tied at 13 to finish off a 25-18 victory.

“After we won those two games, I thought game four would be ours,” Abi-Daher added. “We had all of the momentum and the crowd was fired up, but give them credit for fighting back.”

Game four was back-and-forth. There were four lead changes, and the largest lead was a four-point edge by Emmaus, twice. Becahi got it as close as 23-21, but just couldn’t put together that final run to overtake the Green Hornets.

Not only did the match go the distance of five games, but the final game went to extra play.

With Emmaus up 14-11, and only needing one point to win, Abi-Daher called timeout. The Hawks responded with their backs to the wall and tallied three straight to tie the game at 14.

The game was tied two more times, before the Green Hornets scored on two consecutive possessions to win the game 18-16 and take the match.

Becahi now has its sights set on the District 11 AAA tournament, where they have had a lot of recent success.

“We will work on some things and be ready for it,” stated Abi-Daher. “We’ll have the first round at home and then two more rounds to get it done. It will probably come down to us and Central again, and we will have to take care of the little things like I said.”