Bethlehem Press

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Patriots clinch district volleyball playoff spot

Thursday, October 5, 2017 by Peter Car in Sports

Freedom’s magic number for clinching a district berth was one win and the Patriots achieved that during Monday night’s 3-0 sweep over Allen.

The win puts the Pates at 9-4, solidifying their spot in the postseason, as they head into Wednesday’s key battle with Bethlehem Catholic (9-3), who also clinched a berth on Monday with a sweep over Dieruff.

For Pates head coach Donna Roman, Monday’s win cemented one of the preseason goals for the team.

“One of our goals for the season was to clinch a district berth,” said Roman. “That added extra excitement to our match, which already was going to be special because we also awarded seniors Bella Pompa, Julia Roman and Hailey Silfies players with their Academic All-State Team certificates.

“Wednesday’s match against Becahi is big for us. We played very well against Becahi in our season opening First Kill Tournament, but we didn’t perform when we faced them in our September match. Our focus will be on limiting our unforced errors, and aggressive serving and attacking. Becahi’s strength was their defense, and an aggressive offense that will be our key to battling their defense.”

Beating the Hawks would be a hallmark victory for the team, as Freedom has struggled to knock off any of the EPC’s top teams this season, including losing by sweeps to Becahi on September 22 and last Thursday’s loss to Liberty (11-1).

“We battled Central Catholic [in a 3-1 loss], but we have also fallen short this season with losses Becahi and Liberty,” Roman said. “We squandered early leads and gave away points with unforced errors.”

Dieruff (3-9) and Nazareth (10-3) round out the weekend for the Patriots’ four-match slate this week.

Becahi starts this week with three straight matches, followed by Tuesday’s contest with Southern Lehigh (8-2) and Wednesday’s meeting with Freedom.

Liberty looks to keep pace at the top of the EPC race, as they swept Easton (5-7) on Monday night, followed by Wednesday’s meeting with Allen.

Liberty enters this week in second place in the EPC standings behind Central.