Bethlehem Press

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Michael Vargas and the Hurricanes will likely need to win against Freedom to make the EPC playoffs. Michael Vargas and the Hurricanes will likely need to win against Freedom to make the EPC playoffs.

LHS, FHS in race for leagues

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

The race for the final EPC playoff spot in boys’ volleyball will likely come down to Friday’s regular season finale date and both Liberty and Freedom will be squarely in the mix.

The Pates (15-3, 11-3) and Hurricanes (11-3, 10-3) meet on Friday at Memorial Gymnasium in what could determine who gets the fourth and final spot in the league playoffs.

With Whitehall (14-0) being the only team that has locked in a spot in next week’s tournament, the race for the final three spots will come down to Parkland (12-2, 11-2), Emmaus (12-3, 12-3), as well as Liberty and Freedom.

The Hurricanes have four matches this week with Easton, Nazareth, Pocono Mountain West and Freedom, while the Pates just have showdowns with Becahi and Liberty.

Parkland still has to play Emmaus and Whitehall this week and the Green Hornets only have one match this week, being the Parkland contest.

With all that said, nobody knows how anything will play out until the end of the week, giving the EPC an exciting finish down the stretch.

“While I can’t say for sure, it looks like the final EPC spot will be determined on Friday,” said Liberty head coach Neiad Ammary. “It really depends on what criteria the league values. We lost to Emmaus in five sets in the first match of the season, but we just came back and beat them in four sets last week. The league may only consider the results from the first match, which would be unfortunate for us. Emmaus could also pick up another loss this week against Parkland. If so, that would give us a better record than them overall, but I’m not sure how it’s going to play out.”

This will be the second time Freedom and Liberty have met this season and it plays out perfectly for a regular season finale against a city rival.

“The match against Freedom will be big for several reasons,” Ammary said. “Emotions will be running high simply because it’s a rivalry. When you also consider the postseason implications and the rumors that the “Bell” (a coveted object the two schools battle for the right to keep every year) may be at stake, it adds another level of drama. We managed to get past them last month at the Bobcat Invitational, but it was a really competitive match. I expect they will be a better team at this point in the season and will be looking for some revenge.”

Freedom has won 10 of its past 11 matches, but dropped a four-set affair to Parkland last week, as they continually look to stump the Trojans. The Pates come into the week, just like Liberty, understanding that Friday’s match is pivotal, with the winner likely moving on to the EPC race.

Bethlehem Catholic (9-6, 9-6) has qualified for the District 11 2A tournament and finish out the season with Freedom, Southern Lehigh and Easton on the docket before prepping for the postseason.