Bethlehem Press

Monday, September 16, 2019
Press photo by Don HerbFreedom’s Thales Maciel and the Patriots fell to Whitehall in the EPC finals last week. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ Press photo by Don HerbFreedom’s Thales Maciel and the Patriots fell to Whitehall in the EPC finals last week. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Patriots fall in EPC finals

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by peter car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Whitehall has been Goliath this year on the volleyball court, but Freedom tried their best David act when things came to a head Tuesday night in the semifinal round of the District 11 3A tournament.

The Pates (19-4) and Zephyrs (21-0) were set for a rematch of the EPC championship, where Whitehall won in a three-game sweep. The results of last night’s contest were past Press deadlines, but head coach John Yanek felt his team had a fighting chance, despite being swept by the Zephs twice this season.

“We need to serve aggressively so that they cannot run their offense successfully,” said Yanek. “We need to do a better job at blocking their OH and OPP hitters and we need to play defense in the correct areas that they hit. We have to make sure our sets are to the pin so our hitters have options to hit.”

With Whitehall being the clear-cut, top team in the area, facing the Zephs in the district semifinals is a dose of bad luck for the Pates, but it’s also an opportunity that Yanek and his team will take in stride.

“We actually have a good mindset going in,” Yanek said. “We believe third time is the charm just as it was against Parkland. We have nothing to lose.”

Liberty’s ride through the postseason came to a conclusion last week when they lost to Parkland in four games of the district quarters. The Hurricanes finished the season 14-5.

Bethlehem Catholic (12-8) has moved onto the District I/II/XI 2A Subregional semifinals and faced Abington Heights in Tuesday’s round.

A victory would push the Hawks to a meeting with Holy Redeemer or Tunkhannock in Thursday’s championship. Should Becahi lose in the semifinals, they’d then play in the third place match on Thursday.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position to advance to states,” said head coach Jeff Koch.