Bethlehem Press

Sunday, September 22, 2019

FHS came out swinging

Thursday, May 30, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Freedom came out swinging in their quest to topple Whitehall in the District 11 3A volleyball semifinals, but ultimately didn’t have enough punches to take down the Zephyrs last week.

Whitehall came back after dropping the first set to win three straight [21-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-22]. The Zephyrs went on to knock off Parkland for the district championship, keeping their 22-0 undefeated season going.

Freedom (19-5) saw their shot at qualifying for the state come to an end with the loss, but head coach John Yanek was pleased with how the team competed against one of the state’s top teams.

“We were competitive throughout the match,” said Yanek. “We came out strong, but could not sustain it. Our serve receive broke down and we could not run our offense successfully. We were always then on the defensive. We also had some difficulty blocking. When we got touches on the block we were more successful.”

After winning the first set, Freedom had momentum with an altered lineup, using a different approach to register their first win in a set over the Zephyrs this season.

However, the Zephyrs took control when they were able to move the ball to league MVP Joe Herman, as he registered 31 kills in the match.

“They passed well so their setter could set their big hitters on the outside,” Yanek said. “They saved many balls that seemed to be down for a point for us.”

With the season over, Yanek was happy with how they performed over the course of the season.

He’ll look toward next year’s group, which features David Barnes, Thales Maciel, Ryan Crew, Brandon Achey, Daniel Ramirez and Sebastian Ramirez coming back to lead the team.

“The leadership from the captains was key in our success,” said Yanek. “Most of the team believed that the end product is what counts the most. They didn’t become complacent when the beginning of our season didn’t start out strong.”