EPC playoff race looking wide open
The East Penn Conference volleyball tournament kicked off on Tuesday night, past Press deadlines, but all three Bethlehem teams were looking to make a run at the EPC title.
Fourth-seeded Freedom hosted fifth-seeded Bethlehem Catholic in Tuesday’s showdown, a week after both teams met in regular season play where the Hawks pushed Freedom to a five-game set before ultimately succumbing.
With the EPC race seemingly wide-open, Freedom head coach Donna Roman understands that anyone can grab the league crown.
“We have never seen this kind of parity in the league and that makes for a very interesting postseason,” said Roman. “It certainly makes for an interesting matchup for Freedom and Beca, since we split in the regular season.”
The winner of Tuesday’s match would presumably face top-seeded Emmaus during Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal round at Nazareth.
The Hornets take on eighth-seeded Northampton in their opener.
On the bottom side of the bracket, Central Catholic and Parkland face off in a three-six matchup, while Liberty comes in as the second-seed. They faced seventh-seeded Pleasant Valley Tuesday and should move on to Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal round at Nazareth as well.
Could we see two Bethlehem teams in the final four? Roman certainly hopes her team is one of them.
“For us to be successful, we need to be very defensive,” said Roman. “Beca has some strong firepower, especially from their lefty, MacKenzy Ruggiero.
“Our biggest challenge is that Beca is a very strong defensive team. They do not make many mistakes and they make very athletic plays. That coupled with their hitting makes them a huge challenge.”