If there's one thing that you can say about Paul Abi-Daher, it's that he's not afraid to switch things up. Now he hopes his Bethlehem Catholic volleyball can flip the switch on a week before the Lehigh Valley Conference volleyball playoffs kick off.
The Golden Hawks (12-3,10-2) will be back at full strength this week as they gear up fore the postseason, following a short stint where Abi-Daher chose to rest some of his top players in preparation for the postseason.
The Freedom football team ran into the wrong team at the wrong time. Parkland (5-2 overall, 5-1 LVC) came in winners of four straight, including wins over Whitehall and Nazareth, with their defense pitching two shutouts in that streak of four.
The defense forced five Patriots turnovers, and amassed more than 300 rushing yards in defeating Freedom 41-7 last Friday night at Orefield Middle School.
Liberty's field hockey team has a spot in the Lehigh Valley Conference playoffs locked up heading into this week's final slate of action, but the Hurricanes are looking to finish with momentum following Monday's surprising 1-0 loss to Easton.
Erica Tarsi scored a second half goal for the Rovers (6-9-1) to snap a three-game winning streak by the Hurricanes.
It may not look bright from the outside, but Liberty football coach Dave Brown is about as positive as someone can be with a team looking down the barrel of an 0-6 record as the second week of October approaches.
The Hurricanes fell on the road last week to Central Catholic 42-21 and the name of Colin McDermott stood out again for the Vikings.
McDermott rushed for 289 yards and four touchdowns as Central improved to 3-3 on the season, while Liberty keeps searching for their first win.
Colin McDermott of Central Catholic rushed for 373 yards against Northampton to break his own school record of 279 yards he set in his sophomore year against Clearfield. McDermott also joins the 4,000 yard rushing club with his 4,022 yards, good enough for 19th place all-time in the area. His 6 TDs in the game falls one short of the school record held jointly by Komlan Lonergan and Rob Hauke. He is now tied with Chuck Dibilio of Nazareth for 20th place all-time in the area with 57 career TDs.
Having a third- or fourth-place finish in any conference easily may border on mediocrity, but Becahi head golf coach Tim McGorry can appreciate his team's showing this season in the Lehigh Valley Conference (LVC).
In the ultracompetitive golf division of the LVC, Becahi finished fourth overall tied with Nazareth in the league tournament behind Emmaus, Northampton and Parkland. Ironically, the Golden Hawks also netted a fourth-place finish in the District 11 tournament in a field of 24 teams. Overall, Becahi finished with a 15-2 mark.
Nick Maff didn't know exactly what his lead was coming down the stretch. He got to three under par early in Monday's District 11 golf championship and finished at four under, three strokes better than second-place finisher Evan Notaro of Northampton in the Class AAA tournament.
Maff knew he had to be at or near the top. And the Bethlehem Catholic freshman handled the pressure like a season veteran.
"I got some nerves," said Maff. "I just wanted to par out and not make any stupid mistakes."
Prior to Federica Maranzana's final in the LVC Tennis Tournament last week, the Freedom junior knew that whether she played Avery McCall from Northampton or Colleen Wylie from Parkland, it would be a good match.
At the time, Maranzana had no idea that McCall had just defeated Wylie in a 7-5 tiebreak.
Maranzana said, "I'm excited because last year I got to the final."
This year, Maranzana won the final, 10-3, and LVC gold at number three singles.
After an unblemished week of picks, I've come to realize that it's not that hard picking games around here this year.
The reality is that there aren't any super teams in the Valley like we've had in the past in either conference, with Catasauqua being the lone exception of a team that appears to be superior to everyone in their league.
Easton could have two losses on its resume at this point, Parkland looks to be heating up and Central Catholic is making a push in the poll.
Who will take another step toward the playoffs this week? Check out the picks below.
A week ago the Bethlehem Catholic volleyball team took the opening game in dominant fashion 25-18 over defending state champ Parkland. The Golden Hawks would lose the next three, but were in each one.
Becahi (10-2) bounced back, however, in a matchup of two of the top three teams in the Lehigh Valley Conference last Thursday night, defeating Emmaus 26-24, 25-19, 25-23.
Senior outside hitter Lauren Hess led the way with 19 kills. Hess was seemingly anywhere and everywhere Maddie Titus set the ball.