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Volleyball team sits at 15-1 this season

After losing to Parkland to open the season, the Whitehall boys volleyball team made sure that the Trojans wouldn’t complete the regular season sweep on the Zephyrs’ home court.

The match began with the visiting Trojans taking the first set, 25-18, serving notice that they were ready to hand the Zephyrs their second loss of the year. The Trojans had been undefeated up to that point, and they had now gained that all-important first set victory that often sets the tone for the rest of the match.

But when they switched sides to begin the second set, the wheels of a Zephyr comeback began to turn, and it wasn’t driven by any adjustments the players made on the court.

Senior Outside Hitter Matthew Lisicky said that the tide turned when the crowd, led by a strong and vocal student section, began to motivate the home team He said that the atmosphere they created was the turning point in the match.

“That whole thing really made us play a lot better,” said Lisicky.

He said that it got the whole team amped up, and they just fed off that energy. That electricity provided enough spark to fuel wins over the next three sets as the Zephyrs avenged that earlier loss, 18-25, 28-26, 26-24, 25-23.

The win raised their season mark to 15-1, placing them atop the 13 teams in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.

Lisicky said that it was great to play in front of a sizable home crowd. It’s something that’s been building as they’re still working within the COVID-19 guidelines. He said that Athletic Director Robert Hartman has handled the situation well, managing the restrictions while still allowing the team to soak in that supportive atmosphere.

He said that as soon as they began to feel that swell of support from the stands, they started to play as a team.

“Once we started going, there was no stopping us,” said Lisicky who finished the match with 11 kills and nine digs.

It was a total team effort that led to victory over the Trojans. Nick Rex registered 44 assists; Torrey Tyson provided 14 kills and six digs; Devin Donatelli added 11 kills; Aiden Sommer notched 21 digs and three aces; Conner Fenstermaker contributed six kills and three blocks, and Hunter Pinkey came through with four kills and four blocks.

With one regular season match remaining, the Zephyrs will try to end the year on a strong note. Lisicky said that in order to stay sharp, they rely on their ultracompetitive practices that keep them focused.

“A huge part of our success is our practices,” said Lisicky. “That’s how we gain most of our success.”

He said that it’s extremely helpful to play against their reserves who provide some of the strongest competition day in and day out.

“It helps so much going at it with them,” he said.

With all that’s happened over the last year, Lisicky was extremely grateful to experience a night like they had against Parkland on April 26. He said that everything surrounding that match was a reminder what it’s like to play high school sports. It stands as his fondest memory to date.

He would like to make some more memories, and that’s something that’s also been on his mind as the postseason approaches.

“I’m really looking forward to all that,” Lisicky said.

As a group, the goal is to claim two golds. He said that’s what they want to accomplish, and he’s ready to lead them on that journey. The senior views his role as the emotional and vocal spark plug of the team, a leader who wants his teammates to feed off his energy. Once they begin to feel that vibe and respond, it signals one thing:

“It’s game time,” said Lisicky.

Press photo by Linda Rothrock Conner Fenstermacker and Matt Lisicky go up for a block during a recent game.