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Volleyball team falls in first round of state tourney

The Parkland High School boys volleyball team was taken to the brink, but fell just shy of winning the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title, losing to Emmaus in five. That loss seemed to be just what the Trojans needed to motivate them the rest of the postseason, according to head coach Scott Trumbauer.

“This year’s team had very clear goals defined, which came up in conversations throughout the year,” said head coach Scott Trumbauer. “Losing the EPC final definitely increased the urgency to win when we made it to the district final. It appeared that was exactly what we needed because our focus and level of play was exactly where we needed it to be for the district playoff matches. It started against Liberty and continued in the Whitehall and Emmaus matches.”

Parkland won the District 11 Class 3A championship in a rematch with the Green Hornets. The Trojans advanced to the state championship tournament, but dropped their first-round match to Central Dauphin 3-0 by scores of 25-23, 25-14, 25-14.

“Central Dauphin has a tradition of great teams who play a really tough schedule,” Trumbauer said. “They are battle tested as they play in the strongest district in the state. They played really aggressively, especially from their outside hitters, but their setter did a really good job of keeping our blockers and defenders guessing all night. They also blocked really well after the first set, which made a huge difference.”

The Trojans graduate nine seniors, including Pranav Balabhadra, Anthony Giegbefumwen, JT Siggins, Cory Lemberg, Ben Robbins, Ethan Mosser, Cole Kratzer, Jordan Lewis and Mason Bergstein.

“This year’s nine seniors really meant a lot to our program in terms of showing what it means to work hard to achieve success and leading by example,” said Trumbauer. “With everything they have experienced over their years with us, they truly deserved the accolades they received throughout the year.

“There were many highs and lows this year but they constantly led the way for us. Many times, during the season, we had practices or huddles being led by one or more of these guys. As a coach, seeing that kind of leadership and the willingness to listen from the underclassmen was an amazing thing to witness.”

Even with a graduating a large senior class this year, Parkland will once again return enough talent to compete for league and district championships next season.

“The handful of underclassmen that will be returning all played a key role for us this year,” Trumbauer said. “Whether it was on the court, in practice, or in the huddle, they each brought a positive attitude and great athleticism which will only improve over the off season. We are very fortunate to have a great middle school program and a JV team who went undefeated this year.”

PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Cole Kratzer (20) is part of a large group of seniors that led Parkland to the 2021 District 11 Class 3A championship.