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Emmaus eliminates Pleasant Valley

Published October 25. 2019 12:39PM

EMMAUS – The Pleasant Valley girls volleyball team is looking to get to the level of the southern schools in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 on a yearly basis. They are getting there slowly but surely.

Head coach John Gesiskie has the program going in the right direction, and another berth in the District 11 Class 4A tournament is a good sign they are moving in the right direction.

The sixth-seeded Bears (11-7 overall) battled in a hard-fought, three-set match against third-seeded Emmaus (16-5) last night, falling 25-9, 25-20 and 25-9 at Emmaus High School in the district quarterfinals.

Gesiskie has a solution to what he thinks can help his team to continue to get better and improve even more each year.

“It’s tough,” Gesiskie said. “We do hold our own up north, but I’m convinced that we need to get into club ball more and tell the girls we should try and do that in the offseason. Because when they come to see me in August after some time off to try and get ready for competition like this, it’s tough.

“But we’ve come a long way with injuries and we didn’t really have the consistency we wanted. They’ll grow from this and be better next year.”

After getting their feet wet in the opening set, the Bears regrouped and played with the Hornets for the entire second set, falling just by five points. At one point late in the set, the Bears were behind by eight points (21-13), but scored six of the next eight and trailed by just four (23-19) before Emmaus was able to pull it out in the end.

“It was a battle,” said Gesiskie of the second set. “They started following the game plan and it showed with how hard they worked. They were able to put up some points. If they start playing more outside of the season, playing club, it’ll become second nature. Hopefully we can keep building from this. Emmaus is a great team so this is a good learning experience.”

Sara Frankunas and Jackie James led the offense with three kills each. Cameron Caffrey had an all-around performance with 24 assists and 11 digs.

WHAT’S NEXT ... Emmaus takes on seventh-seeded Northampton in the district semifinals next Tuesday night at Catasauqua High School. Pleasant Valley will return a core group of the 2019 team and prepare to advance even further in 2020.

WHY IS IT ALWAYS THEM ... Emmaus is one of the few District 11 teams that Pleasant Valley and coach Gesiskie has not ever beaten. “I’ve beaten Parkland and Liberty and some of the best of them, but never Emmaus,” said Gesiskie.

YOUNGSTERS GROW ... Pleasant Valley started two freshmen and two sophomores in Thursday night’s match, so there is plenty to grow on for the 2020 season.

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