Delaware Valley takes on Whitehall in state playoffs

Milford. With a final kill by Tommy Parker, the team won it all.

| 05 Jun 2024 | 03:38

On Tuesday evening Delaware Valley boys’ varsity volleyball played Whitehall for the first round in state playoffs. Everyone should already be aware that Delaware Valley has already won the District 2/AAA championship that had put us in the state playoffs.

First let me say something about Whitehall. They are from that ferocious Lehigh Valley area which produces great sports teams year in and year out. It used to be Easton that was murdering state competition and sending kids to top notch colleges as well as the pro ranks. Easton seems to have fallen of the cliff a bit lately and Whitehall has picked up the charge. They seem to put good teams out in all sports. Whitehall played Delaware Valley on the first round in football this year and Delaware Valley handled then quite well, winning 56-27.

Now after that drubbing you have to know that they would have loved to exact revenge on Delaware Valley here at our home gym in volleyball. It must be said that Whitehall is a great team. They played their hearts out. They left it all on the gym floor. They were well represented with their loud, screaming and excited fan base, but Delaware Valley pulled out the victory.

It was not easy though. This may upset some local Delaware Valley fans, but overall the players did not have their best night. They gave up too many points to Whitehall, and sent several serves into the net. There were volleys lost due to lack of communication where the ball dropped between players and no one responded. There were shots as well as kills (in my day we called them spikes) that went out of bounds.

So this must be said, if Delaware Valley didn’t play its best and still beat an outstanding team like Whitehall, it tells you volumes about the Delaware Valley talent and their capabilities.

I’ve said it before and I am saying it here again. If Delaware Valley plays up to their abilities and limits the errors, then no team is beating them. This is a super team. Next up is Central York which is another great team and this will be played on a neutral court. Central York is rated currently #6 in the state. Delaware Valley is grossly underrated at # 16. Whitehall was #12.

Delaware Valley has already beaten top 10 teams, so let’s do it again.

In this Whitehall game, I was at the edge of my seat the whole game. It was lightning fast with both teams smashing kill after kill. This was not a volleying game, this was a raw power game of kills.

Here are some of the highlights: Chris U’Glay smashed down at least 36 kills, but I was told that my observation is a bit low. He might have been in the 40s. U’Glay also had two aces and two blocks.

Three other players had great games. In fact, they had the game of their lives. That’s Tommy Parker with 12 kills and at least four blocks. Parker also had the game-willing kill.

Gino Gualandi had 11 kills. Ritesh Patel had four kills, two aces, and five blocks. Other players like Aiden Papula, Samuel Yost, Demetri Anc and Luke Peereboom played their part by setting up the rest of the team for their kills. They are like the football blocking backs who clear the way for the running back so he can score. They deserve to be credited with their contributions.

Now I am going to say what the coaches and players cannot say: The officials were terrible and infuriating. The #1 ref actually overruled the line judge, who is at the line and can see the play better four times. He also didn’t call the four or five times that Whitehall’s server was over the line. It’s called a foot foul. Some of the others I couldn’t even see what they called, there didn’t seem to be a foul to me. I knew it was wrong though, and the stands erupted with fury.

Every bad call went against Delaware Valley; it was very hard to endure for the fans and it got so bad that even the Delaware Valley coach exploded one time near the end if the game. It just got to be too much to take.

Ok here is how the scoring went. For the first set was 25- 22 Delaware Valley, the second was 25-19 Whitehall. The third was 25-19 Delaware Valley. The fourth was 25-21 Whitehall. For the last, the first team to score 15 and win by two points wins it all. Whitehall jumped out in front and it looked bleak. Then it was kill after kill for U’Glay until Parker spiked the final kill.

The Delaware Valley fans went crazy with glee.

Now guys. Clean up those errors. Don’t give away any more points and march right through the rest of the state like Sherman marching through the South.