Hampton Volleyball Reaches the State Championship for the First Time Ever

via: @wpial7/Instagram

via: @wpial7/Instagram

Garrett Gess, Writer

The Hampton Talbots reached the PIAA Volleyball Championship for the first time in program history. After Hampton defeated Freeport in the Semifinals, they will now face the Spring Grove Rockets of York County this Saturday. The match will be at Cumberland Valley High School’s “Dome” that holds a massive seating capacity, has been the state-title host for the past four years, and even held a Trump rally in August 2016. The Talbot’s journey to the state title took a winding path. Hampton finished the regular season 15-3 and found themselves down 0-2 in the WPIAL semifinals against Plum. The Talbots rallied back and won their following three sets to earn a berth at the WPIAL Championship. Hampton would lose to Freeport in the WPIAL Championship, but the season was still far from over after the Talbots loss. The Talbots were hungry for another rematch with Freeport as both teams won their next two playoff games to meet again in the state semifinals. Last Tuesday, Hampton lost the first set to Freeport 17-25, but the Talbots came storming back to win the following three by a margin of over five points: 25-18, 25-19, and 25-16. Hampton and Freeport split a 4-match series 2-2 this year. The Talbots got the victory when it mattered most as Hampton’s season is not finished yet.

The Talbots state-title challengers from the Pennsylvania Piedmont have also found themselves facing adversity. Spring Grove had an undefeated 22-0 regular season and won the District 3 Championship. In the state quarterfinals, Spring Grove fell behind Pope John Paul II 1-2 but won the following two sets to make it to the semifinals. The Rockets found themselves in an even greater hole at the semifinals as they trailed 0-2 to Bethlehem Catholic. Spring Grove shifted the momentum by winning the remaining three sets to advance once again. Hampton and Spring Grove are having new volleyball successes this year. Neither the Talbots nor the Rockets qualified for the PIAA Tournament in the past few years. This Saturday, both teams have a chance to make this season even more memorable. Hampton’s best season before this year was in 2016 when they were WPIAL runner-ups and played in the First Round of the state playoffs, falling to Somerset. The Hampton volleyball program has only existed for a decade but now is one step away from Talbot immortality.

Hampton’s Journey to Hershey:

WPIAL First Round, Oct 27: vs. Albert Gallatin (W 3-0)

WPIAL Quarterfinals, Oct 30: vs. Montour (W 3-0)

WPIAL Semifinals, Nov 2: vs. Plum (W 3-2)

WPIAL Championship, Nov 6: vs. Freeport (L 1-3)

PIAA First Round, Nov 9: vs. DuBois (W 3-0)

PIAA Quarterfinals, Nov 13: vs. Armstrong (W 3-1)

PIAA Semifinals, Nov 16: vs. Freeport (W 3-1)

PIAA Championship, Nov 20: vs. Spring Grove (3:30 pm)