Young Lady Titans come back with year of experience to go with talent
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Last year, the Shaler girl's varsity volleyball team found itself in a rare state: rebuilding. With key players graduating in each of the previous two seasons, it was up to a handful of young and up-and-coming players to uphold the tradition.
The team went through some growing pains as many teams do when several freshmen and sophomores start, but the positive result is all of those players are back with a year of enhanced skill and live game experience.
Lady Titans coach Kris Ruppert said she is very happy so far with where her still young squad is, and in addition to being smart, skilled players, she said the communication may be key.
“They are all friends and work very well together,” Ruppert said.
“This is probably the best communication I have ever seen on a team.”
Ruppert installed an extensive summer conditioning program, and the kids bought in. They showed up and followed the regimen, which made them much more skilled and explosive, according to Ruppert.
“We are still really young and there will be some errors, but we have cut those down,” Ruppert said. “We cut down on that and it was huge in the first game. Our confidence has really grown.”
At the core of the team are sophomores Annie Bozzo and Liz Kline.
“They both bring really high volleyball/sports IQs,” Ruppert said. “They have the ability to bounce back, and they complement each other.
“They communicate well and want to play.”
Fellow sophomore starters Natalie Pilewski, a setter; Nicole Bradford, an outside hitter; and right-side hitter Hannah Bradford are at the forefront of a young nucleus of players.
The team is young at the heart but is not without some upper-class influence. Senior libero Sydney Golden is solid, according to Ruppert, and brings the most experience to the team.
New players to the team include Laurel Gavin, a junior right-side hitter; Liz Rhodes, a middle blocker; and Lexi Schwartz, a defensive specialist.
“The goal is to win the section, and I think we will be in the hunt,” Ruppert said. “We want to (get to) and perform well in the playoffs. We have five sophomores and they will grow together over the next three years.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
- Former South Park coach Loughran optimistic about Fox Chapel’s prospects
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Rainy summer delays paving projects in New Kensington
- O’Neil jumps right in to AD duties at Kiski Area
- Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
- Porter’s passion for discus places him among nation’s best throwers