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Butler County spotlight athletes: May 4, 2014

| Saturday, May 3, 2014, 5:45 p.m.

Matt Rudzki

School: Butler

Year: Senior

Sport: Volleyball

Claim to fame: Rudzki has helped Butler's volleyball team clinch a WPIAL playoff berth and challenge for a section title.

It's been a good season for your team so far. What's been the key?

I think that we all get behind each other when we play. We try not to get too down. We just try to play well and not try to make too many mistakes.

You've clinched a playoff berth. How good does it feel to get back in the playoffs?

It feels really good. We missed out last year. So, this will be the first time since the seniors were sophomores, and it's really nice to get back. Our goal is not to go to playoffs, but to get to the WPIAL championship and hopefully win that.

You had some pretty tough matches to close the regular season. Do you think that'll get your team ready for the postseason?

We've been going to some tournaments and doing well, too. We lost to Derry in the championship game at the Plum tournament. We've been playing pretty well in these tournaments all season. It gives us confidence because we are seeing teams we might see in the payoffs.

Do you have plans for college?

I am going to Penn State. I might try to get on the club volleyball team.

Rachel Kroneberg

School: Knoch

Year: Junior

Sport: Track and field

Claim to fame: Kroneberg has been strong in the throwing events for Knoch, which advanced to the WPIAL team playoffs.

How are excited were you for the team playoffs?

It was really exciting to make it. It hasn't happened for our team for a long time. We're really excited. We have a really good group of girls. It's awesome we get to show our talent as a team against some of the best teams in the WPIAL.

What throwing event do you like best?

I have to say it's a mix between the shot put and discus. I have my good days in both, but I love them both.

You took third in the discus at the Mars Invitational. What was that atmosphere like?

It wasn't a good day for a lot of people because the weather was pretty bad. But there were a lot of really good girls there. I just had to keep it out of my mind and just try to get better. Some of these girls are so good, and I just have to focus on myself. It's so much fun, though. You get to interact with the girls. Being around girls like that pushes you to be better.

Are you looking forward to getting back to the WPIAL individual championship meet?

I am planning on going to states. I have to see how that goes. I have to train hard. I feel a lot more confident this year. I went into the championships last year not knowing what was going on. I feel I will be prepared for it this year.

— Joe Sager

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