Latrobe volleyball coach brings forceful attitude
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Jordan Zeunges learned at an early age never to back down when playing sports. Growing up playing on boys teams and becoming the first female to play for the Derry Area varsity baseball team a few years ago helped shape a mindset she sticks by today.
If you want something — even something as relatively trivial as a single point or block or pass in volleyball — you've got to go take it.
The Latrobe girls volleyball team's young new coach, Zeunges' philosophy has already tricked down to her players.
“You have to have an aggressive team if you want to succeed in volleyball,” Wildcats senior middle hitter April Krivoniak said. “She emphasizes that a lot with us.”
A standout player for Derry in softball and volleyball who was one of the more accomplished offensive players in the history of the Slippery Rock University softball program, Zeunges replaced Jenny Feiertag as Latrobe's volleyball coach over the offseason.
It doesn't take long in speaking with Zeunges to understand the vision she has for how she wants her team to play.
“Aggressive!” Zeunges nearly screamed. “In everything, aggressive. I was taught that a long time ago.
“I think I was 12 and I was pitching in baseball, and my coach comes out and tells me, ‘He's in on your plate — hit him in the chin.' I said, ‘What are you talking about?' But the point was you can't be afraid to be forceful. ‘You're on this mound — and you're the best player on this field.'
“I tell girls, ‘You're the best one out on this court. There's no one blocking you' or ‘There's no one you can't block.' You can't wait for anything to get done; you've got to go get it first.”
Latrobe has made the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs each of the past six seasons, but last year was the first time since 2006 the Wildcats did not win at least a share of the Section 1-AAA title or advance to the WPIAL quarterfinals.
Latrobe returns some talented players from last season's team and also, in effect, adds two who are arguably its most talented players in Krivoniak and senior libero Lizz Ritenour.
Ritenour missed last season due to a knee injury and Krivoniak did not play because of a foot injury.
“It's so nice to have them back,” Zeunges said. “Those two I'm pretty sure are going to be our leaders. April can do so much. She's our go-to girl, but we'll also use her on the back row because she's a great hitter but she's also a great passer. She will attack from any position on the court.”
Krivoniak was named second-team all-WPIAL as a sophomore two years ago. She committed to play at Robert Morris University after she was offered a full scholarship.
Krivoniak and Ritenour highlight a senior-heavy group that also includes outside hitter Amy Kaszycki. Maggie Kisick, Ashley Thiel and Natalie Kovatch are other seniors who will contribute. Junior Lauren Solomon will serve as setter.
Among the other players stepping into prominent roles for the Wildcats this season are freshman middle hitter Noelle Carota, sophomore outside hitter Katie Hendrickson and junior Alexa Venneri, who will play a variety of positions.
“We have a lot of talent available to create,” Krivoniak said. “We should have a good team that can make a section title run and make it to playoffs.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
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.
- Heroin, marijuana found in car, driver arrested
- Pittsburgh City Council approves ordinance requiring businesses to offer paid sick leave
- Actress Dushku displaced from Pittsburgh hotel by One Direction
- Wolf nominates new State Police Commissioner
- Mother of Pittsburgh shooting victim does not accept apology at sentencing
- Pittsburgh Police looking for dark blue BMW that hit cyclist in East Liberty
- Couple jailed after domestic assault in Gilpin
- Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
- Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary
- Pa. breeding ground for corruption, experts say
- Pirates notebook: Burnett says ‘surgery is not an option’