Plum tangles with Hopewell at season-opening Butler Invitational
Hopewell is a WPIAL and PIAA girls volleyball power in Class AA.
The Vikings are the defending WPIAL champ- ions. They made it to the state quarterfinals last season, and they entered this campaign second in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association AA rankings.
Plum faced Hopewell last Saturday in the semifinals of the Gold bracket at the Butler Tournament, and Mustangs head coach Kory Flaherty said he got a good look at the way his team matched up against such a high-profile opponent.
“I was impressed with the way we played against Hopewell and throughout the day overall,” Flaherty said.
“There was some uncertainty going in knowing we have a young team. We didn't have an experienced setter at the varsity level, and we have some young hitters. Our passing and defense were strong, and that carried us through. That helped make the younger players more comfortable.”
The eight tournament teams were split into two pools of four, with the top two teams from each pool moving into the Gold bracket. Hopewell took both games from Plum in their best-of-three-games semifinals match.
“It was nice to play them and gauge where we stood,” Flaherty said.
Flaherty said his team played Hopewell close in the first game, but the Vikings created a wider final margin in game two.
“They have a really nice outside hitter (senior MacKenzie Biggs), and she put about eight balls down in a row in the second game,” Flaherty said.
“They kept feeding her, and we couldn't catch up with her.”
Flaherty said he liked the way the game plan worked to stop senior hitting standout Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.
Kimbrough has verbally committed to play basketball at NCAA Division I power Maryland, but she has proven her ability to take over a game on the volleyball court.
“Kimbrough is so talented, and (6-foot-2 sophomore) Courtney Zezza did a nice job of shadowing her all over the court.”
Hopewell went on to the finals and captured the title with a 2-0 victory over Indiana.
Plum kicked off tournament play in a pool with Indiana, Avonworth and West Allegheny.
The Mustangs split a pair of games against both Indiana and Avonworth and swept two from West Allegheny.
Indiana and Plum ad- vanced from their pool, and Indiana grabbed the higher seed from Plum based on point differential from each team's six games.
Plum plays its first home game of the season Thursday at 7 p.m. against Section 4-AAA foe Shaler, and the Mustangs then will test their mettle at Saturday's Shaler Tournament.
The start of the tournament is set for 8 a.m.
Plum was to open section play Tuesday against McKeesport, and the match was to be contested past the deadline for this week's edition.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.
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.
- Early turnout strong for Pittsburgh’s Fourth of July festivities
- Bomb squad responds to presence of backpack at Pittsburgh police station
- New Penguin Kessel’s shot is what makes him special
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- Proposal aims to bring slots to Pa. airports
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- Tiny black weevils booming in W.Pa.
- Fun-seekers won’t let a Pittsburgh regatta without races get them down
- Pirates can’t overcome long rain delay, Indians in interleague setback
- Bethel trio of siblings celebrate 150 years of marriage