Young Shaler volleyball team punches playoff ticket
By Jerry Clark
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Last season, Shaler girls volleyball coach Kris Ruppert was in a rare rebuilding season that saw little in the way of upperclassman talent the way the team had in seasons past.
The squad endured the growing pains of a young team in last year's challenging season, but this season those freshmen, sophomores and juniors are a year wiser and stronger, and playoff-bound once again.
Shaler had nice last week, vanquishing a Penn Hills team on senior night, 3-0, and enjoying a short week due to homecoming festivities.
“We changed the lineup up a little for senior night to give some of the kids a break,” Ruppert said. “The girls have played real well and are peaking at the right time. I am happy (with their play).”
Ruppert said she has a good group of kids who grew up together, have good communication, possess athletic skill and genuinely like each other.
The team showed all those traits against Penn Hills, winning each set handily — 25-8, 25-4 and 25-12.
“We go into each season expecting to make the playoffs,” Ruppert said. “This year the goal is to get into the second round.
“There is a lot of parody this season. There is not one team that really stands out.”
The Lady Titans are growing up with each game, and players like sophomore Annie Bozzo and senior Sydney Golden are helping the team reach its goals.
“It is good to be a senior on this team,” Golden said. “We all help each other and are all good friends. We work hard and push each other.”
Bozzo is making a name for herself as a top-flight talent. Her versatility, size and volleyball intelligence are evident when she is on the court.
Her maturity beyond her years helps a relatively young Shaler team, one that sports only three seniors, Angie LaMonica and Lexi Schwartz being the other two.
The remainder of the team is underclassmen, but letting their age fool you will probably get you beat.
Natalie and Nicole Pilewski and Lizzy Kline are sophomores who either started or saw a lot of playing time as freshmen.
Factor in Hannah Bradford, Liz Rohdes, Laurel Gavin, and you have a team that will be a tough matchup for anyone.
“We are catching up to the older teams,” Ruppert said. “Hopefully we get a little luck and can pull an upset.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or 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.
- Penguins notebook: Popularity with ladies brings test event to Consol
- Buffalo Township real estate taxes to rise by almost 30%
- Embassy bombings trial might use 2 juries, judge says
- Pirates claim 3 pitchers in minor league Rule 5 draft
- Kovacevic: Why give credence to Heisman?
- Police release video of possible suspect in South Side assault
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers
- ‘Worse than a dog’: North Korea executes Kim Jong Un’s uncle
- Garden Theater developer says plans changing for block’s buildings
- No one injured in clothes dryer explosion
- Pirates agree with Barmes on 1-year deal