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Quaker Valley volleyball qualifies for playoffs for 1st time since 2009

| Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, 9:58 a.m.
Quaker Valley senior Rachel Smith (center) and other starters form a huddle prior to the start of their match against Central Valley at Quaker Valley High School Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley senior Rachel Smith (center) and other starters form a huddle prior to the start of their match against Central Valley at Quaker Valley High School Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley sophomore Michaela Sobecki makes a dig during a match against Central Valley at Quaker Valley High School Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley sophomore Michaela Sobecki makes a dig during a match against Central Valley at Quaker Valley High School Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley sophomore Kathryn Wroblewski attempts to block a Central Valley player's shot during a match at Quaker Valley High School Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley sophomore Kathryn Wroblewski attempts to block a Central Valley player's shot during a match at Quaker Valley High School Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley sophomore Hayley Rohrbach makes a dig during a match against Central Valley at Quaker Valley High School Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley sophomore Hayley Rohrbach makes a dig during a match against Central Valley at Quaker Valley High School Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald

After a bittersweet week, the Quaker Valley girls volleyball team is gearing up for the WPIAL playoffs.

The Quakers (5-4 in Section 2-AA) clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2009 with a win over New Brighton early last week (Oct. 9).

They had high hopes of upsetting Central Valley, but were shut out, 3-0, two days later.

Quaker Valley, in third place, trails Ambridge and Central Valley in the section. Each team beat Quaker Valley twice.

“We're really disappointed we didn't beat Central Valley,” senior middle hitter Rachel Smith said. “Coming off our win over New Brighton, we thought we had a really good shot at winning.”

Inconsistency has plagued a young Quaker Valley team throughout the season.

“We just haven't found a way to get close (against top teams),” coach Mike Vavrek said. “Being so young, we're still working on team chemistry.”

Smith is the only senior. Other players are mostly freshmen and sophomores.

“It's frustrating,” junior outside hitter Jade Kost said. “We're a lot more confident than we were at the beginning of the season.

“To advance in the playoffs, though, we're going to have to play better defensively than we did against Central Valley. We can't afford another off day.” Quaker Valley is strong down the middle with Smith (79 kills) and sophomore Kathryn Wroblewski (61).

Wroblewski, the Quakers' tallest player at 5-foot-11, and freshman outside hitter Ayonna Martin each have 17 aces.

Kost has 44 kills, 67 digs and a team-high 23 aces.

Sophomore Michaela Sobecki leads the team with 98 digs as a back-row player.

Sophomore setter Ashlee Bacvinskas is first with 244 assists.

Junior Rachel Dye (back row), sophomore Hayley Rohrbach (opposite-side hitter) and freshman Miasha Beck (outside hitter) also have earned playing time.

Quaker Valley looks forward to the return of junior outside hitter Alyssa Bartling (65 digs and 18 aces) from a leg injury.

“We really need Alyssa's experience in the playoffs,” Vavrek said.

The WPIAL playoffs are slated to get under way next week.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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