Riverview volleyball peaking at the right time
TribLIVE Sports Videos
After a somewhat sluggish morning match, Riverview's girls volleyball team woke up in the afternoon to avenge a loss to Indiana last Saturday at the West Shamokin Tournament.
And with that win came a quiet confidence and inner belief that the Raiders could be primed for a postseason run.
“We had this moment of brilliance when we beat Indiana after they beat us soundly earlier,” Riverview coach DeAnn Sloan said. “All of the sudden, things started clicking that we struggled with before.
“If we come out like that (in the playoffs), who knows?”
The WPIAL will announce playoff pairings Monday. Riverview (12-3) could be the team no one is talking about in Class A.
A former water polo player at Bucknell, Sloan, 32, moved to the Pittsburgh area from Los Angeles in 2004. She began as a junior high volleyball coach at Riverview before taking over as head coach three years ago.
This is the season she knew could be special.
Riverview tied perennial section power West Shamokin for second place in Section 1-A, splitting its season series with the Wolves.
“We have really improved on our passing this year,” senior standout Arden Fisher said. “It's been one of the stronger aspects of the team. We have some dominant hitters this year, and we're working well together.”
Fisher, a Robert Morris recruit, is an aggressive outside hitter who has put together two 30-plus-kill matches this season.
Fisher posted 34 kills against Leechburg. The equivalent to that performance in another sport, say basketball?
“It would be like scoring all the points,” Sloan said. “It's the equivalent of winning a match-and-a-half on her own.”
As dominant as Fisher has been, she's had plenty of help.
Senior Renee Ault has blossomed in her new role, moving from middle to outside hitter.
“It was a big switch,” Sloan said. “But it gives her more sets and allows her to be on defense more.”
Fisher, Ault and senior Marissa Katic are the spikers.
Libero Rachael Suchevich and sophomore Hannah Larkin are among the team's pin point passers. Senior Alison Hodges had 50 assists against Kittanning. Hodges has a team-best 340 assists.
Fisher has a remarkable 258 kills (17.2 per game) and 48 aces.
Larkin is one of two starters playing two fall sports. She and freshman defensive specialist Nikki Polens also are on the soccer team.
“The one thing that has helped this team is that we've had players step up and take balls without saying, ‘Is that mine?' ” Sloan said.
Fisher agrees that Riverview should not be taken for granted.
“If we're all on and play our games,” she said, “we definitely can take a stronger team.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 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.
- Inside the ropes: Shazier shows off speed
- Steelers hope new faces breathe life into team
- Steelers notebook: Team hasn’t called on Keisel, Harrison yet
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- Police say naked woman stabs three women during street fight in McKees Rocks
- Steelers’ Spence confident he can avoid injury setbacks
- NFL notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders picks Manning over Big Ben
- Big Ten media days notebook: Commissioner discusses hot-button issues
- Pennsylvania Turnpike Southern Beltway extension gets funding
- Congressmen ask NCAA to relax PSU penalties
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’