TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Junior class fronting leadership roles for Gateway squad

Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express
Underclassmen lead the Gateway varsity boys volleyball team in 2013, as there are no seniors on the roster.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Top high school sports
By Alex Oltmanns
Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Most teams rely on their senior class for leadership and direction.

But for a team without any 12th graders on its roster, the Gateway boys volleyball team will depend on its junior class to be the leaders this season.

Juniors Matt Davis and Rob English headline that class and return as the team's most experienced players from a team that went 2-10 in WPIAL Section 3-AAA last season.

“(They bring) a lot of leadership and a lot of direction to mold the team,” Gateway head coach Jay Wu said.

“We have to lead by example and just show them to go out there with intensity and teach them how to play the game right,” Davis said of the Gators' younger players.

Davis and English are joined by fellow juniors and first-year players Jasano Brooks and outside hitter Taylor Nemanic as the team's oldest players.

“He (Jasano) will bring a lot of height and power to the team,” Wu said.

Several sophomores will be required to step into starting roles this season including Joey Klonicki, setter Nate Cain and middle hitter Anthony Benvenuto.

They will attempt to try and fill some of the void left by last year's seven departing seniors, and the team is confident in their ability.

“They've got a lot of talent and skill,” Wu said. “There's plenty of room to grow.”

With the season still in its early stages, the Gators are still trying to gel together as a team and get some of their younger players accustomed to the speed of the varsity game.

“Right now, we're still working on our serving, improving our teamwork together, just getting used to each other because we haven't gelled together yet completely,” Davis said.

Gateway dropped its season opener to Section 3-AAA foe Latrobe, 3-0, but was still able to take some positives away from the defeat.

“They were a lot bigger than we were, they definitely had more height,” Davis said of Latrobe. “But we were able to block them very well considering their height and our height.”

So while they might be a bit under the radar for now, the young Gators are looking to continue to improve and hope to become a better team as the season progresses.

“If we keep improving every game and meeting our full potential, we can definitely be a threat,” Davis said.

Gateway fell to Penn-Trafford, 3-0, in section last week.

The Gators faced section rival Norwin on Tuesday in a game that was to be played past the deadline for this week's edition. They host Hempfield in section play Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. McCord to plead guilty to federal charges from campaign fundraising
  2. Pirates sign 2 to minor league deals
  3. Pittsburgh mayor denies ethics investigation into his ‘Undercover Boss’ performance
  4. Monessen woman dies in truck-car crash on Route 51 in Fayette County
  5. LaBar: WWE not backing down from controversy
  6. Sale of Deflategate chocolate football nets $20K for charity
  7. Crash closes Pittsburgh Street in Springdale
  8. Police say couple in Oakland murder-suicide had ‘troubled’ relationship
  9. Penguins’ Ehrhoff being tested for concussion
  10. Charge dropped against former Steeler Blount after community service
  11. 5-year-old boy needed for ‘Let It Snow’ role