West Shamokin wins in clash of young boys volleyball programs
By Bill West
Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 11:30 p.m.
Both West Shamokin and St. Joseph's boys volleyball programs are in the midst of construction projects, but what each is building vastly differs.
St. Joseph intends to put together a memorable season while it still has players left in the program. West Shamokin wants an inaugural campaign that increases excitement about the team at the school and does justice to the memory of the now-defunct Elderton program, which served as a predecessor.
Each followed their blueprint to some extent Tuesday night when they squared off at West Shamokin High School in a Section 2-AA match, which the Wolves (1-0, 1-0) claimed, 3-1.
St. Joseph (0-2, 0-2), in its third year and comprised entirely of seniors, went through spurts of success during each of the games but only emerged as the victor in Game 3, 25-16.
West Shamokin, relying on a mix of players who attained experience at Elderton and newcomers, endured a rollercoaster evening on its way to wins of 25-23, 25-18 and 25-18.
“I think near the beginning, we weren't into it because we felt nervous and we felt pressured,” said West Shamokin senior Kevin Kaplon, who finished with three blocks, three aces and eight kills, including the match-winner. “I think (the new players) were afraid to mess up. … They're just getting used to the game.”
St. Joseph surged to a 5-0 lead in Game 1 and forced West Shamokin to call a timeout to slow momentum. For the Spartans, who hope to earn their second playoff berth and finish third or better in the section for the first time, the opening minutes were sublime.
Just as quickly as momentum shifted in St. Joseph's favor, it slid away. West Shamokin went on a 5-1 run to cut the deficit.
Another St. Joseph run gave the Spartans an 18-12 lead. And again West Shamokin answered.
A kill by senior Damon Craig forced the first tie, 23-23. A block by Ryan Dean and an unforced St. Joseph error delivered West Shamokin the win.
“Passing is obviously a shortcoming for this squad, so to fall behind like that, it's tough to fight back without all the full skill set,” St. Joseph coach Paul Tomlinson said.
Three kills by Rocco helped start the deciding run in Game 1 — he finished with six kills and two blocks. Dean logged four blocks for points and two kills. Craig hit a team-high 11 kills.
Reid Tomlinson, Paul's son, led St. Joseph with nine kills, three blocks and two aces. Bobby Celender also earned nine kills, and Sam Predebon added seven kills and four blocks.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
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.
- Agent confirms Mendenhall retiring from NFL
- Kovacevic: Big Ben’s contract clock ticking
- With no money for upkeep, Prospect Cemetery Association board to disband
- Brackenridge may be required by law to maintain cemetery
- Ukrainian leader will meet Obama in U.S.
- National expert tells Pittsburgh providers to expect a cost crisis in cancer care
- Talented center Sutter is proving to be ‘pretty important’ for Penguins
- New Kensington-Arnold board debates dress code
- Western Pennsylvania engineer aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Westmoreland County Courthouse in Greensburg to be featured in TV series