Pine-Richland volleyball team looks to build off of last years success
By Jerry Clark
Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Perhaps the best way to follow up a successful high school season is to return most of the team that enjoyed the success.
That is the situation Pine-Richland boys volleyball coach Brian Neely finds himself in this season.
“We were pretty young last year, so there was not much loss — we lost a 6-foot-6 starter in the middle, but he was a first-year player last year,” Neely said.
One of the brightest spots for the Rams is senior all-section outside hitter Alan Jacks. Not only is Jacks a talent on the court, he recruited some of his basketball teammates to come out for the volleyball squad, a move that will add to the talent and depth this season.
Some of the new recruits — Tim Williams, a 6-foot-7 middle hitter and Sam Dunsmore, another middle hitter who stands 6-4 — will be tough matchups for the opposition. Also coming over from basketball were 6-3 senior right-side hitter Nate Roberts and Allen DiNisi, a defensive specialist.
Another all-section and all-WPIAL standout is setter Kevin Kunkel. Mike Jones is an outside hitter who will help the team.
The junior class has some skill, as well, starting with libero Jared Todorowski and front row utility player Nick Langer a returning starter.
Sophomore Tommy Barone is a strong passer, according to Neely, and senior middle hitter Caleb Wulforst has pushed the starters every day. Defensive specialist Kevin Dressing is a player who also will see some time.
“We have some strong guys on the bench, something that gives us a chance to play six-on-six,” Neely said. “Zach Lehman and Luke DeMarco are part of that group.”
Neely took over the Rams last year after they had not won a match in two years. He turned the program around, winning enough games to get into the playoffs. Although the Rams lost in the first round, the team saw what it took to be successful, and the squad looks to carry on this season.
“Getting to the playoffs was big,” Neely said. “I hope that experience pays dividends. We have set the goal as a first-round playoff win, and then we will see what happens.”
Neely said he has a ton of athletes and expects them to have a big role if the team is to be successful this season.
“We are trying to change the mentality,” Neely said. “The perception was the volleyball was kind of a joke, but we seem to be doing well, getting the basketball players to come out. So we will see what happens.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor 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.
- Los Angeles gangsters on Syria’s battlefield a rarity, experts assure
- Kovacevic: Big Ben’s contract clock ticking
- Talented center Sutter is proving to be ‘pretty important’ for Penguins
- Pitt looking to enhance profile at ACC tourney
- Robert Morris University Polling Institute poll finds value of college in doubt
- Democratic governor candidate Wagner remains confident amid skepticism
- Penn State’s Franklin cherishes memories of time spent in Pittsburgh
- Parking tickets in Downtown Pittsburgh spark outrage
- Original tea partyers returning to GOP fold
- Grand welcomes ‘Cinderella’
- Pirates reserve outfielder Dickerson is also at home on soccer pitch