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Gateway volleyball coach sees improvement throughout tough season

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

While other boys volleyball teams in the WPIAL will celebrate senior nights this week or next, Gateway won't have that to deal with.

The Gators are young this spring. There are no seniors on the roster.

Head coach Jay Wu said that youth and relative inexperience has shown on the court at times, but, he said, his players have done a good job of taking each experience and using them to improve.

“They are definitely frustrated they are not winning,” Wu said. “At the same time, they are keeping up. It's not like they are getting blown away. It's a young team. They are growing, and they see they're improving. It gives us hope for the future.”

Gateway entered this week 0-8 in Section 3-AAA, and the Gators hoped to see good things in Tuesday's section meet against Hempfield.

The match was completed past the deadline for this week's edition.

The Gators conclude section play next week against Penn Hills at home on Tuesday and Plum on the road May 9.

Both varsity matches will start at 7:30 p.m.

“With no seniors, they will have a whole season together, and they can build off that for next season,” Wu said.

“It basically will be the same team if everyone sticks together. They won't have to go backwards to a certain point.”

The team tested itself at Saturday's JV tournament at Penn Hills.

The Gators split with Hempfield in the first round of pool play.

“That got us into a higher re-seed pool for the afternoon and ensured we would make it to the playoffs,” Wu said.

Gateway finished sixth overall, and its day ended with a one-game loss to No. 3 seed Baldwin in the quarterfinals.

“It was a positive experience for the guys,” Wu said. “It was a plus for them. It's a good morale booster for them. It showed that hard work does pay off. It's a step in the right direction.”

Starting setter Naythan Cain, a sophomore, suffered a hand injury on Monday and could miss the rest of the season.

“It's a big loss for the team,” Wu said.

“We have a freshman setter who is playing for the first time. We are kind of filling in roles where we can. We've moved some players around, but it won't be the same, especially this late in the season.”

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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