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Penn-Trafford volleyball team eyes first section championship

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 11:12 a.m.

In the history of the Penn-Trafford boys volleyball program, no team has ever won a section title.

That could change Thursday night.

The Warriors (14-1, 10-1 Section 3-AAA) will host Norwin (10-2, 9-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday in a match that could decide the outright section title. Norwin played Latrobe on Tuesday, past the deadline for this week's edition.

“In our section, I think there's four pretty solid teams,” Penn-Trafford coach Jim Schall said. “(Winning the title) would be a nice accomplishment for us. It'd be nice to be able to put a banner up on the wall.”

If not for a loss to Plum last week, Penn-Trafford would have at least a share of the section title heading into Thursday's match.

Schall said the match against the Mustangs, a playoff team from the section, was tightly contested.

The Warriors responded to their first loss of the season by defeating Latrobe, another playoff team from the section, by a 3-2 score last Thursday.

“It was nice to play a good team right away after losing and come through with a win,” Schall said. “We won a couple close games, too, (against Latrobe). We lost a couple close ones against Plum, so it was nice to bounce back and win a couple close ones.”

As the playoffs approach, the Warriors are nearing full strength. Hitters Sam Kavel and Jared Zeckowski, out since mid-April with a back injury and virus, respectively, both returned to action last week.

“I thought we really played well without those guys, but it's definitely nice to have those guys back,” Schall said. “(As) they get a couple practices in this week, I think they'll be at full strength.”

Besides the section title, Thursday's match will determine WPIAL playoff seeding. Schall said the match could mean the difference between a No. 2 seed and first-round bye and a fifth or sixth seed.

“It's not the worst thing in the world to play a first-round match,” he said. “But it'd probably be nice to have a bye into the quarterfinals.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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