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Penn-Trafford volleyball aims for states

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 2:06 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn-Trafford Star
Penn-Trafford senior Ethan Gelpi serves during the Warriors' match against Norwin on May 9, 2013, at Penn-Trafford High School. The Warriors lost, 3-2.

The Penn-Trafford volleyball team began this week in uncharted territory.

But the Warriors have a chance to go even deeper into the postseason waters.

With a 3-0 victory over Fox Chapel last week in the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals, Penn-Trafford advanced to the semifinals for the first time in program history.

The Warriors are scheduled to play No. 1 North Allegheny in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Baldwin High School.

“It's such a big accomplishment (making the semifinals) because ever since we were playing (junior varsity), we knew that our year had something,” senior Ethan Gelpi said. “Nobody else believed in us except for us because we knew how much potential we had. It's just so big for us because all the seniors this year love playing.”

The Warriors faced a big challenge in undefeated North Allegheny, which was seeking its seventh straight WPIAL championship and its 10th in the past 11 years. The Tigers are coached by Dan Schall, the brother of Penn-Trafford coach Jim Schall.

“I think in the last six years, we've faced them in the playoffs four times,” Jim Schall said. “It's nothing new. We know it's going to be a good competitive match when we play them.”

No matter the result of Tuesday's match, the Warriors have a chance to advance to the PIAA tournament for the first time in program history Thursday night. The WPIAL consolation match is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Baldwin High School, with the championship match slated for 8 p.m.

The top three teams in the WPIAL advance to the PIAA tournament.

“Talent is one thing, but I think the guys have really worked hard,” Schall said. “It's a pretty determined group. It's been a really good season, but we've had to fight through our share of injuries and different things that have come up. (I) give our team a lot of credit.”

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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