HS Buzz: Volleyball teams have mixed feelings on new PIAA format
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The annual pool party has been scratched from the boys volleyball playoffs.
The PIAA tournament will use a standard single-elimination bracket this season, eliminating the four-team pools it previously featured in the quarterfinals. The new format also provides separate dates and sites for each of the four rounds, rather than grouping the quarters, semis and championship on the same weekend.
It's a change met with mixed emotion.
“It's nice to have separate matches spaced out a little bit so you can focus on one at a time, but I did like the tournament format,” North Allegheny coach Dan Schall said. “There's a pretty close-knit volleyball community of coaches, and it was always great to see some very, very familiar faces and teams. That was a neat celebration to bring all those teams together. I certainly will miss that.”
North Allegheny (17-0), which will open the tournament against WPIAL third-place finisher Norwin on Wednesday, has been ranked first in the state all season by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association and is chasing its fifth PIAA championship.
The quarterfinals are Saturday, the semifinals are June 4 and the finals are June 8 at Penn State. Those three- or four-day gaps between games could allow teams to become more strategic.
“You're able to game plan a bit more,” Schall said. “When you're in the tournament format, it's a lot of on-the-fly preparation. You might get an hour or two between matches to get a game plan to your guys. But with this, you can really break teams down during practice, watch a little more video and go through a bit of what they do. It's more of a methodical preparation this way.”
WPIAL Class AA champion Ambridge, which won the 2009 PIAA title, has been ranked second in the state all year by the PVCA, behind District 3's Northeastern. The Bridgers will play Meadville on Wednesday.
Their star junior likes the change.
“With the (old) format you would be worn down by the finals and semifinals,” said Lee Smith, who Thursday was named the WPIAL's Class AA MVP. “With this, it will give you time to relax and whatnot. That's pretty cool. I like that.”
Connellsville senior Ethan Kenney became the 28th Connellsville wrestler to earn a Division I scholarship when he committed to West Virginia.
Kenney was a four-time PIAA qualifier. He placed seventh in the state tournament twice and ended his high school career with a third-place PIAA medal. Kenney also was a two-time WPIAL champion and finished his career with a record of 155-33.
It appears the PIAA made a good decision to move the state basketball championships from Bryce Jordan Center in State College back to Giant Center in Hershey this winter. The PIAA brought in $63,000 more this year.
Comings and goings
Several coaches were on the way in and out this past week. Belle Vernon baseball coach Dan Palm had his job opened by the school district.
Burrell hired a boys basketball coach (Shawn Bennis) and wrestling coach (Josh Shields), and North Hills (Lauren Wilmus) and Springdale (George Vlassich) hired girls basketball coaches.
Gateway's school board also named Randy Rovesti as its new interim athletic director, replacing current interim AD Harry Orbin. Rovesti, who will retire from the same position at Norwin at the end of this school year, will work part-time.
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.
- Ringgold School Board bans book in haste
- Beaver DA believes girls might have lived had dad responded faster
- Rossi: Johnston must reach Malkin in Moscow
- Steelers are in familiar territory going into training camp in Latrobe
- Police clear brief standoff with man in Squirrel Hill
- Pirates notebook: Recovering Cole exceeds expectations in simulated game
- Official: Air Algerie flight ‘probably crashed’
- Adopt-A-Block could come to City of Jeannette
- Uber, Lyft can operate legally in Allegheny County — for now
- Man tries to lure teen into white van in Hempfield, police report
- How to read books in the digital age