Latrobe volleyball hopes to bounce back after disappointing season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With its transition year out of the way, the Latrobe girls volleyball team is aiming for a return to form.
Last season, the Wildcats finished a disappointing 4-8 under first-year head coach Jordan Zuenges, who took over a team that lost five starters from the previous season. The Wildcats snapped a six-year streak of playoff appearances.
“It wasn't the best season, but I learned a lot,” Zuenges said. “The girls learned a lot about me and my style of coaching.”
Getting accustomed to a team on a personal level and implementing a system is not an easy task to accomplish in a short amount of time, Zuenges noted.
“You have a picture of what you see the team doing,” she said. “You have a picture of what you want to do drill-wise. You already have that picture in your mind. But then you have to spend as much time getting to know your team as you do coaching.
“The first year is a lot harder than people think. It's really an adjustment.”
A full year of offseason activities will help the team's cause, Zuenges said. To prepare for the coming season, the Wildcats have taken on numerous physical challenges and passed them all. The grueling sessions included circuit conditioning, plyometrics and high intensity training.
“A lot of it is physically demanding,” Zuenges said.
“They don't complain about it. They always rise to the occasion. We never have to repeat drills due to lack of hustle.”
Since they are not blessed with the prototypical 6-foot player, the Wildcats plan to compete by being more athletic and accurate than their opponents.
“We are able to get really good placement with the ball,” team captain Alexa Venneri said. “When we see open spots on the court we are able to get there.”
Venneri, a senior outside hitter, is part of a young starting lineup. She is joined by middle hitter Noelle Carota (sophomore), hitter Aleisha Stas (sophomore), outside hitter Kennady Grejtak (junior) and setter Lauren Solomon (senior).
Last season, the Wildcats had a tendency to become flustered during games which had a snowball effect that translated into poor play and eventually losses.
“That's one thing we really improved on this year is becoming a team more and having each other's back,” Venneri said.
“When we're down, we want to pick ourselves back up and have the momentum to come back and try to win.
“We realized we need to come together and do what we need on the court. It makes us want to (stay positive) so we can have a good season.”
Ed Phillipps is a freelance writer.
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.
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Pittsburgh Regatta will go on without boats, water events
- Rescuers use hoist to lift horse from Washington County sinkhole
- Rossi: Rutherford shines as old boss pouts
- FBI questions Allentown mayor, seizes contract documents
- Hempfield woman seriously injured in crash
- Crane tips over, smashes into roof of building at Pitt
- Former Jeannette coach held for trial on charges of assault on teen girls
- LaBar: What’s killing professional wrestling
- Shaken by economic, political turmoil, MLB forsaking Venezuela
- Young Nebraska girl’s organs give 2 Pittsburgh-area boys a chance to live