Norwin volleyball seeks return to postseason
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In qualifying for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs last season, the Norwin girls volleyball team accomplished something it hadn't done since 2006.
With several key players returning from that squad, the Knights will look to repeat their success in 2013.
“(Playoffs are) our goal every year,” coach Mary Ellen Ferragonio said. “We may not always reach it, but that's always our goal.”
While Norwin lost in the first round of the playoffs to Pine-Richland, Ferragonio said the experience of reaching the postseason will help the players who return in 2013.
The Knights return several key players from that squad, but the team will need to fill voids.
One loss happened earlier this summer, as senior setter/right-side hitter Lindsay Smith went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee. Sophomore Maria Ferragonio will step in for Smith, the Knights' starting setter last season.
“I think because (Smith) knows the girls and has that year under her belt of running the court, it's a pretty big loss,” Mary Ellen Ferragonio said.
Key returners for Norwin include senior hitters Catherine Ferragonio and Hannah Cubarney. Ferragonio was named first-team all-section last season, while Cubarney was named to the second team.
“Those two are hopefully going to play a really big role,” Mary Ellen Ferragonio said. “(Senior hitter) Hanna Evanchak, we're also expecting to play a pretty big role, and (junior hitter) Laura Buchanan.
“ Our middle hitter that we lost last year (Rachel Keto) was really a nice player. We're hoping some of these girls can fill in her enthusiasm and leadership.”
Other hitters who will compete for playing time include seniors Alexis Boytim and Brittany Jones and juniors Lauren Dolney and Molly Parker.
Norwin's defense will be led by junior Reilly Parker, the returning starter at libero. Other players who could see time on the back row include Boytim, Molly Parker and senior Alexis Petach.
“A lot of people this summer commented on how much heart (the players) have,” Ferragonio said. “I think their strength is the fact that they get along really well, and they work really well together. And some of them have played before.”
The Knights finished in second place in the section with a 9-3 record last season, behind rival Penn-Trafford (11-1). Hempfield (7-5) finished third.
The Warriors and Spartans look strong again in 2013, Ferragonio said, but she also expects to be tested by the remaining teams in the section: Franklin Regional, Kiski, Latrobe and Laurel Highlands.
“I think it'll be a tight race,” she said. “I wouldn't underestimate any of the other teams coming back, either. I know some teams have lost some pretty strong players, but they all have good, solid programs, good, solid players and good, solid coaches. I expect every team to be pretty good. I don't see us for sure breezing through matches.”
Norwin will begin the season with nonsection home matches against Gateway at 4 p.m. Friday and Derry at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. The Knights will open section play with a home match against Hempfield at 7:15 p.m. Sept. 5.
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.
- A field day on social media as Pirates’ Rodriguez attacks Gatorade cooler
- Steelers quarterback Vick getting more acquainted with offense
- Penguins see Stars, blanked by Dallas in opening game
- Steelers hoping to establish run early against San Diego
- Starkey: Pirates gaining bad big-game rep
- Pittsburgh zoo receives $9M gift — largest ever — from Mellon Foundation
- Clerical error blamed as Armstrong inmate is released
- Pirates notebook: Fastball command issues hurt Cole against Cubs
- Kennametal HQ relocation rankles Westmoreland County business leadership
- West Mifflin Area to celebrate newest graduate’s life, legacy
- Armstrong County Jail warden resigns