| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Penn-Trafford volleyball chasing 3rd straight section title

TribLIVE Sports Videos

players to watch

Macky Fouse

Central Valley, senior, golfer

Fouse shot a 4-under par 69 to win the Section 2-AA qualifier at Ponderosa Golf Club.

Matt Holuta

Indiana, senior, golfer

Last year's WPIAL runner-up shot 1-under 71 to tie for medalist honors at the Section 1-AAA qualifier last week.

Thomas Steve

USC, senior, golfer

The Notre Dame recruit shot 3-under par 68 to win the Section 7-AAA qualifier at Cedarbrook.

Patrick Sheerer

Fox Chapel, senior, golfer

He shot 1-under 70 to win the Section 4 qualifier at Pittsburgh Field Club.

girls Volleyball rankings

Class AAA

1. North Allegheny 5-0

2. Shaler 5-0

3. Penn-Trafford 5-0

4. Bethel Park 5-0

5. Oakland Catholic 5-0

Class AA

1. Hopewell 5-0

2. Freeport 5-0

3. Mars 4-1

4. Indiana 4-0

5. Seton-La Salle 4-0

Class A

1. Bishop Canevin 6-0

2. Greensburg C.C. 5-0

3. OLSH 5-0

4. Shenango 5-0

5. Serra Catholic 5-0

best of the week

Boys golfWPIAL Class AA tournament9 a.m. Wednesday, Sewickley Heights Golf Club

Leechburg's Matt Barto will attempt to defend his WPIAL title against the best golfers in Class AA.

Top high school sports
Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, 10:30 p.m.

As a four-year starting setter and current Penn-Trafford captain, Taylor Solo has learned all the right answers.

“Everyone has to give 100 percent,” she said when asked the key to her team's success this season. “Just always playing our game and sticking to what we can do.”

Solo isn't alone in this. Her volleyball teammates offered the same words of focus and confidence in their abilities.

“I think we just all need high energy and high spirits going into it,” junior hitter Angela Tarabrella said, “and we need to just come out on our ‘A' game and do our best.”

For the first time in Solo's career the starting squad is made up entirely of upperclassmen. This is a team that knows how to win. They're not in it to mess around, she said.

The team was dressed and hitting prior to the start of Thursday's practice, even before coach Jim Schall entered the gym.

They warm up with a purpose and practice the same way, well aware of what they need to work on.

“As time goes on we see the best teams,” Schall said, “and even in our matches so far, our serve-receive is average. Any time we've struggled that's probably an area we've struggled in.”

From the outside looking in it's hard to say the Warriors have struggled this year, starting at 6-0 and 5-0 in Section 1-AAA, their sights set on winning a third straight section title.

But being average in any part of the game isn't good enough for Schall.

So they keep working.

“We serve and pass every practice,” Solo said. “We always work on one of the two or both together. (Schall) is really strict about that.”

But the girls understand the value of drilling the basics.

“We do a lot of playing, and we do a lot of serve and pass because that's the main part of the game,” Tarabrella said.

“That's how it starts,” junior outside hitter Maria Palarino added. “Without a good pass, you can't get a good hit. They all feed off each other.”

Because this year's team is loaded with upperclassmen talent — including seniors Stephanie Jones, Sydni Werksman and Caitlyn Petrosky — they've set the bar high for themselves mentally.

Yet they haven't become too future-sighted.

“First focus on the section,” Palarino said, “and we'll see what happens after that in the playoffs.”

Schall may know that his team is built to make a deep run in the WPIAL playoffs this year, but he'd rather let the season speak for itself.

“It's early,” he said. “I'm happy with how we're doing, but I think it's still early in the season. I guess we'll prove ourselves as we go throughout the year.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at



Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Kids know best: It’s Santa magic
  2. Wear with confidence: Pump up your workout with stylish exercise gear
  3. Pirates win bidding for Korean infielder
  4. NFL notebook: Browns’ Manziel out for finale; Hoyer ailing, too
  5. Steelers notebook: Tomlin won’t ask for taunting clarification from league
  6. Pitt recruit Whitehead remains committed
  7. Lawsuit against Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett’s Medicaid program overhaul say it could hurt poor
  8. Board beagle  to be safe
  9. Ronstadt, Eagles among 14 to enter Pop Music Hall
  10. Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
  11. Living with Children: Using the ‘ticket system’ for misbehavior