Penn-Trafford volleyball chasing 3rd straight section title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
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 email@example.com.
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.