Shaler girls volleyball team primed for playoffs
Two years ago, the Shaler Lady Titans were a team in transition. It was a team that was used to success, but due to heavy graduation loss, it was in rebuilding mode.
Shaler took its lumps, but at the heart of that team was a core of freshmen who are now juniors. The experience and skill level of the players has meshed, and Shaler once again is a WPIAL title contender.
Setters Annie Bozzo and Natilie Pilewski are joined by outside hitter Nicole Pilewski outside hitter Liz Klein and Hannah Bradford as a strong junior class that anchors the team.
In a tuneup for the playoffs, Shaler shut down Woodland Hills, 3-0.
Shaler played tough at the net and chased down errant hits, turning them into points.
This never-give-up style of play will serve the Lady Titans well in the playoffs.
“You never know what your seed will be,” Shaler coach Kris Ruppert said. “We will keep working on our game and improve on our weaknesses and hope for a strong showing.”
Ruppert said the team is strong in the serving game and has worked on playing well at the net.
“We did some jump training because of our size,” Ruppert said.
Only Bozzo, sophomore Julia Bernesser and freshman Sydney Schmitt stand taller than 5-foot-9.
Despite a lack of overall size, the Lady Titans still give opponents matchup problems.
“We are a strong team, and we get along on and off the court,” Bozzo said. “The key to winning in the playoffs will be playing disciplined in practice and games.
“Coach Ruppert has drilled into us that we have to finish games. We condition hard, and (that and) staying disciplined are the two most important things.”
Fellow setter Natalie Pilewski said playing at their own tempo is another factor that will help Shaler play well when it matters most.
“If we are in the right place, stay consistent and don't play (down) to the competition (we will be OK),” Pilewski said.
“It is hard to play a perfect game, but to win our coach told us we have to play perfect. Mistakes will cost you (in the playoffs).”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.