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Penn-Trafford looks to extend success to postseason

| Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford senior Caitlin Petrosky runs through a drill during a girls volleyball practice session at Penn-Trafford High School on Sept. 19, 2013, in Harrison City.

The Penn-Trafford girls volleyball team came up just short in its bid to win a third straight Section 1-AAA championship.

Now the Warriors will turn their focus to a bigger goal, one that eluded them last season: winning a playoff match.

Penn-Trafford (13-3) was scheduled to begin the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs with a match at Canon-McMillan at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The match ended past the deadline for this week's edition.

“They play really good defense,” Schall said of Canon-McMillan. “(They have) a good setter, one good hitter. They've had a great season in their section. If you look at the bracket, it's a lot of good teams and you're going to have to play well to beat anybody now.”

Postseason success is on the Warriors' minds after the team lost to Chartiers Valley in the first round last season. The previous season, Penn-Trafford beat Shaler in the first round before falling to Mt. Lebanon in the quarterfinals.

“I think (the playoffs have) changed some over the years,” Schall said. “You're going to be playing a pretty good team in every round. In years past, probably talking seven or eight years ago, you could count on maybe an easier match at the beginning if you were a high seed. You're just going to see good teams and good players on each team.”

Schall said his own team is playing well in receiving serves, but he would like to see some improvement in scoring on its own serves.

“I think a big key for us is just being able to score when we serve, whether that's putting in a tough serve, or blocking or defense,” Schall said. “I think our offense is overall pretty good, but just being able to score when we serve is a big factor for us.”

The Warriors had a chance to secure a top seed in this year's playoffs, but they fell to second place in the section with a 3-0 loss to Norwin last week. It marked Penn-Trafford's second loss this season to its rival.

Schall said the Warriors played better defense against some of Norwin's hitters the second time around, but overall the Warriors were unable to overcome some early deficits.

“They played defense and handled the ball a lot better than we did,” Schall said. “We were in the first two games anyways and had some chances there, but give them credit: They really played well. I thought in some areas we did better against them the second time, but just overall they took it to us.”

Schall said the team refocused after the Norwin loss and put its mind on the upcoming playoffs.

“It's a new season,” he said. “I think they're disappointed to not win last Thursday (against Norwin). We'll see how it goes Wednesday, but I hope to see a good effort. We'll do our best.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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