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Springdale volleyball team rebounds with playoff season

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WPIAL girls volleyball playoffs

Local pairings

Class AAA

First round

No. 15 seed Plum at No. 2 Pine-Richland, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Class AA

Preliminary round

Kittanning vs. Ambridge, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fox Chapel

First round

Derry/Quaker Valley winner at No. 2 Freeport, 7:30 p.m. Thursday

No. 11 Blackhawk vs. No. 6 Knoch, 6 p.m. Thursday at Hopewell

Class A

Preliminary round

Springdale vs. Jefferson Morgan, 6 p.m. Tuesday at South Fayette

Leechburg vs. Brentwood, 6 p.m. Tuesday at Fox Chapel

Top high school sports
By R.A. Monti
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, 12:41 a.m.

The last time Springdale's girls volleyball team made the playoffs, many of its current stars were barely bigger than a volleyball.

“When the girls found out we hadn't made it since 1999, they were saying, ‘We were still in diapers,' ” joked first-year interim coach Amy Sigmund, who played for the Dynamos 13 years ago.

Sigmund, who's filling in this season for Linda Zoller, wasn't a stranger to the team.

“I was the JV coach for six years prior to this year,” she said. “It's been our goal since the beginning of the season (to make the playoffs). I told these girls if they gave me 110 percent effort, we'd have a winning year. They did that, and here we are.”

Sigmund says six seniors drive the team, but she is also praises the underclassmen.

“We have a solid team of seniors,” she said. “Kalee Paskorz, Megan Cavanaugh, Rachael Nickell — they're all big players for us. We have a junior, Trista Fink, she's a powerhouse. She's got a ton of power behind her spikes.”

Sigmund said the emotional leader is a sophomore.

“Alyssa Tocco is the heartbeat of our team,” she said. “She's the one with the great attitude who brings everyone up when they're down.”

Nickell, a senior co-captain, said Sigmund has rejuvenated the team.

“She (Sigmund) actually plays with us, which is awesome,” Nickell said. “She's really helped us. We really enjoy her positive attitude. It's really enjoyable to have her be on the same level as us.”

Nickell said she never could have imagined the team would be in the playoffs this year.

“It's really amazing how much a team can change over one year,” she said. “We all clicked; we all worked together. For it to be out senior season, it makes it that much sweeter.”

Nickell hopes the team has left its mark on Springdale.

“Volleyball got so huge at Springdale this year,” she said. “I have all the hopes in the world that this program stays where it is for years to come.”

R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.

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