ShareThis Page

Penn-Trafford shows determination in playoff win

| Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Penn-Trafford senior Stephanie Jones (foreground) awaits a serve during a match against Norwin on Sept. 24, 2013, at Penn-Trafford High School.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn-Trafford Star
Penn-Trafford senior Stephanie Jones (foreground) awaits a serve during a match against Norwin on Sept. 24, 2013, at Penn-Trafford High School.

The situation didn't look good for the Penn-Trafford girls volleyball team in its playoff opener last week against Canon-McMillan.

Trailing, 2-1, in the match, the Warriors faced a 20-13 deficit late in the fourth game. But just as it appeared Penn-Trafford's season might come to an end, the team responded, winning the fourth game 26-24 and taking the fifth and deciding game 15-11 to prevail in the match and move on to the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals.

“The third game was just back and forth the whole way,” Penn-Trafford coach Jim Schall said. “We had a couple chances to win it at the end, and we ended up losing a heartbreaker (29-27). I still thought we had a shot if we just came out and played well in the fourth game, but we got off to a slow start and didn't really improve for most of the game.

“… (We) just made a great comeback. Things weren't looking great there. They made a few mistakes, too, and we were able to pull out the fourth game, 26-24. After losing a tough third game and the way the beginning of the fourth game went, it just didn't look very good for us.”

The Warriors benefited from a team effort against Canon-McMillan. Senior Stephanie Jones and junior Maria Palarino led the team with 14 kills each, while senior Angela Tarabrella had 13. Senior setter Taylor Solo had 58 assists.

“The kids really played hard,” Schall said. “It was just a very determined effort to win the match.”

With last week's win, Penn-Trafford exceeded its achievements from last season, when the Warriors lost in the first round of the playoffs. The team advanced to the quarterfinals two seasons ago, but Penn-Trafford hadn't advanced past that point since 2006, when the Warriors finished in third place in Class AAA.

“It's pretty exciting to be playing in these situations,” Schall said. “Each year is a new year, but we like to (have) the returning kids and the JV team see us where we're supposed to be at (and) see how exciting it is.”

To advance to the semifinals this season, Penn-Trafford needed a win over Shaler on Tuesday at North Hills. The match ended past the deadline for this week's edition.

Penn-Trafford played Shaler in the first round of the playoffs two seasons ago, winning, 3-0.

“It's a lot of the same kids (on Shaler's team),” Schall said. “They were freshmen then, and now they're juniors. They had a really young team two years ago … I have a decent idea that they're going to be a good team. They have one player who's very good, but I think we have a legitimate shot at them.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.