Quaker Valley volleyball takes the next step
By Kevin Ritchart
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
One round at a time.
That's how the Quaker Valley girls volleyball team has been earning both respect and experience in the WPIAL playoffs in recent years.
Quaker Valley's season came to an end last week with a 3-0 loss to Freeport in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs. The Quakers finished the season with a record of 11-5, but found themselves competing in postseason play for one round longer than they did in 2012.
“We put up a good fight against a good team in Freeport,” Quaker Valley coach Mike Vavrek said. “We went into a hostile environment and were a little overmatched.
“But we didn't give up. We made them earn it.”
The Quakers earned the right to take on Freeport by virtue of a 3-2 triumph over Derry in a preliminary-round matchup, which was another stepping stone for Vavrek's squad.
“It was a hard-fought match,” Vavrek said of his team's battle with Derry. “We finally won a five-game match.”
Quaker Valley had dropped both of its five-game efforts during the regular season.
Against Freeport, Quaker Valley was paced by an eight-kill effort by Alyssa Bartling and six kills from Jade Kost, the team's senior captains and starting outside hitters.
Freeport's three-set victory came by scores of 25-18, 25-11 and 25-17, but Bartling, Kost and fellow senior Sydney Lane — as they had all season — fought hard to keep the Quakers alive.
“They're very good leaders,” Vavrek said of his seniors. “The other girls looked up to them.
“They were constantly picking us up. They're going to be missed next year.”
Bartling notched 59 serving aces on the season to lead Quaker Valley. Kost was second on the team in aces with 49.
With the departure of a trio of talented seniors, Vavrek is considering a move to a 6-2 alignment with two hitters on the right side.
“(The 6-2 alignment) will allow us to generate more offense,” Vavrek said.
Whether or not Vavrek alters his approach next season will depend greatly on the development of the young players that are coming up through the Quaker Valley system.
Juniors Michaela Sobecki, Kathryn Wroblewski, Ashlee Bacvinskas, Hayley Rohrbach and Emma Fortuna and sophomores Ayonna Martin, Miasha Beck, Hannah Kley and Emily Pilewicz will be among the key players on next year's team.
Sobecki was the team leader in kills this season with 131. Wroblewski paced the Quakers in both kills (92) and blocks (25). Bacvinskas racked up a team-high 360 assists on the year.
Freshman Emily Truchan will also be in the running for varsity playing time next season, according to Vavrek.
“We need to get these young girls more involved,” Vavrek said. “They need to step up and be varsity players.”
If Vavrek gets the right players and the right system in place, the Quakers could find themselves making an even deeper postseason run in 2014.
“Two years ago, we made the playoffs with a bunch of sophomores starting,” Vavrek said. “They got to experience playoff volleyball a little bit, gain some confidence and some big-time experience.
“Now we have a chance to take the next step.”
Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.
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.
- Steel Valley volleyball rekindling program’s glory days
- Trib Cup: USC volleyball a work in progress under new coach
- Latrobe volleyball team working on becoming cohesive unit to take advantage of talent
- After opening season 0-5, Hempfield boys volleyball focused on section’s second half