Seton-La Salle dominates all-section squad in girls' volleyball
By Ray Fisher
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Nine girls saw significant playing time for the Seton-La Salle girls' varsity volleyball team this season.
All nine were named to the Section 6-AA all-star squad.
Lindsey Farley, a 5-foot-2 libero; Julianna Ross, a 5-3 defensive specialist; Toni Torchia, a 5-9 outside hitter; and Tia Torchia, a 5-8 outside hitter; were named to the first-team.
They were four of six seniors on Seton-La Salle's section-winning squad this year.
“Not only did (the seniors) make up a considerable part of our varsity rotation, they were the personality of the team off and on the court,” Kevin Hummert, Seton-La Salle's second-year head coach, said. “They were a driven group of ladies who were very passionate about the sport of volleyball, and looking to the future of the program, that is something that is going to be difficult to replace.
Senior Brianne Colligan, a 5-10 middle hitter; junior Laura Nath, a 5-9 right-side hitter; and sophomore Michelle Sanders, a 5-8 setter; earned second-team selections, while junior Morgan Henderson, a 6-2 middle hitter; and senior Shelby Williams, a 5-5 setter; landed third-team nods.
“Each one of the seniors brought something special and important to the program,” Hummert said. “In the past two years, these girls have helped elevate Seton from a third-place finish in a Single-A section to a top-five program in Double-A that is able to compete with the top teams in the WPIAL.
“In my opinion, if the Seton girls' volleyball program continues to perform at a high level in the future, it will be a direct result of the efforts of these six ladies.”
The immediate future of the Lady Rebels' program appears most promising.
The Seton-La Salle girls won the section championship with a 10-0 record, ahead of South Fayette (7-3), South Park (7-3), Keystone Oaks (4-6), East Allegheny (2-8) and Steel Valley (0-10). The Lady Rebels ended up 15-5 overall.
And the junior varsity team finished with a 16-2 overall record.
Sophomores on the squad included Sanders, at setter; Nicole Colligan, a middle hitter; Jenna Vojtecky, at outside hitter; Jillian Gibsoni; at libero; and defensive specialist Michaela Mahoney.
Top freshman prospects included middle hitter Megan Manion, setter Emily Gruendl, outside hitters Mia Marzina and Nicole Reyes, and defensive specialist Bailey Canavan.
“Overall, the (varsity) season would have to be considered a success, even though we did not meet the high expectations we set for ourselves as a program at the beginning of the season,” Hummert said. “The team went undefeated and won the section title, and earned a No. 5 seed for the WPIAL playoffs. Both were goals that were hanging in our gym to start the season.”
The Lady Rebels defeated South Fayette, 3-0, in the WPIAL Class AA first round before falling to Hopewell, 3-1, in the quarterfinal round.
“We felt we had the capabilities of taking that next step and advancing to the state tournament,” Hummert said. “We came up a little short because we didn't quite play to our ability level when it mattered most against Hopewell in the quarterfinals.”
Farley, Ross and Toni Torchia are planning to continue their volleyball careers at the collegiate level.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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