Penn-Trafford boys volleyball looks to build off breakthrough year
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Penn-Trafford boys volleyball team compiled a record-setting season in 2013. But the Warriors came agonizingly close to even more history.
Penn-Trafford advanced to the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals for the first time in school history last season before falling to eventual champion North Allegheny.
However, the Warriors also remember a pair of losses to rival Norwin that kept them from achieving even more. The first, a 3-2 defeat in the regular-season finale, denied Penn-Trafford its first section title. The second, a 3-2 setback in the WPIAL consolation match, kept the Warriors from qualifying for the PIAA playoffs for the first time.
“That was the worst part: our biggest rivals, losing to them,” senior middle hitter Sam Kavel said. “That hurt a lot.”
This season, the Warriors are attempting to continue last season's success and make a little bit of program history while they're at it.
“Last year was probably the best our team's ever done,” senior Dylan Paluzzi said. “Hopefully, we can just build on that and come out and get the section this year. We were so close last year, so hopefully we can get the job done.”
“We just want to be the first team to hang a banner on that wall,” Kavel added. “That's all we want.”
In order to accomplish its goals this season, Penn-Trafford will have to replace several key starters from last season's team. Setter Cameron Artz graduated, as did hitters Jacob Byers, Jesse Paluzzi and Tyler Wyckoff and defensive players Ethan Gelpi and Alex Zabelsky.
“We've just got to play as a team,” Dylan Paluzzi said. “We're not quite used to playing with each other yet. I know last year we had a lot of chemistry. We're probably not there with chemistry (yet) this year, but hopefully we can work on that. I feel once we play as a unit, I feel we can beat almost anybody.”
Sophomore Timmy Vecchio will step in for Artz at setter. Some of the other positions are up in the air because of an early wrist injury to junior hitter Alex Deutsch, Schall said, but he was hopeful Deutsch would be ready for the season.
Kavel, an all-WPIAL selection last season, will boost the Warriors' offense.
However, coach Jim Schall said he thought the team might be strongest on the defensive side of the ball.
“We have some good athletic guys,” he said. I think in the long run, our defense will be a strength for us. I usually count on having enough hitting to get by. You've got to play defense.”
Penn-Trafford began its season last weekend in the North Allegheny Tournament, and the Warriors opened section play at Hempfield on Tuesday night, past the deadline for this week's edition.
“Goal No. 1 would be to do a good job in the section and see what we can do,” Schall said.
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830, via email at email@example.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
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.
- Carlynton volleyball team continues progression
- Ford City girls volleyball playing for 1st section banner
- Thomas Jefferson hosting Seton-La Salle in important girls volleyball match