Brentwood volleyball trio honored by WPIAL
Friday, November 16, 2018 | 9:24 PM
Three members of the Brentwood girls volleyball squad landed first-team all-section honors this year.
Seniors Anna Betz (middle hitter/defensive specialist), Brooke McQuillan (outside hitter/defensive specialist) and Natalie Murrio (outside hitter/defensive specialist), who helped spark the Spartans to a second-place tie in Section 3-A and a WPIAL playoff berth, received first-team plaudits.
It marked the second year in a row Betz was honored as a first-team all-section selection. She also was a WPIAL preseason player to watch, WPIAL playoff player to watch and a player of the week.
“This is the best season I’ve had individually,” Betz said, “and the best season we have had as a team. It was such a successful season with some of the hardest-working girls.
“I will miss my coaches and my teammates the most. They became my family, and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better.”
Brentwood’s three other seniors also received all-section accolades. Abby Wolf (setter) and Quintasia Streeter (right side hitter) were named to the second team. Maria Nguyen (defensive specialist) was chosen to the third team.
“This was the best season we’ve ever had,” Wolf said. “Not only did we have a better rank and record, but we also played super well as a team.”
Murrio and Wolf were second-team all-section players in 2017. McQuillan was a third-team pick.
The Spartans defeated Shenango, 3-1, in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs before falling to Greensburg Central Catholic, 3-0, in the quarterfinals. GCC finished as the WPIAL runner-up.
“Although we didn’t play our best against GCC, I am extremely proud of our overall season,” Brentwood coach Kayla Hubsch said. “The talent and dedication from the seniors was one of the main reasons for our success.
“We tied for second in the section with Fort Cherry and behind Bishop Canevin. Bishop Canevin and Fort Cherry played each other in an incredible match in the (WPIAL) semifinals, so we definitely had one of the toughest sections in 1A volleyball.”
The Spartans received the No. 6 seed for the Class A playoffs and rallied past Shenango.
“We defeated Shenango to make it to the quarterfinals for the first time, which was very exciting for us,” Hubsch said. “We had a rough start in Set 1 but battled back and won the next three sets.
“In previous years, we made it to the first round but fell short in that match, so it was a great feeling to finally move to the quarterfinals.”
Betz led the squad in kills and blocks this year, with Murrio ranking second in kills.
McQuillan, thanks to her exceptional defensive abilities, paced the Spartans in digs, with Murrio again ranking second. Wolf led in assists and service aces.
“I will miss the connection that Abby Wolf and I shared on the volleyball court,” Betz said. “Without such an outstanding setter, we would have never been so successful. We are hoping to have that same connection on the basketball court.”
Five members of the volleyball team also are Brentwood basketball players. Betz, McQuillan, Murrio, Wolf and sophomore Taylor Davis (setter/defensive specialist) will be teammates this winter.
The Spartans basketball team went 18-8 last season after advancing to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA second round.
“We have many goals set and are looking forward to achieving them this year,” Betz said. “I am expecting an extremely successful season.”
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.