Chartiers Valley, South Fayette volleyball teams savor playoff seasons

Saturday, November 28, 2020 | 11:01 AM

The fall sports season was a challenge for all involved.

However, the biggest obstacles to overcome in order to get a full season in the books may have been for those playing the only indoor sport in the fall, girls volleyball.

A pair of local teams did a great job overcoming pandemic-related issues to enjoy successful playoff seasons.

“I am so thankful for this season,” Chartiers Valley first-year coach Amanda Burgess said. “With covid-19, we weren’t sure it was going to happen. I’m so happy it did. I couldn’t ask for a better support system between my two assistant coaches, Chartiers Valley’s athletic department and our booster team.”

The Colts earned a second straight postseason berth by finishing in fourth place in Section 2-3A.

The playoffs were short and not so sweet for the Colts, as they lost the battle of the CVs, falling to Central Valley, 3-0, in a WPIAL Class 3A preliminary round match.

Nonetheless, Burgess is very pleased with the efforts her team gave all season long.

“I am proud of our season and our athletes,” she said. “The girls are skilled, smart, respectful and strong. Our senior girls always brought their best, showed great leadership and team spirit. They were hard workers and led by example throughout the year. I am sad to see them go but know that our loss is someone else’s gain.”

South Fayette finished in second place in Section 2-3A behind Montour.

The Lions earned the No. 5 seed in the WPIAL 3A playoffs and defeated Hampton in the first round before falling, 3-2, to eventual district champion Franklin Regional.

“I was really happy with our team’s performance this year,” South Fayette coach Scott Sundgren said. “With such a shortened preseason, we had a lot of work to do in the early part of the regular season. We played well in both rounds of the playoffs, going to five sets in each one.”

After a slow 1-2 start to the regular season in September, South Fayette finished strong into October.

“I think we closed out the season very strong,” Sundgren said. “The way the girls came together in a compressed time frame was excellent. Honestly, the highlight of the season was that we actually had a season.”

Both Chartiers Valley and South Fayette will lose key players to graduation before next fall with the Colts saying goodbye to four players and the Lions losing five seniors.

However, both coaches feel there is plenty of optimism surrounding the program as they look ahead to 2021.

“I am optimistic that my young team starts to grow some confidence on the court,” Burgess said. “I want them to trust in themselves, because we coaches do. I want them to love the crowd, the nerves and always remember how strong our team is together.

“I love how we came together. I was impressed with our strong feeling of team spirit. I have faith that we have laid some good seeds and we will continue to grow. I’m so excited for next season.”

South Fayette has now reached the WPIAL playoffs nine straight years, including four years in a row as a runner-up in their section. The Lions and Sundgren look to continue that success in 2021.

“We’ll really rely on our young players coming up,” he said. “Fortunately, we have an excellent group of players coming up through the program. Hopefully, we get to have a more extensive summer and preseason.”

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