Former Penn Hills player set to lead Indians boys volleyball team

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Sunday, March 19, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Will Piccolino doesn’t have to worry about relating to coaching high school athletes. The first-year Penn Hills boys volleyball coach still plays competitively and must relate to his younger teammates.

Piccolino, who graduated from Penn Hills in 2008, is a student at Carlow University and plays for its men’s volleyball team.

“I get a lot of old jokes,” Piccolino said. “I’ve been playing volleyball for longer than those guys have been alive.”

Piccolino is set to take over as head coach for Jay Mitlo. Mitlo, a 1989 Penn Hills graduate, stepped down as coach following the end of the girls volleyball season after coaching since 1997. He had also coached the boys program since 2011.

Penn Hills had a tough season last year, finishing 0-12 in section play.

Piccolino, who still lives in Penn Hills and is pursuing a degree in data analytics from Carlow, was happy to return to coach.

“I played for Jay,” Piccolino said. “He had given me a call when he stepped down and said he was recommending me for the job.”

The Indians also will see a delay in having everyone available to play. Penn Hills has four players on the team still playing in the PIAA tournament with the boys basketball team.

What Piccolino is hoping to encourage his players to do is play with pace. Piccolino was part of the Penn Hills’ program when it had a sustained run of playoff appearances.

“We want to go fast,” Piccolino said. “I’m 6-foot-2 and I’m taller than all the kids on the team. We need to move fast to keep the ball off the ground.”

Penn Hills will return setter Luke Hoolahan. The Indians will also count on outside hitters Daniel Valdez-Tirio and opposite hitter Kendal Herbert. Middle hitter Kelsey Hundley will also play a big role.

Piccolino said the Indians will be working on pushing the tempo at practice.

“I want to do a lot at practice,” Piccolino said. “When I played we worked hard and the practices were so hard it made the games feel easy. We want to practice hard and have that translate to the court.”

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