Greensburg CC girls volleyball has sights set on WPIAL title after falling short last season

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | 10:37 AM

It’s not likely to be a situation where a new coach inherits a talented team, then appears to be a genius if the team goes on to new heights.

No, in this particular case, it doesn’t seem to be that way at all.

This coach and these girls already were acquainted long ago.

“A lot of them were playing on the JV team when I got here,” said Angela Komoroski, Greensburg Central Catholic’s first-year girls volleyball coach, who takes over a team that fell just short of a WPIAL championship in 2020 in former coach Courtney Stynchula’s final season with the Centurions.

“I feel like I’ve gotten to know them pretty well.”

Not that Komoroski and GCC are guaranteed another banner season — the Centurions finished as Class A runner-up before Stynchula resigned for personal reasons after three seasons as coach — but Komoroski figures having five returning seniors could be a recipe for more success.

For Komoroski, though, pushing the right buttons can’t hurt.

GCC, ranked No. 2 in this year’s inaugural Western PA Volleyball Coaches Association Class A poll, handled Trinity Christian, 3-0, in a Section 4 match in Komoroski’s coaching debut last week.

Other teams in the section are Apollo-Ridge, Leechburg, Riverview, St. Joseph and Springdale.

GCC was scheduled to play at Ligonier Valley on Saturday before traveling on Monday to take on four-time defending WPIAL champion and top-ranked Bishop Canevin in another section match.

Komoroski said she’s convinced the Centurions have put aside a loss to an emotionally charged Bishop Canevin in the 2020 WPIAL championship match just a day after former longtime Crusaders coach Kevin Walters had died.

“I feel like they’re ready. I feel like I’m ready,” Komoroski said. “I’ve played this sport, and I’ve coached for a while now. I’m excited to finally be a head coach.”

Komoroski, a 2013 GCC graduate, led the elementary team at Aquinas Academy in Greensburg for six seasons before moving to GCC, where she coached the JV team for the past two years while serving as Stynchula’s assistant.

Now, Komoroski is coaching that same group at the varsity level.

“A lot of the girls started in JV, and I feel like they’re ready to keep things rolling,” she said. “This is probably one of the best teams that Central has seen in a long time. They’ve been together all through high school. They’re a very tight group.”

Seven returning starters are led by WPIAL all-section selections 5-foot-10 outside hitter Rebecca Hess, 5-6 middle hitter Grace Petnuch, 5-5 senior defensive specialist/opposite Isabella Guerrieri and 5-11 outside hitter Julia Kratzenburg, all seniors.

The others are 5-6 senior outside hitter Danielle D’Allessio, 5-4 junior defensive specialist/libero Kayla Desak and 5-6 sophomore setter Emily Hess.

“We’re very experienced, plus we have a big freshman class, the largest to ever make the team,” Komoroski said, adding that at least two of the 12 incoming freshmen — setter Maura Oslosky, who has been bothered by an ankle injury, and outside hitter Eva Denis — could see extensive playing time with the varsity.

“A lot of the talent really doesn’t come from the seniors,” Komoroski said. “We have some big hitters up and down the lineup. But the seniors hold it together.

“Believe me, they were bummed out not getting to the state playoffs last year.”

In fact, Bishop Canevin was the lone Class A team from the WPIAL to qualify for the PIAA tournament.

“The girls are aiming for the state finals this year, and they think they can do it,” Komoroski said.


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