Greensburg Central Catholic volleyball ready for WPIAL playoffs

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Sunday, October 13, 2019 | 9:19 PM


After winning WPIAL and PIAA Class A titles in 2016, Greensburg Central Catholic’s girls volleyball team has been searching for a way back to the top.

The Centurions hope this is the year.

“Definitely,” GCC senior Liz Colecchia said. “We’re really trying to go far this year. Even since my freshman year when we won states, we’ve been pushing to keep going.”

The Centurions were eliminated in the WPIAL first round two years ago but reached the semifinals last fall.

“I was super happy we made it that far, and we look even stronger this year,” Colecchia said. “I think we’ll go really far. We’ll see what happens. I am very happy with where we are, but we’re still working hard and getting better.”

The Centurions head into the final week of section play in a good spot. At 12-0, they have secured at least a share of the Section 4-A title and clinched a playoff berth.

“They are doing pretty well, but my goal is to have them finish out the season strong,” GCC coach Courtney Stynchula said.

Seniors Alex Christlieb, Emily Zaziski and Colecchia are in the team’s rotation, along with juniors Ava Bailey, Makenzie Kallock and Michelle Binder and sophomores Rebecca Hess and Isabella Guerrieri.

“I have a very small team this year. We had 18 girls come out for the team, so we did not have to make cuts,” Stynchula said. “There are a lot of girls on the JV team that are seeing some varsity time, which is really nice. They definitely have stepped up, overall.”

Even with a small squad, GCC has made it a point to find cohesion.

“We’ve been doing some team-bonding stuff. We went to Twin Lakes as a team, and we’ve gotten ice cream together,” Stynchula said. “We’ve gone to a team Mass, and we went to the Pitt-Penn State (volleyball) game, which was really awesome.”

It’s paid off for the Centurions.

“It’s been great. Our team has come together really well. We’re working hard together every day,” Colecchia said. “We make it mandatory to stay together for meals before games, and we do things together outside of volleyball, too. I consider every single girl on the team as a best friend. Our communication is great. I know exactly where everyone is on the court at all times.”

Outside of chemistry, another team strength is in receiving serves.

“My goal this season was to be the best serve-receive team. In my four years at GCC, I’d definitely agree that their serve receive is better than I’ve ever seen from a high school team,” Stynchula said. “We don’t get stuck a whole lot. Our passes have been fantastic.”

“We work on it every practice, and we definitely take a lot of pride in it. Anytime we’re able to get the ball up, get it set perfectly and get a good swing at it, it’s an amazing feeling,” Colecchia said. “The whole team loves when that happens.”

Joe Sager is a freelance writer.

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