Hampton girls volleyball continues recent run of success

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Saturday, October 31, 2020 | 11:01 AM


New coach. New section. New adjustments.

It all added up to an outstanding regular season and section championship for the Hampton girls volleyball team.

The Talbots (11-3, 9-3) finished in a four-way for first place in Section 5-3A along with Mars, Armstrong and Freeport.

“A key to the team’s success this year has been the girls’ hard work, passion for the game and their cohesiveness as a group,” said Annie Bozzo, Hampton’s first-year coach. “The girls continue to impress me with how hard they work every practice and game. They have so much passion and love for the game, and that is how we’ve been winning the tough sets and matches. And as a team, the girls are so close, and while they compete for a starting spot, they support each other and have one end goal: to win the game.”

Mars received the eighth seed for the WPIAL playoffs, followed by Armstrong (No. 10), Freeport (No. 11) and Hampton (No. 12).

This marks five years in a row Hampton has been a playoff qualifier in girls volleyball. The Talbots’ first-round playoff match was scheduled for Oct. 29 against No. 5 South Fayette.

“Being in my first year as a head coach and my first year coaching in (Class) 3A, I do not have an exact outlook on the WPIAL playoffs,” Bozzo said before the release of the seedings. “We have been playing hard and continuing to work on getting better. The girls are playing hard and want to win, so I am hoping we can make a run in the playoffs.”

Bozzo, a 2014 Shaler graduate who took over the team this summer, is one of the youngest volleyball coaches in the WPIAL.

She twice was named All-WPIAL and all-state, then went on to play at Syracuse, where she majored in inclusive elementary education.

Bozzo, 24, coached with the boys and girls programs at Shaler before accepting her position at Hampton.

“I am so proud of my girls,” Bozzo said. “They continue to impress me with their dedication to the team and staying safe and healthy to make sure we have a season. I have greatly enjoyed coaching them so far, and I am excited to see what the playoffs can bring us.”

The Talbots’ regular lineup consists of senior outside hitter Addie Syglowski, junior outside hitter Kate Hovanec, senior middle blocker Lily Obendorfer, junior middle blocker Kai Herchenroether, junior setter Claudia Braun, freshman right-side hitter Emmy Schrom (RS), senior libero Julia Resch and senior defensive specialist Bridget Wojcik.

Syglowski and Resch, an animated leader on the court, are team captains. Herchenroether, at 6-foot, and Obendorfer (5-11) are the team’s tallest players.

“We’ve been doing well and working hard adjusting to a new coach, and we will continue to work hard through the playoffs,” Obendorfer said. “We are obviously going to be up against some good teams, but if we continue to work hard, I believe we will succeed in our postseason.

“I am so proud of us this season. I think our biggest strengths are our energy and trust in each other. We are so close as a team, and that helps us in our games. We cheer loud, and it gets everyone excited for the next point, and if someone makes a mistake, nobody holds a grudge because we have trust in each other that we will make the next play.”

Obendorfer, who has a 4.0 GPA, Wojcik and Resch also are members of the school’s bowling team.

“We’ve worked so hard this season,” Obendorfer said, “and we are going to continue to work even harder.”

Resch comes from a family of musicians and performed the national anthem before the Talbots’ matches the last two seasons.

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