Latrobe boys volleyball team ready to make a run

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | 7:11 PM

Now is the time for Latrobe to make a run through the boys volleyball postseason. With 10 starters back and a senior-laden roster, the Wildcats have high hopes.

“We always set our goals high, but we have to be realistic,” Latrobe senior Reed Fenton said. “We definitely have the opportunity to win our section and make a run in the WPIAL playoffs. We have our hopes, up and we’re ready to put our best foot forward and put in the work to achieve our goals.”

Latrobe boasts experience all over the court. It starts with senior captains Alex Ryan, Tommy Labick and Fenton. Classmates Myles Douglas (libero), Matt Klasnic (defensive specialist), Joe Costello (defensive specialist), Nick Jaworske (middle blocker), Cole Fiore (middle blocker) and Gage Handwork (opposite), join outside hitters Ryan and Fenton and setter Labick in the rotation, along with junior middle blocker Ethan Kammerer.

“We’ve been playing for a while, and we’re all close. It’s not like we have a lot of first-year players. We gave good chemistry,” Fenton said. “We picked up right where we left off. We’re able to work on things normally other teams might not be able to work on because of having to get people up to speed.”

Latrobe finished 8-8 last year after a 3-0 loss to Seneca Valley in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

“They have their sights set on the top of the mountain this year. We have a lot of senior experience and leadership. We’re going to hope that carries us through,” coach Drew Vosefski said. “We want to build on the experience we have and maybe get more dynamic because we have the veteran players and the talent.

“We’ve had guys play in clubs and in preseason leagues and they are ready to bring it all right back to this team. As we all know, when you put on a high school jersey, things change because you’re representing all your friends and your neighborhood. It makes a big difference. They are ready to go at it full force.

Fenton leads the way. He has been an all-section and all-WPIAL player his first three seasons. Ryan was an all-section honoree the past two years.

“I think those two on the outside are as good as any in the WPIAL. They hit the ball extremely well and can move it around,” Vosefski said. “Ethan Kammerer is just hitting his stride to be one of the dominant middles in the WPIAL. Tommy Labick amazes me every day with what he can do with the ball at the setter position.

“To have the depth we have this year is so nice because we all know it’s a long haul. You’ll have injuries and have guys with bad days. I have two or three people at each position I can put in and feel confident they will do the job. I am overjoyed that we have young men who want to be part of this team. Even though they know they may not be a starter, they are great teammates and will be ready to do their part anytime they can.

The Wildcats might need to call on reserves to get through a competitive Section 3 with Hempfield, Norwin and Penn-Trafford expected to battle Latrobe for the title.

“It’s really going to be a battle. We have some tough away games,” Fenton said. “Playing at Armstrong is difficult because they can be a tough team, too. We’re going to have to bring it every single night when we have a section game.”

Penn-Trafford won the title last year at 13-1, and Norwin (12-2), Hempfield (11-3) and Latrobe (8-6) earned playoff berths. The Wildcats opened section play with a big 3-2 win at Penn-Trafford.

“As always, Section 3 will be a dogfight, barnburner every night of the season,” Vosefski said. “That’s what makes it fun, though. All of us coaches are friends, but we are competitive people. We’re going to do our best against each other every night. No one is going to lay down for anybody.”

Joe Sager is a freelance writer.


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