Lippincott twins thrive on Thomas Jefferson volleyball court, football field

Sunday, October 23, 2022 | 11:01 AM

One competes in volleyball in the fall; the other plays football.

But there’s a connection between the two whether in the gym or on the gridiron.

Thomas Jefferson juniors Eliah and Elias Lippincott are twins who celebrated their 17th birthdays in late August.

“Elias and I have always been close,” Eliah said. “We’ve always shared similar friends up until high school. We are still very close and very supportive towards one another.

“We support each other as much as possible. Although we are both extremely busy, we both go to each other’s games as much as possible and bring each other up when we have bad games or mental blocks.”

Eliah Lippincott is a 5-foot-9 middle blocker on the TJ girls section champion volleyball team. She has played volleyball for five years.

“Eliah has been really good,” said Ron Kelly, TJ’s girls volleyball coach. “She is a strong blocker and a solid attacker. She works so hard at practice and is so positive. She is a very mature high school player.”

With two matches remaining, the TJ netters stood an impressive 12-0 in Section 3-3A and were ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by the Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

“I believe we are doing great this season,” Eliah said, “and we are working hard to continue to do so. We are a very close team and continue to push each other to prepare ourselves for playoffs.

“My season is going pretty well, I’d say. Both my freshman and sophomore seasons were cut short due to serious ankle injures, so I am glad to be fully back and hoping to make it through this season healthy.”

Eliah has a 4.1 GPA and is involved in other extracurricular activities at her school such as the TJ vs. Cancer and Big Jag Little Cub programs. She also participates in club volleyball.

“I played for Revolution Volleyball Club last year and loved my experience there,” she said.

Elias Lippincott is a 6-2, 210-pound running back/defensive end on the TJ football team, following in the footsteps of his father who played collegiately at Slippery Rock.

The Jaguars improved to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the Class 4A Big Seven Conference with a 42-0 win against Ringgold.

“We have had to overcome some adversity (this season), but we are still the same hard-working and determined team we have always been,” Elias said.

Through eight games, Elias had rushed for a team-leading 599 yards and eight touchdowns on 121 carries. He also had 10 receptions for 90 yards.

“My season has been great so far,” he said, “as I’m doing everything I can to help my team succeed in reaching our goals.”

It’s a natural that the Lippincott twins, who have an older sister named Elishia who played softball in high school, encourage each other’s efforts and are advocates for one another.

“We support each other as much as possible and go to each other’s games as much as we can,” Elias said. “We have been pretty close ever since we were young and have always had to share everything.”

Elias also competed for TJ’s boys basketball and baseball teams last year. He was a frontcourt player in basketball and an outfielder and left-handed pitcher on the baseball diamond.

Volleyball team dominates

Thomas Jefferson’s girls volleyball team hasn’t lost a set in section competition this season.

The Jaguars have dominated in Section 3-3A, winning their first 12 matches by 3-0 scores and maintaining first place all year.

The TJ girls were ranked second in 3A by the Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

“I think we are performing well. This team is very tight-knit and they come together when things get tough,” said Ron Kelly, TJ’s veteran coach.

After clinching the section title, the TJ girls were looking forward to a high seed for the playoffs and a possible berth in the WPIAL championship game.

“If we play as we have been playing, I expect a lot from this team,” Kelly said. “Our classification is very strong this year. There are 10 really good teams, and we would need to play our best ball to get to the WPIAL championship. It’s our goal and the girls are working hard to get there.”

TJ’s starting rotation in the season’s second half consisted of outside hitters Delaney Concannon, a 5-foot-10 senior, and Ava Territ, a 5-8 senior; middle hitters Julia Territ, a 5-8 senior, and Lippincott; Riley Sippey and Mia Fox, both 5-11 junior right-side hitters; Julia Berberich, a 5-7 senior setter; Cate Galiato, a 5-1 senior libero, and defensive specialists Emma Ratner, a 5-6 senior, and Tirli Ambercrombie, a 5-3 junior.

“I have high hopes for these girls,” Kelly said. “We’ve played some outstanding volleyball this year. We are so well-rounded and have a good player at every position. I’m looking forward to the playoffs.”

Concannon committed in September to IUP, where she plans to major in communications to eventually become a speech pathologist. She is a third-year starter who has competed in club volleyball for four years.

“I think we have been playing to our own expectations,” Concannon said. “We haven’t lost a set in our section and can hopefully continue our team success going into playoffs. Collectively, our ultimate goals are winning WPIALs and making a run in states.

“My senior year has been the best year yet. Personally, I have been trying to improve the craft of being a six-rotation outside (hitter) not only for the playoffs but also looking ahead to my collegiate years.”


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