Penn Hills boys volleyball team sees wins on horizon

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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Junior setter Anthony Collins is encouraged about the future of the Penn Hills volleyball team.

The Indians didn’t get the results they wanted this season, but Collins is encouraged about the potential growth for the next crop of kids coming up through the program.

“They are promising. A few did play varsity,” Collins said. “I’ll be happy to play with them next year. They are enthusiastic about the sport. They will work hard in the offseason, and we won’t have to shake off as much rust in the spring.”

Gaining reinforcements will be important for the varsity team, which finished 3-13 overall and 0-10 in Section 3-3A play. The Indians don’t have many players with club experience and usually leaned on players who picked up the sport in high school to fill out the roster. Collins started because he had friends who played as freshmen.

Second-year Penn Hills coach Will Piccolino knows the varsity results aren’t what this group of players hoped for. However, Piccolino said that the Indians hope the foundation they built for the future will continue to push the program forward.

“We had 14 players on our junior varsity,” Piccolino said. “They had a good season and were above .500. That was incredibly optimistic.”

Piccolino, was pleased with how they picked up the pace on offense. Penn Hills will bring back both of its setters from this season, Collins and Lucian McCollim, to try to push the offense forward next season.

Piccolino said he is still settling in with his role, much like his players have.

“Compared to last year, this year was easier for me,” Piccolino said. “My comfort level was a lot higher than last year. I was timid about it. This year, a few parents told me that when I was hard on the kids to not worry about it and be hard on them. They need it.”

Collins said that Penn Hills has been working on adapting to filling a variety of roles during scrimmages.

“It helps different players with playing different positions,” Collins said.

Penn Hills will also to see growth from a few attacking players. Piccolino hopes that outside hitter Will Clark and outside hitter Calix Clark will help make them more dangerous at the net.

Collins said he is excited to see what Penn Hills can accomplish next season.

“A good goal is I want to have a winning record in section and possibly make the playoffs,” Collins said. “We want to have realistic goals. We want to end our senior season with more wins than losses.”

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