Penn-Trafford boys volleyball team looking for identity

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Sunday, April 18, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Penn-Trafford volleyball coach Jim Schall has learned a lot about his team the first week of the season.

And he is learning more with each match or practice.

The Warriors (2-1, 2-1) opened the season by losing to Hempfield and then went 7-13 in a tournament at North Allegheny, falling in a playoff round to Ambridge, 25-23.

“We can either play really good or really bad,” Schall said. “That was the case at North Allegheny. I’m still trying to figure out our rotation.”

The Warriors seemed to figure out things April 12 and 13 with 3-0 section wins against Penn Hills and Armstrong.

But like most teams, Schall said losing a season to the pandemic has slowed the team’s progression. Penn-Trafford returns only one starter from the 2019 in senior setter Jarred Schoffstall.

“I think I’ve already used 10 different combinations,” Schall said. “I believe we’re going to be pretty good once we figure things out and get more experience. A lot of guys missed an opportunity because of the virus in 2020. I’m just glad we’re getting to play.”

Schoffstall also provides leadership, according to his coach.

“He does a great job for us,” Schall said. “He’s a talented setter and good defender.”

A couple of outside hitters Schall is counting on are seniors Milan Cermak and Lucas Stotler, and on the inside, seniors Alex Kana and Aiden McDonough along with junior Bryce Little are contributing.

“We have a lot of guys in the mix,” Schall said. “We’re trying to work out things. Spots are available, and we have flexibility.”

Penn-Trafford has a busy week. The Warriors faced Latrobe on April 15, then competed in the Hempfield tournament on April 17.

The Warriors were ranked No. 6 behind No. 1 North Allegheny, No. 2 Seneca Valley, No. 3 Butler, No. 4 Hempfield and No. 5 Peters Township.

Schall said losing last year hurt because many of players participate in various sports.

“We’re trying to develop guys,” said the 19th-year coach. “It helps that these guys love to play and compete. We’ll be a different team in a couple weeks.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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