Penn-Trafford girls volleyball working to learn what it takes to win

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Sunday, September 25, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Penn-Trafford girls’ volleyball coach Jim Schall didn’t seemed bothered by his team’s start to the 2022 season.

Warriors were 3-4 overall and 2-1 in Section 3-4A following a hard-fought 3-2 loss to Shaler, falling 15-13 in Game 5, on Sept. 20.

Penn-Trafford returned two starters — senior libero Gia Pezze and senior outside hitter Kate Schall — and numerous other letter winners.

“I wouldn’t say we’re inexperienced,” Jim Schall said. “We have a solid program, and it’s time for others to step in and take over starting spots.”

Also back as part-time starters were junior setter Ella Dindak, junior middle hitter Olivia Pepple, junior setter Ella Spena and senior middle hitter Laylah McPherson. Senior middle hitter Kaelynn Loffredo, senior right-side hitter Emma Hauck and senior defensive specialist Berkeley Olszewski also return.

Schall said he’s pleased with two newcomers to the varsity roster — junior outside hitter Elle Visco and junior outside hitter Sophia Green.

“We lost a lot of nice players from last season,” coach Schall said. “I’m happy with how we’re doing.

“Gia moved from an outside hitter to libero and is doing an excellent job. Elle (Visco) and Sophia (Green) have stepped in and are doing a very good job. A lot of girls are playing expanded roles.”

Penn-Trafford has played a strong nonsection schedule, losing to Pine-Richland, North Catholic and Latrobe.

The Warriors finished second at the Franklin Regional tournament, falling to Freeport in the final, and placed second at their own tournament, falling to Latrobe.

“There is no easy match in our section,” coach Schall said. “We defeated Hempfield and Fox Chapel. We’re learning what it takes and we’re getting better.”

Penn-Trafford also defeated Peters Township in a nonsection match.

Schall gave his team off after the tough loss to Shaler. He wanted them fresh against rival Norwin on Sept. 27 before starting the second half of the season.

The defending section champions reached the quarterfinals in the Class 4A playoffs in 2021, defeating Peters Township before falling to Oakland Catholic.

Penn-Trafford is working toward another trip to the WPIAL playoffs.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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