Penn-Trafford volleyball looking good after challenging early season schedule

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Sunday, September 24, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Penn-Trafford dropped two nonconference girls volleyball matches early this season to Pine-Richland and North Catholic.

But veteran coach Jim Schall said he’s not deterred by the start. He said his team has learned a lot and he expects them to finish strong.

Penn-Trafford finished 17-4 in 2022. The Warriors defeated Peters Township to open the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs, but lost a quarterfinal match to Oakland Catholic.

The Warriors (5-2 overall, 3-0 Section 3) are ranked No. 5 in Class 4A behind North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Canon-McMillan and Upper St. Clair. North Catholic is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.

They are off to a good start with wins against Shaler, Fox Chapel and Hempfield.

They also won the tournament they host, defeating Norwin in the semifinals and Latrobe in the finals. They finished second to Freeport in the Franklin Regional tournament.

“We have a good crew coming back.” Schall said. “And I think we’re improving. We lost a tough match to North Catholic and we’re doing much better.”

Schall uses a 12-player rotation headlined by nine seniors.

Heading the list of returning starters are senior setter Ella Dindak and senior outside hitter Elle Visco.

Other seniors back are middle hitter Olivia Pepple, outside hitter Sophia Green, libero Maci Hohman, setter Ella Spena, defensive specialist Carli Brinko, middle hitter Georgia Kendall and defensive specialist Savannah Koscho.

There are three juniors Schall is counting on. They are middle hitter Kamryn Pieper, outside hitter Kaci DePalma and outside hitter Kylie Anthony.

“We have some good talent and they are working hard,” said Schall, who noted the team is working especially on its blocking.

“Every day at practice I see improvement. I like what I see. We have a lot of players who have experience. I expect us to continue to improve.”

Schall said the program is in good shape. He has a lot of sophomores and freshmen working on the junior varsity team.

Penn-Trafford concluded the first half of the season with a home match against Norwin. It opens the second half of the season Oct. 3 with a home match against Hempfield.

The Warriors also play in the Norwin tournament in October.

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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