Peterson powers Shaler volleyball to successful start
Thursday, September 5, 2019 | 5:43 PM
Emily Peterson isn’t expecting to make the list of the WPIAL’s hardest hitters.
What the Shaler Area junior middle blocker is hoping to carve out a reputation for is being efficient.
The Titans are hoping Peterson can be part of a developing middle that will add another weapon to their offensive attack.
“I try to stay calm, cool and collected,” Peterson said. “When the ball is coming, I try to look for open spots on the court. I’m not the hardest hitter in the WPIAL. I just want to be effective and kill all the balls I can.”
Shaler, which dropped its season-opener last Wednesday to two-time defending PIAA champion North Allegheny, has one senior on the roster but returns a lot of experienced youngsters.
A lot of the Titans’ experience is on the outside. Shaler’s hoping Peterson, who has played middle hitter for most of her career, can bring stability inside.
“We learned that we have to give it our all every game and keep pushing,” Peterson said. “Give it our all. It’s exciting to play them how hard we can push ourselves because it shows the kind of team we are.”
The previous weekend Shaler opened strong by winning the Butler Tournament. The Titans went undefeated through pool play and beat the Golden Tornado 2-0 in the final.
Second-year Shaler coach Paul Stadelman expects this group to grow in different stages.
“We don’t have one dominant player,” Stadelman said. “All six girls will have to be working with each other. They have all gotten together for winning as a team.”
In the opener against the Tigers, Mia Schubert led Shaler with 15 kills, and Addie Kania had eight. Tia Bozzo led the Titans with 24 assists and 14 digs.
Shaler wants to be a team that makes other teams work. Stadelman said despite being swept by North Allegheny, Shaler didn’t leave the gym until 9:30 p.m. on game night.
“We’re approaching it as being one of the scrappy and annoying teams where the ball keeps coming back,” Stadelman said. “We want to be that annoying team that keeps the ball coming back and makes the other team work harder.”
Like Peterson, Shaler will learn on the job.
The Titans will have plenty of chances to continue to develop.
“They understand the expectations,” Stadelman said. “It’s fun to see. I had a young team this year. We only aged by a year. I still have three sophomores starting. They will improve as the season goes on.”