Shaler girls volleyball goes down swinging in WPIAL playoffs

Thursday, October 31, 2019 | 9:12 PM

The Shaler Area girls volleyball team didn’t concede much ground to Canon-McMillan during the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals last Tuesday night in Canonsburg.

While the host and third-seeded Big Macs were able to complete a 3-0 sweep of the sixth-seeded Titans, Canon-McMillan had to work in every set. Shaler lost a topsy-turvy second set 30-28, and dropped the other two sets 25-17, 25-21.

“I think we never gave up,” said sophomore outside hitter Addie Kania, who finished with three kills. “We were always on our toes. We never gave up. Even in the rough times, we played our best. We got a lot of balls up and made smart shots throughout the match.”

The Titans (12-6) were eliminated in the quarterfinals for the second straight year. For a team loaded with sophomores and freshmen, Shaler coach Paul Stadelman was encouraged with the progress.

“I think part of their progress was they needed more reps,” Stadelman said. “The more reps they got, the more improvement they made. They have made a lot of progress through the season. There were only four players on the court who had varsity experience.”

Against Canon-McMillan, Shaler showed balance.

Mia Schubert had a team-high 10 kills and Allison Yarnot contributed five. The Titans had four players tied with three. Tia Bozzo led the team with 23 digs and 22 assists.

The Big Macs took the first set 25-17 before Shaler battled back to nearly steal the second.

“The whole match we were kind of up-and-down,” Stadelman said. “The girls settled in during the second set and competed. They were defensive and showed effort. They were all good teammates and stayed positive. They showed a lot of character and how they can compete with anyone out there.”

Maintaining that fire will be vital for a squad looking to hang tough in an always challenging section.

As the younger players have more opportunities to play together, they believe Shaler can make a serious run at getting past the quarterfinals next season.

“I think this year we grew closer together as a team,” Kania said. “During the offseason, we are going to get more reps and get stronger and it could help us get past the quarterfinals.”


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