Tamo-Noche, fellow seniors continue development for Penn Hills boys volleyball

Sunday, May 9, 2021 | 11:01 AM

Alain Tamo-Noche picked up volleyball as a sophomore looking to build skills for basketball season.

The 6-foot-1 Penn Hills senior outside hitter is now considering playing in college. Learning the sport has been a fun process for Tamo-Noche, who learned from veteran players when he started and is now part of helping a young Indians’ roster find its footing.

Tamo-Noche can relate.

“When I first started, I didn’t think about (playing in college),” Tamo-Noche said. “As my junior year went on, I realized I could be good if I put in the effort and the work.”

Having a lot of fresh blood needing game experience has made things tough for Penn Hills in Section 3-AAA play.

After losing to Armstrong 3-0 last week, Penn Hills fell to 1-7 on the season.

Penn Hills coach Jay Mitlo pointed out the program’s continuity took a big hit due to the pandemic.

Typically, the Indians are still looking to add new players to the roster before the season starts.

“We only had four returning players,” Milto said. “We typically recruit five or six players a year. We lost an entire year of recruitment. Everything is about gaining experience and the learning curve is steep. We are exponentially better, but if you start too far behind it’s hard to catch up.”

Tamo-Noche was drawn into the sport because of what it offered. Volleyball’s pace doesn’t leave much idle time.

“I like jumping,” Tamo-Noche said. “Volleyball is constant motion and something new happens all the time. I’m always learning something new.”

Having those experiences makes it easier to relate to his teammates. The Indians have spent a lot of time breaking in a new setter.

Freshman Luke Hoolahan was slotted into the role and has shown potential.

Mitlo had a feeling he could handle the challenge.

“He’s improved leaps and bounds,” said Mitlo about Hoolahan’s setting. “He’s worked hard at the middle attack, which is a highly-skilled set.”

Tamo-Noche believes the Indians’ attack has been productive.

“I feel like we have a lot of solid hitters,” Tamo-Noche said. “I feel like it’s our strong suit. Defensive-wise, that’s what we want to work on the most.”

Mitlo wants to make sure Tamo-Noche and his fellow seniors to showcase their progress a few more times.

“We have four more matches left,” Mitlo said. “We want to continue to compete and beat the teams we are competitive with. Usually at this time of the season, it would be about next year, but these seniors missed a year. I want to honor the commitment these guys have made. I want to let them see it out and get more victories.”


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