Thomas Jefferson outside hitter honored for ‘outstanding’ season

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Saturday, December 4, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Thomas Jefferson captured the Section 3-3A championship with an unblemished 12-0 record this season.

Nine members of the TJ squad were lauded as section all-stars.

Junior OH Delaney Concannon, junior libero Cate Galioto, senior setter Caitlyn Chalovich and sophomore outside hitter Mia Fox were voted to the first team.

The 5-foot-9 Concannon also was named first-team All-WPIAL in Class 3A after receiving second-team honors in 2020.

“Delaney’s a dominant hitter,” TJ coach Ron Kelly said. “She had an outstanding year. She has a good serve and is a threat hitting out of the back row.”

Galioto was a second-team All-WPIAL selection while Chalovich was voted onto the third team.

Three TJ girls were named as second-team all-section players, including senior OH Julia Palmer, junior MH Julia Territ and sophomore RS Rylie Sippey. Rounding out the Jaguars’ list of section honorees were sophomore MH Eliah Lippincott and junior RS Ava Territ, both third-team selections.

Switching to Class 2A, Brentwood junior Olivia Trent received first-team plaudits at the outside hitter position.

Two of Trent’s teammates, seniors Paige Mortimore (outside hitter) and Mackenzie Castiglione (libero), were selected to the second and third teams, respectively.

Brentwood finished fourth in Section 2-2A with a 5-7 mark. The Spartans defeated Derry, 3-1, in the WPIAL preliminary round before losing to Neshannock, 3-0.

In Section 2-4A, Baldwin had two seniors chosen as all-stars. Alexa Chapla (OH/DS) and Heidi Johnston (MH) earned second- and third-team laurels for the Highlanders, who finished sixth at 3-9 in their section.

Thomas Jefferson advanced to the WPIAL 3A playoffs with the No. 2 seed. The Jaguars blanked No. 15 West Allegheny, 3-0, in the first round then lost to No. 7 Plum, 3-1, in the quarterfinals. The TJ girls ended up 16-2 overall.

“I think our team did great in our section and even in our out-of-section games,” Concannon said. “We had a pretty hard out-of-section and tournament schedule and were able to win most of these games.

“The season didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but hopefully that is what will motivate us to go farther next year. I can’t wait to see how much stronger everyone comes back next year. I’m expecting it to be an even better year for us.”

After spending a few weeks at No. 1 in 3A in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association weekly rankings, TJ finished second in the final regular-season poll.

“I thought our team was very good,” Kelly said. “We were a deep, talented team. We had injuries throughout the season but still managed to play well.

“We have all of our hitters returning next year, but we’re losing five seniors and their leadership. Two were starters for multiple years and the others were good backups. If we mesh next year, we could be a really good team. I can see that happening.”

Concannon (OH), Galioto (L) and Chalovich (OH) were lauded as players of the week at various points in the season.

Concannon is a two-year starter and two-time first-team all-section selection who enjoys the camaraderie shared by players in the TJ volleyball program.

“One of my favorite memories I have with my team are the dinners,” she said. “We have multiple pasta dinners throughout the year and it is always a great time.”

Concannon is well-versed in athletics and in the classroom. She has played basketball for the Jaguars for the past two years and also held a goalkeeper position for the girls soccer team this fall.

She owns a 4.13 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, and Big Jag Little Cub, French and TJ vs. Cancer clubs.

The versatile TJ athlete hopes to continue her volleyball career at the next level.

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