Volleyball changes from annoyance to passion for Bishop Canevin’s Matt Menosky

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Thursday, May 9, 2019 | 7:14 PM


When Steve Menosky coached his daughters, Michelina Campanella and Julia Menosky, in volleyball, he often would have young son Matt tag along. More accurately, Matt Menosky would be dragged to the court kicking and screaming.

That annoyance eventually became a passion.

Menosky, a senior at Bishop Canevin, has grown into one of the top players in the WPIAL. He has more than 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in his high school career and recently signed his letter of intent to play at Division I St. Francis (Pa.).

“I was forced to go to all (my sisters’) games and practices, but then I fell in love with it,” said Menosky, who helped the Crusaders reach the WPIAL Class AA playoffs for the fourth time in his four seasons. “They couldn’t get me out of the gym.”

Before long, it was the youngest in the Menosky household who was constantly at club and school-sponsored volleyball matches.

He came up through the club ranks playing with rising Penn State sophomores Canyon Tuman (North Allegheny) and Cal Fisher (Riverview) as well as future St. Francis teammate and roommate AJ Schmidt (North Allegheny). Tuman and Fisher, Menosky said, contacted him to congratulate him on committing to St. Francis, but they will be foes come next spring.

“It will be exciting to play against them,” Menosky said.

Bishop Canevin coach Pete Barakat described Menosky as having “all the skills you want a volleyball player to have.” At 6-foot-1, he has played all the way around the rotation for the Crusaders but will be stationed at libero for the Red Flash.

Menosky will not be on scholarship his first season at St. Francis. He will be in line to receive scholarship money as a sophomore after the Red Flash’s rising senior liberos, Gabe Woffindin and Ryan Alu, graduate.

St. Francis coach Mike Rumbaugh said Menosky likely will spend his freshman season sitting and learning his craft. Rumbaugh’s program has a player-driven component in which the upperclassmen take on a large role in mentoring the younger players and schooling them in the ways of Division I volleyball.

He said he can see Menosky fitting in at both ends of that spectrum.

“Strong leaders also are good followers,” said Rumbaugh, who just completed his 21st season as the Red Flash’s coach. “He’s not afraid to take instruction. He’s a sponge right now.

“He’s kind of one of those natural-born leader type kids. … He’s used to talking to guys on the court.”

Menosky, naturally, will have to adjust to the physical aspects of the college game: the speed and playing against opponents who are bigger and stronger than those he has faced in high school and club volleyball. He also will be studying the game more.

“I never watched film that much, but it’s impressive to me how much you can learn watching yourself play volleyball,” he said. “What I can’t realize myself, I can see it on film or someone can point it out to me.”

In preparation for facing Division I competition, Menosky will spend his summer immersed in training. He will play indoor and beach volleyball “as much as possible,” lift and condition.

It still is hard to get him out of the gym.

“I love the team aspect of (volleyball),” he said, “and the fact that no matter your height, body type or age you can play at the competitive level or the picnic level. I think it appeals to everyone.”

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