Volleyball standout Schneider set to join Quaker Valley HOF

Monday, August 7, 2017 | 7:24 PM

When Quaker Valley volleyball hit a high point in the early 2000s, Janette Schneider was in the middle of the action.

Schneider, a four-year starter and two-year all-WPIAL and all-state selection for the Quakers, helped lead QV to its best season as a senior in 2002, earning a third-place finish in the WPIAL and the program's first state tournament berth.

The star middle blocker went on to be a scholarship player and four-year starter at Robert Morris, and this fall, she will take her place in the Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame when this year's class gets inducted Sept. 17, at Sewickley Heights Golf Club.

The volleyball team's success during Schneider's career — four straight playoff appearances and the trip to the '02 WPIAL semifinals — illustrate how influential of a player she was, a feat made more remarkable by the fact she picked up the game relatively late.

“I started playing in eighth grade, but not very seriously,” Schneider said. “My sophomore year, I really started to develop, and my coach, Jim Walls, got me involved with club volleyball and helped cultivate my ability to play at a high level.

“I never really thought about playing in college until my junior year. I think overall that season, I realized I had some potential. When I tried out for club volleyball that year, I got put on the 18-year-old team, and a lot of them had already been recruited by Penn State or other colleges. I looked up to them, and I started to realize I could play with them.”

That junior club season helped set up Schneider for her senior season at QV, when she and a large class of senior teammates helped propel the Quakers all the way to the semifinals before losing to perennial power West Shamokin. A win in the third-place match over Elizabeth Forward clinched the historic state tournament appearance, which ended with a first-round loss to District 6 champion Huntingdon.

“That was definitely very exciting. I feel like my (senior) year, we had a very special group of girls. We wouldn't have made it to states without each of the people in that class,” Schneider said.

Schneider went on to be a two-time all-NEC player at Robert Morris, where she is presently ninth in school history in kills (1,049), fifth in blocks (414) and fourth in solo blocks (144). With her induction, Schneider will be just the second volleyball player to enter the QV Hall of Fame, after former teammate and state track champion Jasmine Rodgers was inducted in 2014.

Schneider now works for Travelers Insurance in Pittsburgh, but she continues to stay involved in the game by helping on the gameday staff for multiple area colleges, and a recent broken ankle isn't likely to keep her away from the court with a co-ed team.

“I'm hoping this year to get back into playing. I couldn't give it up because I love it so much,” she said.

Matt Grubba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com


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