Westmoreland high school notebook: Franklin Regional volleyball hitter is smashing success

Saturday, October 19, 2019 | 7:57 PM

A versatile, 6-foot-1 hitter who can deliver from all three positions on the court, Franklin Regional junior Aly Kindelberger has all the tools and instincts to be a Division I volleyball player.

She now has a scholarship, too.

Kindelberger committed earlier this month to play at DePaul.

The powerful Kindelberger can be a matchup nightmare for some teams, slamming kills while also flourishing on defense.

“She has worked hard to get everything she has earned but is humble,” Franklin Regional coach Mike Feorene said. “She has a great support system around her. Her team passes well and sets well, which enables her to do what she is best at — putting the ball away.”

Kindelberger also had an offer from Connecticut. She has a team-best 336 kills for the section-champion Panthers, who are preparing to begin the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs next week. Kindelberger has a dominant .351 hitting percentage and her statline also includes 29 block assists, 26 set assists, and 23 digs.

Feorene said Kindelberger can cover a lot of ground and has volleyball smarts, which often has her thinking a play or two ahead of a point.

“Her reads while blocking are pure reaction due to her understanding of where she needs to be,” the coach said. “She is able to move laterally in either direction after deciding the opposing middle hitter is not getting the ball.”

Panthers girls basketball coach Anthony Kobus won’t like to hear this part: “Typically, for a Division I hitter, (coaches) want you to be able to touch the rim or close to it,” Feorene said.

And Kindelberger can just about get there.

“She either hits over the block or cuts to a part of the court that is open,” Feorene said. “She knows she is never done learning. She will make mistakes, but figures out a way to change what she did.”

Volleyball playoffs

The WPIAL will announce playoff matchups for girls volleyball Monday.

The first round could start as early as Tuesday. The championships will be Nov. 2 at Fox Chapel.

Westmoreland playoff teams are: Hempfield, Penn-Trafford and Norwin in Class 4A; Franklin Regional and Kiski Area in 3A; Southmoreland, Derry and Burrell in 2A; and Greensburg Central Catholic in A.

FR cracks national ranks

Franklin Regional is considered one of the top 50 boys high school soccer teams in the country.

TopDrawerSoccer.com, a website that follows and rates college, high school and club soccer, has the Panthers at No. 45 in its latest rankings.

Franklin Regional (16-0-1), the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs, has allowed just three goals while posting 14 shutouts.

The defending WPIAL champion Panthers have not lost in 38 consecutive regular-season games.

They opened the playoffs with a 16-0 win over Laurel Highlands.

The Panthers also check in at No. 4 in TopDrawer’s Mid-Atlantic Region rankings and are No. 2 in the state behind Lower Merion.

Other WPIAL teams also made the rankings. The Mars girls are No. 4 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and No. 8 in the state, ahead of Norwin (10), Peters Township (11) and Moon (13).

The Plum boys are No. 8 in the region and No. 4 in the state.

State golf

Heritage Hills Resort in York will again be the site for the PIAA golf championships.

The 36-hole individual tournament will be Monday and Tuesday, with the team finals Wednesday.

Westmoreland will have representation from juniors Chuck Tragesser of Franklin Regional and Alex Turowski of Penn-Trafford in the boys tournament, and sophomore Meghan Zambruno and junior Angelika Dewicki of Greensburg Central Catholic.

Tragesser will try to keep the state title in house. His former teammate, Palmer Jackson, now a freshman starter at Notre Dame, won the PIAA last year.

Westmoreland has produced three other boys individual state golf champions: Latrobe’s Arnold Palmer (1946, ‘47), Kenneth Fisher of Penn Township (1953), and Pat Shinners of Hempfield (1972).

GCC’s Olivia Zambruno won three PIAA titles (2014, ‘15, ‘16), and another Centurions alum, Staci Aber, won in 1989 and ‘91.

Hempfield’s Katie Miller was a state champion in 1999, 2000 and ‘02.

The GCC girls, fresh off a fifth consecutive WPIAL team championship, will look to defend their Class AA title.

A county boys team has not won a state golf title since Latrobe in 2009.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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