Prep Volleyball notes - Pennsylvania dreaming

Pa. teams are a combined 59-17 so far this season

Pa. teams are a combined 59-17 so far this season

October 03, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

It's a stat that, at first, is hard to believe.


As of Wednesday, that number represents the combined win-loss records of the seven Pennsylvania schools The Herald-Mail covers. It also translates into a .776 winning percentage, which translates into this: Volleyball north of the Mason-Dixon line this season has been sensational.

Each of the seven schools is currently above .500. Two - James Buchanan and McConnellsburg - currently have just one loss, and those came in tournament play. Chambersburg and Southern Fulton have two losses each - and the Indians' setbacks have come against McConnellsburg and James Buchanan.

Rockets coach Erica Piper pointed to youth programs as the talent source that has made Pennsylvania high schools a hot spot for volleyball.


"I know a lot of the girls in the area are involved in junior club ball," Piper said. "It's not just the fall season anymore, it's a year-round thing.

"The interest level has grown not just in our school, but in our area. Even at the junior high level they're playing in seventh grade, and that's just getting three more years' experience under the girls' belts."

McConnellsburg coach Greg Hays said the work athletes put in during the summer pays off come fall.

"I run a summer league and we try to do as much as we can with clinics that we host or by sending kids to camp," Hays said.

Pennsylvania volleyball will be at its best Monday when Piper's Rockets host McConnellsburg in a matchup that will give one team its first non-tournament loss.

"The girls are definitely excited," Piper said. "That's always a good game."

"You've got to be ready and you've got to take your best game," Hays said. "Otherwise you're going to come out on the short end."

n The MVAL Antietam Conference could turn out to be quite a roller coaster ride. Conference play begins Oct. 6 (some conference foes play each other twice this season and have already had one matchup. Only the second matchup counts toward the conference standings).

There's no clear-cut favorite. Williamsport (5-1), Smithsburg (5-1), South Hagerstown (5-1), Boonsboro (6-1) and North Hagerstown (3-3) field solid squads, and Clear Spring (5-1) and Catoctin (5-2) have started the season fast.

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