Shaler girls volleyball finds winning way in 2nd half of section play
Going through the second half of the Section 1-AAA schedule is an opportunity for the Shaler girls volleyball team to right several wrongs.
The Titans (4-6, 2-5) opened the season by losing their first four section matches, including 3-2 losses to Butler, Fox Chapel and Seneca Valley. Shaler’s fortunes have begun to turn.
Last Tuesday, the Titans, who have won two of their past three section matches, avenged one of those losses by knocking off Butler, 3-1.
Another opportunity to keep climbing was during Shaler’s match with Fox Chapel last Thursday, after deadline for this edition.
Shaler coach Paul Stadelman was happy to see the progress during the Titans’ match against the Golden Tornado.
“Getting a win against Butler is a huge win for the girls,” Stadelman said. “Doing five sets the first time against Butler, we’re excited to get back into it and have a good game against them.”
Against the Golden Tornado, Mia Schubert led Shaler with 24 kills, and Oyinda Agbale contributed 13.
Schubert also led the Titans with 24 digs, and Sierra Ricci added 13.
Continued improvement has Shaler believing it can hang tough in the playoff race.
While North Allegheny, Pine-Richland and Butler have control of the top three spots, fourth place and the final playoff spot is up for grabs.
What has the Titans on the upswing is an improved offensive output. Shaler is playing with a faster pace and putting opponents on their heels.
“I think it’s timing, playing at a faster pace, and just getting used to the speed of the varsity game for the younger girls who are freshmen and starting varsity,” Stadelman said.
As Shaler continues to settle in, the Titans will be locked into a battle for the last postseason bid. These players have taken major strides since the start of the year.
“In the beginning, with such a young team, we had some tough five-set losses at the start of section,” Stadelman said. “Things are starting to click better now. The chemistry of the team is working out, and the girls are working hard and working well together. They are starting to believe in the system and the game plan and the offensive technique and the defensive attitude we’ve developed in the first half to move into the second half.”