Shaler volleyball looks to compete in tough section – Tribune-Review

Updated 1 hour ago

Following nine months of strenuous rehab on his knee, Shaler senior right-side hitter Luke Brand wants to make sure the Titans are prepared. If Shaler has to lose, Brand wants it to be because their opponents had an above-average performance.

Losing should never happen because of compounding mistakes.

“I think we have to get into the mindset that we can’t beat ourselves,” Brand said. “We have to make the other team earn every point and can’t take plays off. As long as we are getting the ball over the net and making the other team make a play on the ball, I think that will increase our odds at the end of the game.”

With another year of seasoning, Shaler hopes to improve on its 7-8 record from last year and challenge for a playoff spot in the always-brutal Section 2-AAA. Section rivals North Allegheny (11) and Fox Chapel (two) have won 13 of the last 14 WPIAL titles.

The Titans seek their first playoff berth since the 2009-10 season.

“I think if we play our game, we match up well,” Shaler coach Paul Stadelman said. “We need to keep our errors down, and forcing errors on their half of the net will be key for us this year. We need to play a low-error game and stay aggressive.”

The Titans return four starters — 6-foot-2 senior setter Stephen Borgen, 6-2 middle hitter Jake Dadowski, 6-0 outside hitter Owen Freiss and 6-2 outside hitter Jon Ramsey.

Sophomore defensive specialist Cam Aigner and 6-3 senior outside hitter Chris McDermott also will make an impact.

What has helped Shaler push itself has been an influx of young players. The Titans have 18 freshmen on the roster.

“Our young players have stepped up and worked hard from last year to this year to get to where they are,” Stadelman said. “They are an exciting, lively young group and they bring a lot of energy to practice. They are very competitive people. They enjoy competing with each other.”

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

Shaler volleyball looks to compete in tough section – Tribune-Review

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