New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The Shenango High girls volleyball team wanted to be perfect.
And it was.
The Lady Wildcats finished unbeaten in WPIAL Section 3-A, defeating visiting Laurel, 25-23, 25-10, 25-21 last night.
“It feels awesome,” first-year Shenango coach Angela Heagy said. “To finish unbeaten in the section, I’m super excited about it.”
The coach of the Lady Wildcats (12-0 section, 15-2 overall) was eager to divert credit to others for the season.
“It would not have been possible if not for the work of the previous coach, Kevin Hummert,” Heagy said. “When I got here, the team’s basic skills were strongly developed. I just had to get them fine-tuned.”
Senior Sophia Koury led the team to victory on its senior night with seven kills. Christina Rapone added 10 assists.
“Sophia performs best whenever she’s under pressure,” Heagy said. “She’s really shined in her performance on the court.”
One of the more difficult transitions a volleyball player can make is a position change. That’s exactly what senior Amanda Herb, four kills, did this season for the Lady Wildcats.
“She moved to the right side this season and performed amazingly,” Heagy said. “She really came through for us.”
Shenango will now play the waiting game, as playoff information will be announced early next week. Heagy is not losing perspective.
“They’re going to get a nice break from practice here,” she said. “But we’re going to get right back to it for next week.”
For Laurel (9-4,13-4), the loss was a tough way to end the regular season.
“It came down to the team that made less errors,” Laurel coach Nicole Downing said. “Unfortunately, we came out on the losing end.”
Mackenzie Mraz led the team with 11 points in the loss. Makayla Dupont contributed 20 assists. Leah Telesz finished with nine kills.
“Shenango played very well,” Downing said. “They were hyped-up. There were a lot of people in the stands for senior night.”
Adjusting to the crowd noise and the importance of the game is key for the Lady Spartans heading into the playoffs.
“Every year we kind of struggle with the playoff game,” Downing said. “The team always seems to play timid. I want them to gain experience this year for what I think they’ll become next year.”