Boys volleyball Gateway ready to advance in class 2A

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Sunday 10 April 2022 | 8:01


The Gateway boys volleyball team was given a chance to show their potential at the inaugural Seneca Valley tournament on April 2.

Fourth-year coach Phil Randolph said he saw a lot of good things from his players when they teamed up to advance to the semifinals of the tournament before they lost to Norwin in two games.

Gateway split a few games against a 3A class in pool play, lost to eventual Seneca Valley champion and defeated Baldwin.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Gators defeated their rival in the Mars section in a single match and defeated Trinity 2: 1 in the quarterfinals. The Gators also beat Trinity in the opening match of the season on March 31.

“In order to enter and know that we will be playing (in the classification) most of the day, we have shown that we are absolutely able to keep up with some programs that have traditionally been more successful than us,” Randolph said.

“It simply came to our notice then. It’s the result of hard work and great interest from guys. We have great diversity with individuals in terms of their ability to play in multiple venues. We saw it in practice and we saw it during the tournament. These matches really gave us a good feeling for the rest of the season, including the matches in the individual sections. “

Gateway was scheduled to start playing a section against Deer Lakes on Thursday, which ended 7-0 last year, but entered the season without returning starters.

The Gators, with four returning starters in stock, were also scheduled to host an enemy section of Mars on Tuesday.

Gateway will visit Derry on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Gators were not placed in the Western Pennsylvania Coaches Association’s WPIAL Class 2A poll in the week of March 28, but after their performance at the Seneca Valley tournament, they jumped into the top 10 at no. 7 in the ranking published on April 4. .

“This team has high motivation and intensity,” Randolph said.

“At the moment, it’s a pretty seasoned band where we’ve been playing with guys for a few years. We are now at a point where we hope to see the fruits of this work. There are many high-profile guys on the program who absolutely want and can trust each other to carry their own weight. Good things can and will happen when they do. Because we know who we have back and how we work every single day, we are eager to show that we are absolutely among the best teams in double-A. “

Due to problems with the covid and logistics, Gateway played six of the eight sections last year and finished 2-4. The Gators won a place in the WPIAL playoffs and lost the game to Ambridge, while in the first round they lost to Bridgers 3-1.

Ambridge finished third in the tournament and qualified for the playoffs.

Returning tracker Will Kromka, who returned from the outside, earned the first team’s sector-wide awards last year and added a nod to the second All-WPIAL team.

In addition, the Pitt-Johnstown basketball team dealt with leg problems early in the season, and Randolph said his progress in the coming weeks was being treated with caution.

Senior colleagues Ryan Bozicevic (recorder) and Chris Lewis (off tracker) picked up the second team’s laurels in all sections last season, and Lewis was the third All-WPIAL team selection.

The three join returning senior defense specialist Aiden Colberg as the core of the Gateway team.

“I think we did a pretty good job last year that we were mostly first-year guys,” said Bozicevic, who as a freshman in 2019 saw some time at university and got a letter.

“We had three players who started at the university before. Getting to the playoffs and facing a really good team like Ambridge was quite positive. We are all back excited that we can build on last year and show what we can do. The tournament in Seneca Valley gave us a good idea of ​​where we are against all these good teams and showed us that we could place this season. “

Bozicevic said the goal was to get Gateway back to the top of the section, which has not happened in the program since she won consecutive titles in 1985 and 1986.

These two section names are the only ones in the program’s history.

“We want to have another year on this banner,” he said.

Michael Love is a writer for Tribune-Review Staff. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Brands: Gate

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