Norwin boys volleyball set for success


2021 Norwin Boys Volleyball team

Julie Chenot

      The Norwin Boys Volleyball team has been one of the most consistently successful teams in Norwin’s athletic history, and even a global pandemic can’t stand in their way.  The Knights are coached by Nick Fallone have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs every season since 2000 and don’t expect this year to be any different, as the Knights return many talented players from the last time they played over 700 days ago.  Over the past two years, the Knights have graduated almost every single piece of their 2019 team that lost in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs, including two All-WPIAL players in Jake Williams, who now plays at Geneva College, and Joey Ferragonio, who now plays at Saint Francis University.  

     The team is currently 1-1 after they opened their season with a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Seneca Valley Raiders, who are currently ranked number 2 in the WPIAL, and a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh Central Catholic.

      “I really thought our serve receive was a lot better against Pittsburgh Central Catholic,” said junior Kevin Skweres, who is currently out with an injury but is an important part of the team this year.  “Improving that is key because it leads to better sets, which leads to more kills, and obviously more points.”

     The Knights have been starting senior Austin Saunders at setter, junior Tyler Hussey and freshman Troy Horvath as outside hitters, sophomores Mike Mihalov and Ethan Painter at middle hitter, senior Joshua Govannucci at right side hitter, and Ben Daum at libero.  Skewers is likely to see playing time once he is cleared.  

     On Monday against Seneca Valley, The Knights started off strong and pulled out to a 19-13 lead in the first set but eventually lost 25-21.  The Knights got caught in a few bad rotations in the second set and lost a more lopsided set two 25-16, but pulled it close again in the third losing 25-22.  It was a different story on Tuesday against PCC, when the Knights dominated defensively.  

     “As a team we improved on blocking a lot,” said Skweres,  “especially Mihalov who had four blocks in one game on Tuesday.”

   The Knights will continue to trek through their tough schedule next facing Penn Hills on April 15.  The team faces both Penn Trafford and Hempfield in section matches twice this year.  Those teams are ranked 4th and 7th in the WPIAL, respectively.   The Knights, who are ranked 8th, will also face off with North Allegheny out of section this season who is ranked 1st in the WPIAL and is also the reigning WPIAL champion from back in 2019.