Posted/Updated: 6/13/2024 12:54:17 PM

Shaler and Parkland meet for boys volleyball state championship — again

WPIAL champion Titans lost to Trojans in last year's PIAA Class 3A title match
Last year's PIAA Class 3A boys volleyball final between Shaler and Parkland featured two squads that had only one senior on their roster.

Those young players are a year older and will go against each other again when Shaler and Parkland meet in the title match on Saturday at Penn State's Recreation Hall. This time, only one underclassman will see playing time.

"It's ironic that we are meeting again," said Parkland coach Scott Trumbauer, whose Trojans swept Shaler in last year's title match. "At the end of last season, many felt we would meet again in the finals, but nothing is guaranteed. It's funny how things work out. This is Parkland versus Shaler, Part 2."

Shaler (19-1) earned its championship berth by winning its second consecutive WPIAL title. The Titans advanced to the title match with wins against Carlisle, 3-0 in the first round; State College, 3-1 in the quarterfinals; and Warwick, 3-0 in the semifinals.

"The kids have wanted another chance to play Parkland since last year's loss in the finals," Shaler coach Paul Stadelman said. "They will get that chance Saturday. They want to avenge that loss and become the school's first PIAA volleyball champions."

Parkland (20-3) earned its championship berth by winning its second consecutive District 11 title. The Trojans advanced to the title match with wins against Red Lion, 3-2 in the first round; Pennsbury, 3-2 in the quarterfinals; and Central York, 3-0 in the semifinals.

"We have 18 kids on our varsity roster, and 12 are seniors," Trumbauer said. "The only junior who will see playing time is outside hitter Josh Nation."

Nation is one of three Parkland players who were voted to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team last year. Senior middle hitter Luke Smith was voted to the second team, while Nation and senior setter Will Stiles were recognized as honorable mention selections.

"Josh has taken over the role of Chase Robbins [the only senior on last year's squad] as our go-to hitter," Trumbauer said. "Luke and Brady Hayward give us two solid middles, and Owen Rodgers has been blocking like crazy on the outside. Will has done a great job running our 5-1 offense."

Shaler's lineup also features three PVCA All-Stars. Outside hitter Logan Peterson was voted to the first team, while middle hitter Dante Palombo and libero Cam Miller were second-team selections. Peterson and Palombo are two-time PVCA honorees.

"We have 12 seniors on our roster and use 11 of them in most matches," Stadelman said. "We don't have an underclassman in our starting rotation."

Stadelman changed the Titans offense because of the loss of outside hitter Joey Gannon to graduation.

"We switched from a 6-2 to a 5-1 offense with Zach Rosenwald doing all the setting," Stadelman said. "Having one setter gives us more consistency. All of our sets are coming from the same guy."

Two other Titans saw their roles change.

"Peyton Planz is no longer setting, just playing on the right side," Stadelman said. "Logan [Peterson] moved from the right side to the left side. It was a little tough for Logan since he played on the right side the last two years, but he adjusted well."

The two teams have not met this season despite both competing in tournaments at Central York and Northeastern.

"We saw [Shaler] from a distance at both tournaments," Trumbauer said. "They are on fire. They were in four [regular-season] tournaments and won all four. They are playing at such a high level. We have to find a way to slow them down, if possible."

In Class 2A, a new champion will be crowned, as neither of last year's finalists (Lower Dauphin and Cochranton) earned a return trip to the championship.

District 10 champion Meadville (20-0) will make its fourth title appearance in five years against District 3 runner-up Manheim Central (18-1), with the opening tip at 11 a.m. Manheim Central's only other appearance in the finals was in 2018.

First Published: June 12, 2024, 3:01 p.m.

Questions/Comments? Contact Scott Trumbauer