The Parkland girls’ volleyball team has won two state championships, including a win last fall.
The Trojans’ boys’ team was feeling left out.
Parkland completed the double play, dropping Fox Chapel in four sets Saturday afternoon in the PIAA Class AAA Championship at Rec Hall.
“It’s incredible to have both boys and girls volleyball win state championships,” said senior outside hitter Sean Lewis, who put down seven kills to go with 11 digs and a pair of blocks. “It’s only been done by Hempfield so far, and for us to do that, put Parkland down in history, it’s an incredible feeling.”
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The Trojans prevailed over the Foxes 21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-23 in the program’s first appearance in the state title match.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Lewis said. “We’ve been working for it all season, and for it to finally happen is — words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now.”
Coach Scott Trumbauer, a 1997 graduate of the school who played on the team that had made the deepest state tournament run before this year — to the state semifinals — relished the thought of Parkland’s name joing the likes of state volleyball powers Hempfield and Central York.
“It’s nice to see us add our names to that list,” Trumbauer said.
The Trojans’ offense was led by some thunderous swings from 6-foot-6 junior Kyle Stout, who had 14 kills.
“I had the easy part,” Stout said. “Our defense ... was getting balls us, they were giving me high sets outside, all I’ve got to do is jump up and swing hard. I had the easy part.”
They also got 10 kills, 11 digs and 26 assists from Andrew Hillman, seven kills, seven digs and two blocks from Bryce Galloway and six kills from Jake Heyer.
Fox Chapel got 11 kills apiece from Andrew Tublin and Jaysen Zaleski, with Zaleski hitting .526 and adding three solo blocks. Jack Reese had nine kills on .467 hitting and Ben DePellegrini added seven kills, but issues on the court helped bring down the Foxes.
“Communication — just making smart decisions with the ball,” Fox Chapel coach Phil O’Keeffe said. “(We) made a couple wrong decisions as far as where to place the ball, and we had a couple breakdowns communicating between two players, things that we go over again and again and again and again.”
Parkland struggled in the first set, making 13 errors, 10 unforced, for some free points for the Foxes. Among those miscues were four net and center line violations.
“Once we settled down,” Lewis said. “You could tell the nerves showed the first game, but after that we settled down. Our passing was better, our defense was better, our blocking was better — especially our blocking. We got a lot of touches, and whatever we didn’t touch our defense picked up.”
The defense and the rest of the group settled into a groove for the next two sets, then the teams were toe-to-toe in the fourth. Parkland led most of the fourth, with a margin as large as four points, but Fox Chapel rallied to knot it at 17-17. Trading points to 22-22, a mishandled set gave the Trojans the lead for good and another Fox error brought match point. A Reese kill stalled the celebration, but a quick set to the middle to Jack Dreisbach for a put-away locked up the title.
“We just had to calm down,” Lewis said. “We all knew we were a couple points away from securing a state championship. We just had to settled down, execute our game plan. We strayed away from that in the beginning of the set, and the middle, and it showed.”