When Christopher Sigg of Bethel Park and the Peters Township pair of Wes Hoge and Kyle Killen embarked on their volleyball careers, they never envisioned the turnaround Seton LaSalle would enjoy once John Lawrence took over the reins as head coach.

Three years ago, the Rebels struggled to make the playoffs and they only experienced one winning season in the previous eight years. Under Lawrence’s leadership and the threesome’s play, they graduated with a 44-14 match record. Additionally, the Rebels captured two undefeated section titles. They reached the WPIAL Class AA championships, falling to Ambridge in this year’s finals.

SLS closed out the 2019 campaign with a 17-3 overall record after a 3-0 loss to Meadville in the PIAA playoffs. The Bulldogs swept the Rebels, 25-22, 25-9, 25-18.

Additionally, SLS has placed 10 players on the All-WPIAL team in the last three season.

“These young men have left quite a legacy,” said Lawrence.

Hoge and Killen will continue their athletic careers. Hoge will play for Coach Curt Conser at Geneva College while Killen will play club volleyball at Robert Morris University.

Though he had interest from smaller colleges, Sigg will concentrate on his studies as he continues his education at St. Francis University.

Sigg had nine kills in the loss to Meadville. Nathan Zini matched that output while Alex Shaughnessy led the team with 11 kills.

Zine and Shaughnessy return to next year’s starting line-up along with Luke Manion from Bethel Park. All three earned All-WPIAL first-team honors this spring.

Additionally, SLS players have resumed training with offseason workouts with Lawrence’s Exile Volleyball CLub. Several will play in the USAV Boys’ Junior National Championships to be held in July in Dallas.

“My boys are dedicated,” Lawrence said with pride.

“I expect them to win the section again in 2020. I believe my team will also get back to the WPIAL finals.”

Lawrence added how pleased he was with this year’s club.

“I’m very proud of my team. We played in the WPIAL championship match and the PIAA tournament for the first time in school history,” he said. “These young men represented their school, families and communities in a remarkable manner.”

Class AAA action

In PIAA Class AAA volleyball playoff action, Bethel Park defeated Cumberland Valley, 3-0. In the first-round match, the Hawks scored 29-27, 26-24 and 25-16 wins.

Max Colley and Tyler Simpson led the Hawks in kills with 13 and 11 respectively.

BP was the WPIAL runner-up to North Allegheny.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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