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New coach gives Lady Patriots high hopes

Hanczyc excited about PA prospects

Pittston Area Volleyball captains are, from left to right, Nicolette Bradshaw, Ali Slomba, Kendall Melochick, and Allie Kochis.

Alan Hanczyc is entering his fourth season as a Pittston Area volleyball coach. However, this is his first year at the helm for the Lady Patriots, and he is excited about the opportunity to help make the program grow – especially with the return many players from last season, including Nicolette Bradshaw.

Bradshaw returns for her senior year and Hanczyc expects her to be a major part of any success the Patriots may have this season.

“Nicolette is a natural leader on the court and well-developed player all-around,” Hanczyc said. “I expect her to be our assist leader.”

In addition to Bradshaw, the Patriots also return one of their stronger hitters in senior Kendall Melochick. Hanczyc expects Melochick to lead the team in kills this season.

“We return our outside hitter Kendall Melochick,” Hanczyc said. “She is solid hitter on the left side with a strong serve and excellent defense.”

Another senior Hanczyc expects big things from is Ali Slomba. Hanczyc raved about Slomba’s “powerful,” serve and expects her to lead the team in service points.

Other key players for the Patriots this season will be senior Allie Kochis and sophomore Jackie Rabender.

“Jackie saw some time as a freshman and will play all around this year as a middle hitter,” Hanczyc said. “Allie Kochis will be our defensive specialist and she brings strong senior experience to the court.”

As for key matches, Hanczyc is excited for all of them. However, there are specific matches he has marked on his calendar.

“We look forward to every match as an opportunity to grow as a program, a team, and as individuals,” Hanczyc said. “Specifically, we are looking forward to playing Crestwood, Berwick, Dallas, Coughlin, Hazleton, and Valley West.”

Hanczyc has noticed improvement in many players since he has taken over the reigns at Pittston Area. The players who marked the most improvement are Bradshaw, Melochick, Rabender, senior Shelby Smith, and sophomores Ciara Smith and Kaitlyn Simyan.

“Nicolette and Kendall showed marked improvement in their presence and confidence on the court,” Hanczyc said. “Kendall’s hitting has matured and she is bringing power to her balanced all around game, and the trio of sophomores are bringing energy and intensity to the varsity team this year.”

Hanczyc has high goals for the Lady Patriots this fall. He wants the girls as a whole to improve and grow. And with key players returning, the Lady Patriots should be able to achieve the goals he has set for them.

“We want to focus, play as a team, and play solid volleyball in every match,” Hanczyc said. “Meeting these goals will result in positive program progress and ultimately consistent wins.”

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