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Attention to details puts Hempfield volleyball in WPIAL playoff contention

October 12, 2018 GMT

For the Hempfield girls volleyball team, it starts in middle school.

The Spartans, who are 7-2 in Section 3 and ranked 10th in WPIAL Class 4A, owes a lot of their success to groundwork laid before they got to high school.

“Hempfield has always had a good volleyball reputation,” Hempfield coach Kathy Kuhns said. “We work hard at the middle school level. We have great coaches at the middle school level that do a good job teaching fundamentals.”

The foundation laid in the early years allows Kuhns to teach the small details to help them progress.

“I’m very nit-picky,” Kuhns said jokingly. “I like things to be done a certain way, and I like technique-ly solid volleyball. I’m very much about ball control.”

As for the players? At Hempfield, everything operates under a family atmosphere.

“I’ve just became really close with (these girls),” senior outside hitter Maddie Beasley said. “I think being close with them outside volleyball just helps on the court with our chemistry.”

Junior McKayla Dedo, a three-sport athlete who also plays basketball and softball, doubled down on this idea: “We’re pretty much a family. We work well together, and we get along well off the court.”

While the chemistry on and off the court has parlayed into wins on it, after a straight-sets loss to Latrobe in late September, the Spartans are in a tricky position. They likely need to win out to make the WPIAL tournament playoffs.

“They took the bad (Latrobe) loss pretty hard. They really know now that they basically have to win every game going forward,” Kuhns said. “You can’t mess around. In this game, there’s so many momentum changes. You can be up two games and lose the last three. With such huge momentum swings, I think they have a sense of urgency that they just need to put the game in the book.”

Hempfield has three matches remaining, including another shot at Latrobe during the final week of the regular season.