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Boys Volleyball: New coach out to uphold tradition at Deer Lakes

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles the Deer Lakes boys volleyball team. Read his story below.

When Zak Roberts graduated from Deer Lakes High School in 2009, he still followed the Lancers while attending Kent State University because his younger brothers, Nick and Jake, were members of the team.

Roberts graduated from Kent State in 2013, but didn't want to end his association with the sport of volleyball.

"I wanted to find a way to stay involved, possibly as a coach," Roberts said. "I couldn't believe my luck when I heard about the opening at my alma mater."

Roberts has taken over as head coach at Deer Lakes, replacing legendary coach Rick Tatrn, who retired after setting a WPIAL volleyball coaching record of 44 years as the Lancers head coach.

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Baseball: Deer Lakes thriving in Class AAA

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Deer Lakes has built quite a successful baseball program over the past few years. The Lancers won or took a share of a section title the past four straight seasons and have also reached the WPIAL Class AA semifinals the past two years.

This season, however, re-alignment across the WPIAL elevated Deer Lakes up to Class AAA and into Section 5 along with Freeport, Mars, Knoch, Valley, Highlands and Hampton. That move hasn't hampered the Lancers. Through their first seven games, they posted a 5-2 overall record with a 3-0 start in section play.

Deer Lakes picked up a big section victory last week against Knoch. Junior pitcher/outfielder Ryan Petrone tossed a complete game in the 6-3 win over the Knights. The left-handed starter gave up four hits and three walks while striking out one batter. Petrone also helped his own cause with a pair of RBIs. Sophomore infielder Connor Chirdon also drove in a two runs.

This past weekend, the Lancers picked up a 12-2 victory over Hampton and held the Talbots to just two hits. Senior third baseman Scott Ventura knocked in four runs with four hits. He smacked a two-run homer and added a double. Sophomore first baseman Zach Lubick also had three hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Lancers.

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Softball: North Feature Athlete - Katie Gozzard, Deer Lakes

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Katie Gozzard
High School: Deer Lakes
Grade: 12
Sport: Softball

Background: Katie Gozzard is one nine returning starters back for Deer Lakes this season and perhaps one of the most important. A returning all-section player from last season, Gozzard will once again bat third in the lineup.

Coach Craig Taliani said: "Katie is just so smooth and such a great fielder. She has a strong arm and good range. At the plate she is just steady as you can want in a No. 3 hitter. She hits line drives, she doesn't try to over swing or hit for the fences. She is just a solid all-around player."

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Softball: North Feature Athlete - Tiffany Edwards, Deer Lakes

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Tiffany Edwards
High School: Deer Lakes
Grade: 12
Sport: Softball

Background: Deer Lakes returned nine starters this season and none arguably more important than senior pitcher Tiffany Edwards, a four-year starter. Deer Lakes won the WPIAL Class AA title her freshman year and is a legitimate contender to do so again this year. Edwards bats cleanup for the Lancers.

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Softball: Deer Lakes warmed up and ready to go

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Deer Lakes softball team.

"Not many high school students would be excited to return home from Myrtle Beach to late-March Pittsburgh weather.

Count the players on the Deer Lakes softball team as the exception.

With nine returning starters from a team that made a run to the WPIAL final last year and after a successful spring training trip to the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, it is easy to see why the Lancers are so excited to return home and begin defense of their Section 3-AA title.

"They are ready," coach Craig Taliani said. "They are ready to come home and open up section. They are excited and ready to go.""