Rochester closing in on WPIAL volleyball playoff berth

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Rochester girls volleyball coach Pat Smith couldn't have asked for a better scenario.

The Rams enter the final week of the regular season with a leg up in the battle for a WPIAL Class A playoff berth.

Avonworth (10-0) and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (8-2) have already claimed two of the three berths in Section 4-A. South Side Beaver (6-5) and Rochester (6-5) are tied for third place, with Northgate (5-5) close behind.

"We have to win our last match against Eden Christian Academy [on Oct. 20] to qualify," Smith said. "It's as easy as that."

And it may be that easy, as Eden Christian Academy (0-10) is winless in its WPIAL debut.

"We certainly have the easiest road," Smith said.

South Side Beaver must face Avonworth in its regular season finale. If the Rams upset Avonworth and Rochester beats Eden Christian, the two teams would tie for the third berth. Both would qualify since they split their section encounters.

Northgate has an even tougher road. The Flames play Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Tuesday, then finish against Avonworth.

"The last time Rochester was in the playoffs was 2005," Smith said. "My assistant coach Tiara Gettings was a freshman on that team."

Rochester is led by a trio of juniors: 5-6 middle hitter Rachel Slappa, 5-3 setter Caitlin Daley, an 5-4 outside hitter Daysha Glass.