Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hopewell Wears Its New Style Quite Well

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hopewell Wears Its New Style Quite Well

Article excerpt

Hopewell girls volleyball coach Terry Borkovic has a "change in philosophy" for the 2014 season.

"In past years, we had had a much bigger lineup," said Borkovic, in his 25th season at Hopewell. "We've been fortunate to have a few tall hitters most of the years I've been coaching. We were very strong at hitting and blocking, but our defense was just OK.

"This year's team doesn't have the size that we had in past years. We're not as big up front. With that in mind, I've been stressing defense and ball control. We've been spending 80 to 85 percent of our practices on defense."

Borkovic unveiled his new coaching philosophy at Saturday's Butler Invitational and the results were impressive. The Vikings, ranked No. 3 in the preseason WPIAL Class AA coaches poll, won 10 of 12 games in the 10-team tournament and returned to Hopewell with the championship trophy.

"When we got on the bus for our ride back to Hopewell, I told the girls that they exceeded my expectations," Borkovic said. "It was very gratifying to win the title."

Hopewell posted a 5-1 record, the best of any team, in the preliminary round robin. The Vikings swept West Allegheny and South Side Beaver, 2-0, then split with Grove City.

"Our loss to Grove City came after we had already clinched the top spot in the playoff bracket," Borkovic said.

Hopewell defeated Avonworth, 1-0, in the opening round of the playoff round, then earned a spot in the championship match with a 2- 0 win against Indiana in the semifinals. The championship match went to three games, but Hopewell took the third and deciding game to claim the title.

"The kids have bought into what we are trying to do," Borkovic said. "It really showed on Saturday. The kids actually enjoyed playing defense."

Borkovic may not have the size with this year's squad, but he does have a middle hitter who is considered one of the top players in the WPIAL in Class AA. …

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