Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

She's Set to Succeed West Allegheny's Savisky Rates among the Elite of Setters in the Wpial

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

She's Set to Succeed West Allegheny's Savisky Rates among the Elite of Setters in the Wpial

Article excerpt

Tara Savisky is a four-year starter for the West Allegheny High School girls volleyball team, but she's actually been a part of the program for five years.

"Tara was a manager for us during her eighth grade year," West Allegheny coach Brian Begor said. "So she's actually been with us for five years. She's like a third child to me. It's going to be tough when she graduates."

Savisky's season as a manager, 2010, coincided with West Allegheny's appearance in the PIAA Class AA title match. The Indians lost to Merion Mercy, a school that claimed its fourth consecutive title.

"Our all-state setter, Carissa Miara, graduated after that season and we didn't have a back-up setter," Begor said. "I decided during the offseason to train Tara to be our next setter. It was a baptism by fire for her.

"It was a risky move to use a freshman at the most important position on the court, but I felt Tara had the attributes required to be a quality setter. She's super competitive, very athletic and mentally tough. I just needed to teach her the finer points of setting."

Savisky made her varsity debut in 2011 and picked up where Miara left off. With Savisky running West Allegheny's offense, the Indians made another appearance in the PIAA tournament, but fell one win short of a second consecutive title-match berth after losing to eventual champion Brandywine Heights in the semifinals.

"That season was a whirlwind of excitement," said Savisky, who was recognized as a third-team All-WPIAL Class A selection. "We were so close to making it back to the finals. I wish I had the skill level back then that I do now. We would have won the state title."

Savisky was fortunate to have a talented group of hitters returning for her debut season.

"We had a great nucleus of returning starters that included three hitters who were recognized on the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team after the season," Begor said.

Savisky and her West Allegheny teammates faced a much different scenario in 2012, her sophomore season, as West Allegheny moved up in classification to AAA. The Indians went from being one of the biggest Class AA schools to one of the smallest Class AAA schools.

"The one big difference between Class AA and AAA is depth," Savisky said. …

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