Boys Volleyball on the Rise at Hampton


Emersen Schrom, Writer

Boys volleyball has been growing each year in western Pennsylvania. With the rise of new school and club  teams, we’re witnessing an increase in interest among many student athletes. This year, Hampton is looking to start its own program in the near future with a boys volleyball club. 

Boys Volleyball In Western Pennsylvania

Boys volleyball has increased dramatically in both popularity and quality of play. As in basketball, baseball, softball, etc., volleyball has travel teams, commonly referred to as club teams. These programs provide serious athletes with competition at an extremely high level through tournaments across the country, as well as quality training to prepare them for both highschool season and collegiate-level play if an athlete chooses to go that route. There are currently 3 major boys clubs in the Pittsburgh area: North United Volleyball run by Andrew Schrom and Paul Stadleman, Exile Volleyball Club run by John Lawrence, and PVC Sandlot Volleyball run by Dan Schall and Pete Media. Both Exile and North United are national-level programs that look to compete at the highest level at the biggest tournaments in the country such as AAU Nationals in June. The rise of these incredible programs has led to some dominant high school programs such as North Allegheny, who has won the past 4 state titles; Seneca Valley, who was the WPIAL runner up this past year; and Shaler, who lost in the WPIAL semifinals and the State quarterfinals with a team dominated by at the time sophomores. This season has also seen some exceptional underclassmen such as 2 All State Sophomores from Shaler, accounting for 2 of the 3 Pennsylvania underclassmen to make all state. 

Volleyball Gaining Popularity In Hampton

The past 3 years Hampton Girls Volleyball (currently 2nd in the WPAL) has proven itself as one of the best teams in the WPIAL. Last year they finished as the PIAA and WPIAL runner ups and section champions for the second year in a row. This year they are currently undefeated (8-0) and have beaten two top 5 teams in the WPIAL. Ranked at number 2, the girls hope to finish what they started last year and bring home a PIAA and WPIAL title. The success of the girls team has led to an increase in interest for the the sport in the district.

Boys Volleyball in Hampton

David Porrier, a junior at Hampton, has led the charge in creating the boys volleyball club. The boys volleyball club will be a segway into a future team, provided that there is enough interest in the sport. Currently the boys do not have a coach but there are many boys coaches in the area, such as Hampton’s very own Dainen Holler and Dakota Ficus. Currently the two are the Hampton girls volleyball coaches, and while both also coach at respective clubs in the off-season (Dainen Holler at NorthUnited and Dakota Ficus at Revolution), both have coached boys teams in the past and would be a great addition to the new program. Boys volleyball is a great opportunity in terms of college recruitment, while it is incredibly hard to be recruited on the girls side of things, the men’s side of the game is largely underrepresented.

While the men’s and women’s games are extremely similar, there are some differences in the rules that people may not know about. A women’s net is 7 ft 4 inches while the men’s net is 8ft tall. In addition the men’s game is much more focused on attack power and speed rather than ball control and consistency as seen in the women’s game. These small differences in the game help to create a more competitive and physically challenging environment for both sides of the game.

Should it ever become a school sport, boys volleyball in Hampton would most likely compete in the 2A division of the WPIAL due to the fact that there are significantly fewer men’s teams than women’s. As of now, the boys will focus primarily on the development of skills and compete in unofficial matches or scrimmages not affiliated with the WPIAL.  If you are interested in boys volleyball, you should try to go to camps at different colleges such as Pitt or Duquesne and sign up for the club team at Hampton this spring.