2016 Times Leader Boys Volleyball All-Stars
Eddie Lukowski, Sr., Nanticoke Area
A multiple-year starter for Nanticoke Area, Lukowski was one of the
best setters in the Wyoming Valley Conference. A Times Leader first-team
selection in 2015, Lukowski was second in the league with 396 assists,
behind DelVals Liam Naturale. He was more than just a setter though.
He added 28 kills, 24 blocks and 119 service points. Lukowski was a
first-team WVC pick in 2016.
Brent Piontkowski, Sr., Nanticoke Area
Its hard to believe that Piontkowski was only in his third season
as a volleyball player after playing baseball as a freshman. He led
the Wyoming Valley Conference in kills with 186, and was the focal
point of the Trojan offense. A 6-foot-5 senior, Piontkowski was second
on the team in blocks and was an efficient server with 102 points.
He was selected to the conferences first team.
Justin Casey, Nanticoke
PIAA volleyball: Trojans overpowered by Northeastern
Matt Bufano - Citizens Voice
Right place, right time, all the time.
Thats how three-time-defending state champion Northeastern played
on the court Saturday, perfectly executing its gameplan and sweeping
Nanticoke Area, 3-0, out of the PIAA Class AA boys volleyball quarterfinals.a
Set scores in the match played at Exeter Township High School were
25-7, 25-8, 25-6.
Phenomenal team, Nanticoke Area coach Deb Gavin said of
her opponent. Glad to be here, glad to play against the best
in the state. That in itself is an honor.
Nanticoke Areas shortcomings were most evident in its ineffective
passing. But even when the Trojans put together a solid sequence,
Northeastern stifled them with a well-synchronized defense, snatching
away any momentum Nanticoke Area had built.
However, Nanticoke Area came through with a few highlights, like scoring
back-to-back points in the first set on a Justin Casey kill and Josh
Casey finished with a team-high four kills, while Brent Piontkowski
added three kills and Ed Lukowski had 13 assists.
It was the final high school match for seniors Piontkowski, Lukowski
and Brinton Ball, who helped the program reach new heights over the
past four years.
I think we helped set a high bar for future volleyball teams,
said Piontkowski, who dropped baseball for volleyball his sophomore
year and developed into one of the leagues top players. We
have a good team coming up next year, and I think they can make it
back here again.
Since their freshmen year, the senior class won 38 regular-season
league matches, as well as six in District 2 playoffs.
Additionally, Wednesdays win against Cardinal OHara was
the programs first in the PIAA playoffs.
I think good students make good athletes, which they definitely
are, and they made good role models for this team, Gavin said
of her seniors. Theyre coachable, theyre smart kids,
they know how to bring the team along. They got us to this point,
so they deserve a lot of credit.
While Nanticoke Area (14-3) is finished, District 3 champion
Northeastern (19-0) marches on to the state semifinals. On Tuesday,
it will play District 3 runner-up York Suburban at a site and time
to be determined.
Northeastern sported five returning all-state selections on the court,
including Ohio State commit Reese Devilbiss. The outside hitter lived
up to the hype Saturday with his blocks and booming serves and swings.
Playing against (Devilbiss) was fun, Piontkowski said,
but watching him warm up was even more fun.
Northeastern never trailed in the match. With a win Tuesday, the Bobcats
would play Saturday for the programs seventh state title.
Northeastern 25 25 25 - 3
Nanticoke Area 7 8 6 - 0
Area sweeps Cardinal O'Hara
Nicholas Gill - Citizens Voice
Nanticoke Area boys volleyball team entered Wednesday nights meeting with
Cardinal OHara looking to make school history by winning a PIAA tournament
The Trojans used superior athleticism to accomplish their goal and advanced
to the next round with a sweep.
It is amazing, Brent Piontkowski
said. We are going to go down as the first team to win a state playoff game
for volleyball. Our junior class is going to be really strong and this will set
a bar for them next year.
Piontkowski embodied the advantage that Nanticoke
Area held over Cardinal OHara in the 25-15, 25-14, and 25-17 set wins.
senior racked up 10 kills, using top-quality jumping ability to rise above the
net and generate powerful kills.
The Trojans roared out to a fast start, using
a combination of errors from the Lions and their own skills.
Justin Casey blocked
a kill and Eddie Lukowski placed a finesse shot just over the net to put Nanticoke
Area out in front 6-1.
Nanticoke Area extended the lead to 16-4 after Casey
strung together three consecutive two-handed power kills.
The first set ended
when Lukowski made a tremendous save to keep a ball alive. Piontkowski benefitted
from the hustle and pounded a shot from the end line into the ground for the 25-15
first set win.
Lukowski set up teammates, hustled after loose balls and served
He is the glue to the whole team, Nanticoke Area head coach
Debbie Gavin said of Lukowski. He is fast. When our passes go astray, Eddie
is fast enough to go get it. He is smart enough to put it where he has to. He
is the best setter that our school has ever had.
The second set followed
a similar pattern as the first, except Cardinal OHara hung around early.
The Trojans rebounded from some early errors, but eventually proved their might,
taking advantage of Lions miscues and setting up Piontkowski for power kills.
was a different kind of game, Gavin said. The speed of the game was
slow. That hurts us. We dont coach slow. We coach a faster speed when we
play volleyball and I think that disturbed our line-up a little bit. Although
we won, it was like a chess match.
In the third set Nanticoke Area rushed
out to an 8-2 lead, getting contributions from several players.
a block. Piontkowski followed with a kill and Carlos Castillo ripped an ace to
propel the Trojans to an early 6-1 lead.
Nanticoke Area closed out the 25-17
victory with a Luke Butczynski kill to complete the sweep and make school history.
Trojans play defending PIAA Class AA champion Northeastern in the quarterfinals
on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Cardinal OHara 15 14
170 Nanticoke Area 25 25 253
sets mark in Trojans' win
Nanticoke Area, setter Ed Lukowski celebrated senior night by becoming the program's
all-time assists leader in the Trojans' 3-0 win over North Pocono on Wednesday.
had 30 assists, three kills and two blocks, bringing his career assists mark to
Brent Piontkowski added 18 kills and three aces.
Returning Citizens Voice All-Stars
Lukowski, Nanticoke Area
Carr, Holy Redeemer
Rob Zbierski, Holy Redeemer (Coughlin
Matt Bufano - Citizens Voice
Coach: Debbie Gavin
results: 12-4; defeated Crestwood, 3-2, in the District 2 Class AA third-place
game; lost in first round of state playoffs, 3-2, to Archbishop Wood.
to watch: Seniors Ed Lukowski, S; Brent Piontkowski, OH. Junior
Justin Casey, OH. Sophomore Carlos Castillo, Lib.Coachs
outlook: We feel that we are solid on offense and defense. We will take
one practice and one game at a time. Our long-term goal will be to make playoffs.