It was nearly inevitable that at some point, a Shawaryn was going to return to coach a Hempfield High School volleyball team.

Starting with Tim Shawaryn in 1992, continuing with Pat, then Matt and then Laura, a Shawaryn hasn't been far from the Black Knights volleyball program.

Now it continues with Pat, who is a school board vote away from becoming the new Black Knights' girls' volleyball coach.

Shawaryn replaces Mike Vogel, who had coached the girls since 1993 and directed the Black Knights to two PIAA Class AAA titles (2004, 2006), seven district titles and seven L-L League crowns. Vogel will continue as the Hempfield boys' coach.

Shawaryn played for Vogel and was recommended for the position by his former coach. Shawaryn knows he has big shoes to fill.

"If I can have a quarter of the success Mike had, I think I'll be happy," Shawaryn said. "If it wasn't for Mike, I wouldn't be where I am. I'm following the best coach in Pennsylvania history, so you just hope to do anything close to what he did."

Shawaryn graduated from Hempfield in 2000 and played four years at Juniata College, one of the top Division III volleyball programs in the country, following his brother Tim, who also played at Juniata.

Tim played on the Eagles' first Division III national championship team and Juniata won the national championship again when Pat was a senior. He expects to direct the Black Knights by following the volleyball philosophies of Juniata and Penn State.

"We're going to rely on our defense and our speed and just try and wear our opponents down," he said.

Hempfield was 9-2 in Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One play last season, finishing second in the section to Penn Manor. The Black Knights advanced to the league semifinals before bowing to eventual league champ Garden Spot in a five-set match.

Hempfield bounced back to win the District Three Class AAA title, defeating Penn Manor in the championship match. Hempfield then advanced to pool play at states.

The tradition of winning at Hempfield can be both a positive and a negative. It can give players confidence but it can also add pressure.

Shawaryn has lived through it and feels he can help his players deal with it.

"We won my freshman year and the pressure of not doing that each year after that kind of builds up," he said. "Some players thrive on it, some worry about it. It's up to me to relax the girls and let them know that they are good enough to do what all those other teams have done. You just have to show it."

Kofroth to coach Pioneers: Lampeter-Strasburg athletic director Mark Sanger confirmed Tuesday that Al Kofroth will replace Carrie Peterson as the school's new girls' volleyball coach. Kofroth's board approval is expected Monday.

Kofroth, an assistant coach for the boys' team at Manheim Central this past spring, coached the Conestoga Valley boys' team for 24 years and the Buckskins' girls' team for 17 seasons. CV chose to replace him last year.

Kofroth's girls' teams won seven consecutive league titles from 1995-2001. His teams won district titles in '98, '00 and '01. The Buckskins won the PIAA title in 2003.

The Pioneers finished third in Section Three last season with an 8-4 league record and advanced to District Three Class AA pool play.

Thomas takes over at CV: After sterling high school and collegiate volleyball careers, Amber Thomas is returning to the Conestoga Valley girls' volleyball team.

Thomas takes over for Craig Esbenshade, who directed the Bucks for one season. She was confirmed as the new coach by the school board in June.

Thomas, a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year at Juniata, inherits a CV team that finished second in Section Two with an 8-2 league record. The Bucks earned a district berth and advanced to the pool play round.

Thomas was a two-time All-State pick at CV.

E-mail: kfreeman@lnpnews.com

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