Men in the middle; Bodnar, Van Horn give Deer Lakes 2 go-to guys |

Men in the middle; Bodnar, Van Horn give Deer Lakes 2 go-to guys

Most high school volleyball coaches have one player they can’t do without in a big match.

Deer Lakes coach Rick Tatrn had two.

Junior setter Jaison Van Horn and junior middle hitter Jon Bodnar killed enough balls, served up enough points and showed enough leadership to carry Deer Lakes to a 10-4 finish and a WPIAL playoff berth.

“I’d hate to be in a match without them,” Tatrn said.

Van Horn served 86 points including eight aces and put away 27 kills in 54 attempts while piling up 462 assists.

Van Horn is a three-year starter who has been to the playoffs all three seasons.

“Jaison has very good court sense, and he blocked exceptionally well at the net,” Tatrn said. “He was our strongest defensive player in the backcourt. He did a nice, all-around job.

“He’s the guy everybody rallies around,” Tatrn said.

Bodnar ranked among the most productive players in the WPIAL last season with 123 service points, including 15 aces.

Taking full advantage of his 6-foot-3 height, Bodnar racked up 139 kills in 307 attempts. Bodnar did it all while battling nagging hip and ankle injuries.

“Jon had an exceptional year,” Tatrn said. “Not only was he playing hurt, but as the middle hitter he was the focus of the defense.”

Both players return next season, which makes Deer Lakes a favorite to make another playoff run.

Deer Lakes did not keep statistics at invitational tournaments. All of the above statistics were collected during the 12 regular season, one exhibition and one playoff game. Additional Information:

2003 Boys Volleyball All-Stars

2003 Co-Players of the Year

Jon Bodnar

Junior middle hitter, Deer Lakes

Jaison Van Horn

Junior setter, Deer Lakes

2003 All-Star Team

Joel Trocki

School: Deer Lakes.

Class: Sophomore.

Highlights: An outside hitter, Trocki had 77 kills in 171 attempts. … Served 68 winning points including eight aces. … Young player who stepped up and became a key member of Deer Lakes’ 10-4 playoff team.

Torey Barr

School: Fox Chapel.

Class: Senior.

Highlights: A middle hitter, Barr earned All-Section 2 honors. … ‘I’d include him on any all-star team in the WPIAL,’ Fox Chapel coach Phil O’Keefe said. ‘He was hard to stop in every game and a very good all-around athlete.’

Adam Craft

School: Deer Lakes.

Class: Sophomore.

Highlights: An outside hitter, Craft often changed positions in the middle and played an important part in the Lancer’s playoff drive. … Served 72 service winning points including nine aces and made 70 kills in 205 attempts.

Brian Teschke

School: Fox Chapel.

Class: Senior.

Highlights: A middle hitter, Teschke used his basketball jumping ability to take sets and kill balls despite drawing two blockers most of the time … Rapidly improved after missing his sophomore and junior volleyball seasons.

Adam Lantz

School: Plum.

Class: Senior.

Highlights: A middle hitter, Lantz earned All-Section honors by using his 6-foot-5 height as a defensive blocker … ‘Adam is an excellent student, very mature and an excellent role model for the younger kids,’ Plum coach Keith Nonnenberg said.

Keith Horner

School: Plum.

Class: Junior.

Highlights: An outside hitter, Horner sacrificed statistics by filling in as a middle hitter to help the team … ‘Keith could have been one of the best outside hitters, but we needed him to plug some holes,’ Plum coach Keith Nonnenberg said.

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