Area teams face season of rebuilding
Rebuilding seems to be the name of the game in area volleyball this season, but that doesn't necessarily mean the teams are writing 2010 off.
Lourdes Regional and Shamokin Area were District Four playoff teams last season, but both were dominated by seniors as well. The Red Raiders have just one returning starter, and the Indians have two.
But both Lourdes coach Kevin Collins and Shamokin coach Wanda Cook feel their programs are in a place now where they can take such graduation losses and still be competitive.
"We are in the rebuilding stage... (but) I am very pleased with where we are," said Collins. "We have worked very hard to be in a position to be competitive. We will get much better as the season goes on."
Outside hitter Molly Loftus is the only returning starter for Lourdes, but libero Ali Singh, defensive specialists Elen O'Donnell and Nikki Komara, and Cassie Senoskie, Ania Rawa and Kayla Conetta are being counted on to help the rebuilding.
Angela Bainbridge and Celine Templar are Shamokin's returning starters, and the Indians have joined the Twin Valley Conference, along with Mount Carmel, so they're not only rebuilding, but will be playing many new teams.
"We lost seven seniors, all of whom were pretty solid, so we're really young," Shamokin coach Wanda Cook said. "The girls we have are working hard and we're hoping will be able to fill in.
"Angela Bainbridge is back as our strong hitter, and sophomore Kelsey Yacko looks like a good middle hitter.
"We're optimistic. We've been getting really big numbers (turnout) the last few years, but it's so difficult to keep that many kids out because they don't get much JV time.
"I think (the new league) will be a good fit for us."
Mount Carmel has a solid mix of returning starters and newcomers but has had trouble maintaining momentum the past few seasons. Coach Tina McClay hopes to pick up a few more wins this season, but playing in a new league could present some problems. Middle/outside hitters Christine Mrozek, Maura Frasch and defender/setter Nicole Fiamoncini are players the Red Tornadoes are counting on for success, along with some newcomers.
North Schuylkil posted its first winning season in four years with a 10-8 record in 2009 and has some good athletes coming back in setter Megan Temple, libero Mimi Teter, outside hitter Shelby Weikel and middle hitter Caitlyn Deeter.
Head coach: Kevin Collins, 3rd season.
Roster: Seniors - Kayla Conetta, middle hitter. Juniors - Molly Loftus, outside hitter; Ali Singh, libero; Elen O'Donnell, defender/outside hitter; Cassie Senoskie, setter; Annie Stewart, middle hitter. Sophomores - Nikki Komara, defender/outside hitter; Aniq Rawa, defender. Freshmen - Anna Rabuck, middle hitter; Peyton Klembara, setter/defender.
Coach's outlook: "We are in the rebuilding stage. I am very pleased with where we are. We have worked very hard to be in a position to be competitive. We will get much better as the season goes on. The coaching staff and I feel this will be an up and down season but we will be competitive."
Head coach: Tina McClay
Roster: Seniors - Christine Mrozek, middle/outside hitter; Allison Sarisky, middle hitter; Sabrina Dillon, defender/setter; Teresa Snyder, libero. Juniors - Maura Frasch, middle/outside hitter; Kayla Shamus, defender/setter; Nicole Fiamoncini, defender/setter; Amanda Amarose, middle/outside hitter; Skie Campbell, defender/setter. Sophomores - Callie Hummel, setter/defender; Nicole Purcell, defender/setter; Kristen Duceman, defender/setter; Karissa Trent, outside hitter; Alyssa Belski, defender; Jenna Bray, defender; Kelsey Deitz, defender; Kelsea Bergeron, outside hitter. Freshmen - Tiana Snyder, outside hitter; Darla Hood, outside hitter/defender; Taylor Stefovic, setter; Brittany Gummel, defender; Courtney Shirmer, outside hitter; Desaree Malick, defender; Katy Horsfield, defender; Coral Swank, defender; Heather Raker, outside hitter.
Coach's outlook: "I have a lot of new girls this year. We are looking forward to this year. We are in a new league, the Twin Valley Conference. The girls are working very hard and are very excited. We've got a new attitude, new gym floor, and a new league. The girls are very positive. We have the height for spiking and blocking this year with Mrozek, Frasch, Amarose, Shamus, and Tiana Snyder."
Head coach: Mike Towle
Last year: 10-8, 6-7 D-I.
Roster: Seniors - Megan Temple, setter; Mimi Teter, libero; Maggie Kiefer, outside hitter; Shelby Weikel, outside hitter; Kelsie Kramer, middle hitter; Alyssa Idacavage, outside hitter; Steph David, defender; Sarah Harleman, outside hitter. Juniors - Caitlyn Deeter, middle hitter; Jess McGinn, outside hitter; Rachel Stankiewitch, middle hitter. Freshmen - Nadya Spotts, setter.
Outlook: Coming off their first winning season in four years this Spartans' team possesses a large amount of experience and has the tools to improve on last season's record.
Head coach: Wanda Cook
Assistant coaches: Stephen Cook, Terry Krebs, Kevin Yacko
Last year: 12-5
Roster: Seniors - Angela Bainbridge, outside hitter. Juniors - Chrissy Coller, outside hitter/defensive specialist; Celine Templar, middle hitter; Tara Wasilewski, outside hitter; Anna Summers, setter; Alli Delbaugh, setter/defensive specialist; Hillary Feudale, middle hitter. Sophomores - Molly Hasuga, outside hitter/defensive specialist; Kelsey Yacko, outside hitter; Rheanna Shingara, outside hitter; Ciana Rollman, setter/defensive specialist. Freshmen - Olivia Bonshock, outside hitter; Helana Supsic, setter/defensive specialist.
Coach's outlook: "We are going into the season optimistic. With the loss of seven starters, we are beginning the season with a lot of new faces. Outside hitter Angela Bainbridge will lead our hitting game with help from returning hitters Celien Templar and Tara Wasilewski along with newcomer Kelsey Yacko. Running the offense will be new setters, Alli Delbaugh and Anna Summers, and manning the defense as libero will be Ciana Rollman.