2019 WPIAL Class 1A Preview Capsules

Aliquippa

Coach: Karma Jackson (5th year)

Returning Starters:
5-5 senior setter Rahjane Powell
5-7 senior middle hitter Azia Woods
5-3 senior defensive specialist Makaila Wilcox
5-4 senior outside hitter Nevaeh Hughes
5-1 senior libero Deaudra Washington
5-6 senior outiside hitter Avonna Henry
5-6 middle hitter Nhylese Lowe

Season Outlook:
I expect great things from these girls, they have been playing together for 4 years now...

Section Favorite: South Side Beaver.

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Beaver C.C.

Coach: Christen Adels (17th year)

Returning Starters:
6-0 senior middle hitter Celia York
5-7 senior outside hitter Hannah Biro
5-6 sophomore setter Lizzie McCaslin
5-7 junior outside hitter Ella Metheny

Season Outlook:
We have four returning starters, including senior middle hitter Celia York who was named to the All-WPIAL Third Team in 2018 and sophomore setter Lizzie McCaslin who was named to the All-Section Team in 2018. Outside hitter Hannah Biro returns for her senior year after missing most of the 2018 season with injury. We should be a strong serving and passing team and are focusing on defense in the pre-season. With the graduation of All-State player Maggie Townsend, we will rely heavily on role players this season, particularly with our serving and defensive specialists, and will be distributing the ball more this season than in past years. I would consider BCCS to be a dark horse this season.

Section Favorite: Shenango

WPIAL Favorite: Bishop Canevin

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Bishop Canevin

Coach: Kevin Walters (13th year at Bishop Canevin, 20th overall)

Returning Starters:
5-4 senior libero Hanna DeLisio
5-7 junior outside hitter Gillian Golupski
5-8 senior setter Maddie Maziarz
5-7 senior right side Alexa Malloy

Season Outlook:
We will have a team with experienced seniors and some younger girls getting an opportunity. Every year we have the same goals, win our section, get to the WPIAL finals, and make a run in the PIAA tournament. Without injuries or bad luck, we should have a chance on most nights.

Section Favorite: Fort Cherry

WPIAL Favorite: Fort Cherry or Geibel Catholic

Young Players to Watch:
We have a couple of sophomores, outside hitter Kyla Hartoyo and middle hitter Abbie Maziarz, who have a chance to make some major contributions for us this season.

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Brentwood

Coach: Kayla Hubsch (5th year)

Returning Starters:
5-10 senior hitter Mandy Race

Season Outlook:
This year we have a younger group who are currently working hard in preseason to make the varsity roster. I anticipate we will have a competitive season but will be inexperienced at the varsity level. We have a lot of girls that can play multiple positions so it will be interesting to see how the starting line up with work itself out. We lost 6 seniors who made up the varsity line up last year so it will be a year of refocusing to make the best possible line ups with a brand new squad.

Section Favorite: Bishop Canevin

WPIAL Favorite: Bishop Canevin

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California

Coach: Rene Pascoe (5th year)

Returning Starters:
5-6 sophomore outside hitter/libero Tayla Pascoe
5-7 junior outside hitter Elaina Nicholson
5-8 senior outside hitter Marlee Renner
5-9 junior middle hitter Ca'Mari Walden
5-6 senior opposite Ashley Gush

Season Outlook:
I feel our team will do well this season. We have some strong returning players that will encourage and push our other players to do well. I am hoping to make a run for the section but definitely would like to make the playoffs.

Section Favorite:
I think Carmichaels has a strong returning team as well as Geibel.  

WPIAL Favorite:
I think Carmichaels can make a strong run for WPIAL as well.  

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Carmichaels

Coach: Julianne Speeney (1st year)

Returning Starters:
6-0 senior middle hitter Taylor Christopher
5-6 senior defensive specialist Abbey Fordyce
5-6 junior setter Alie McGee
5-10 junior middle hitter Emma Hyatt
5-8 junior outside hitter Nicole Ludrosky

Season Outlook:
With the successes of last season, we are looking to evolve and develop past those successes as well as match previous achievements. With that being said, we are focused on being adaptable and persistent towards making another playoff run and as a contender for the section title.

Section Favorite:
Everyone is tough in our section. Itís never an easy night.

Young Players to Watch:
Carmichaels opposite Beth Cree

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Fort Cherry

Coach: MaKenzie Biggs-Greene (1st year at Fort Cherry, 3rd overall)

Returning Starters:
5-7 senior opposite Lily Bedillion
5-9 junior middle hitter Reagan Carter
5-3 senior defensive specialist Gracie Dunn
5-3 senior defensive specialist Haley Felton
5-5 senior setter Jadyn Hartner
5-5 senior defensive specialist Abigail McCarty
5-10 senior middle hitter Allie McKean
5-9 senior outside hitter Katherine Nemec
5-0 junior defensive specialist Elizabeth Staley

Season Outlook:
This year I have very high expectation for this team. We strive to become section champs, WPIAL champs and move onto states!

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Geibel Catholic

Coach: Rick Watkins (28th year)

Returning Starters:
5-7 senior outside hitter Lauren Tomasko
5-6 senior defensive specialist/opposite Hannah Geary
5-10 senior middle hitter Becca Perkins
5-5 junior setter Shannon Watkins  
5-5 junior outside hitter Kennedi Stockey

Season Outlook:
We have a solid core group but depth and size will be a problem. Any injury or illness will put us in a bad position.

Section Favorite: The section race is wide open.

WPIAL Favorite: Bishop Canevin until someone beats them.

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Greensburg C.C.

Coach: Courtney Stynchula (2nd year as head coach, 4th with program)

Returning Starters:
5-5 senior setter/right side hitter Liz Colecchia
5-5 senior defense specialist Alex Christlieb
5-9 senior middle hitter Emily Zaziski
5-9 sophomore outside hitter Rebecca Hess
5-6 sophomore right side hitter Isabella Guerrieri
5-6 junior setter Ava Bailey

Season Outlook:
This year we want to be the best serve receive team, run plays, and be the loudest team out there with our communication.

Section Favorite: Greensburg C.C.

WPIAL Favorite: Bishop Canivan

Young Players to Watch:
Greensburg Central's Rebecca Hess & Isabella Guerrieri

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Jefferson-Morgan

Coach: Stephanie Woodruff (3rd year at Jeff-Morgan, 16th overall)

Returning Starters:
5-7 senior outside hitter Caitlyn Dugan
5-7 senior setter Autumn Gustovich
5-10 senior middle blocker Payton Wright

Season Outlook:
We have several returning starters and a handful of other players that received significant playing time last year. Even though we lost 4 starters to graduation, we have strong players filling in their spots. We should finish in the top 4 and make playoffs.

Section Favorite: Carmichaels and Geibel Catholic

WPIAL Favorite: Bishop Canevin

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Leechburg

Coach: Eve Hebrank (4th year)

Returning Starters:
5-5 senior outside hitter Maddie Ancosky
5-9 senior outside hitter Brenna Callahan
5-6 senior libero Gracie Reinke
5-11 senior middle hitter Ashley Grine
5-7 senior middle hitter Ava Powell

Season Outlook:
For the last two years, Leechburg has finished second in our section. With a strong group of seniors leading the pack, we aim to remain competitive and fight for the top. There are some great rivalries brewing so the season is always exciting.

Section Favorite: Greensburg C.C. is always the team to beat.

WPIAL Favorite: Bishop Canevin

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Mapletown

Coach: Christy Menear (5th year, 12th overall)

Returning Starters:
sophomore Macee Cree
senior Faith Burkholder-Walter
junior Sadie McCann
senior Kailey Stover

Section Favorite: Carmichaels

Young Players to Watch:
Sydney Kuis transferred from Mapletown to Carmichaels. She will make a huge impact on Carmichael's floor.  

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Northgate

Coach: Val Pennington (3rd year at Northgate, 15-plus overall)

Returning Starters:
5-7 senior outside hitter Mariah Benny
5-6 senior outside hitter Shayla Steigler
5-7 junior setter/opposite Jordan Thompson
5-4 junior setter Bella Keenan

Season Outlook:
We should be a strong contender for a playoff spot from what always seems to be the strongest section in single A. Our focus has been long term growth/stability instead of quick success and hopefully it will pay off a bit this year. I have some newcomers that portend to make big contributions.

Section Favorite:
Until someone convinces me otherwise, Bishop Canevin leads the pack.

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Riverview

Coach: Samantha Taylor (1st year as head coach, 2nd year with program)

Returning Starters:
5-8 senior setter Aleah Walendziewicz  
5-10 senior middle hitter Alivia Schultheis
5-7 junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Lizza Novikova  
5-3 junior defensive specialist Katie Zatawski  
5-5 junior defensive specialist Alexis Sykes

Season Outlook:
This season, the varsity team will be filled with familiar returners and some new members. The team this year will be a strong strategic and defensive team.

Section Favorite:
Without looking at each team I cannot say who the section favorite will be. I feel as if the section will be filled with strong competitors all around.

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Shenango

Coach: Greg Dugan (28th year)

Returning Starters:
6-0 opposite Grace Merkel Senior
5-8 setter Shannon Linz Senior
5-6 libero Angel Klein Senior
5-9 middle hitter Leyna Mason Sophomore
5-7 middle hitter Johanna Kraner Sophomore

Season Outlook:
Plenty of experience and the return of Grace Merkel will make us very competitive in our section this year.

Section Favorite: South Side Beaver, Union and Beaver C.C. should make for a very good section.

WPIAL Favorite:
Bishop Canevin will be the team to beat again this year.

Young Players to Watch:
Kylee Rubin and Emilee Fedrezzi will be solid outside hitters for us this year and both are freshmen.

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South Side Beaver

Coach: Jason Benkowski (17th year)

Returning Starters:
5-10 senior middle hitter Mackenzie Freeman
5-7 junior outside hitter Lilly Shychuck

Season Outlook:
This year's team will be young. We only have three players with previous varsity experience. Last year's team was focused around one player on offence, this year however we will have to rely on everybody to generate some scoring for us when they can.

Section Favorite: Beaver County Christian

WPIAL Favorite: Bishop Canevin

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Sto-Rox

Coach: Aaron Cygnarowicz (2nd year)

Returning Starters:
5-6 senior setter Kaylee Balobeck
5-2 libero Isabella Mcdermott
5-4 junior outside hitter Iyanna Clemmons
5-6 sophmore middle hitter Ajanae Monroe
5-3 sophmore defensive specialist Lasaia Williams

Section Favorite: Bishop Canevin

WPIAL Favorite: Bishop Canevin

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Trinity Christian

Coach: Gene Larson (7th year)

Returning Starters:
5-4 junior defensive specialist Page Walker
5-7 senior outside hitter Jillian Thomas
5-8 junior middle hitter Haley Hart
5-8 senior middle hitter Renee Narushoff
5-7 junior setter Annika Axelson    
5-5 senior libero Maddie Agate

Season Outlook:
We will have growing pains early as we replace two key starters. We do return a decent amount of experience and have a nice mix of young players who will get thrown in early. We should compete well and challenge for a playoff spot within our section.

Section Favorite:
Greensburg Central Catholic until someone knocks them off. They have some strong players returning. Sleeper favorite might be Vincentian as they return a number of young All-Section players.

WPIAL Favorite: Fort Cherry or Bishop Canevin

Young Players to Watch:
Morgan Galewski from Vincentian and Rebecca Hess from Greensburg Central Catholic will certainly make some noise in our section. Time will tell how they might impact the WPIAL.

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Vincentian

Coach: Joyce Brown (6th year)

Returning Starters:
I only lost 1 senior libero. I have everyone returning.

Season Outlook:
I have a very young team. With that said, my starting lineup returning started as freshman and sophomores. I have seen great maturity both mentally and physically this year so i am expecting great growth from this team this year. We will make a valid charge to knock off GCC who has won our section for the last few years.

Section Favorite:
There are many returning players in our section, therefore, the competition level will be very high. GCC is always a favorite in our section, but dont count out Leechburg. We have become friendly rivals and always bring our best game to these matches. Trinity is not to be counted out either with a full returning squad.

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Western Beaver

Coach: Kit Walter (1st year)

Returning Varsity Players:
senior Maddie Bruce
senior Eden Roush
senior Olivia Hohenshel
senior Emily Olash
junior Katie Mazzei

Young Players to Watch:
Western Beaver players moving up from JV team: junior Miya Wingard, junior Jocelyn Herda, and sophomore Vanessa Bailey. Newcomers are: freshman Bella Chaffee and freshman Delaney Bernard