2019 WPIAL Class 2A Preview Capsules

Apollo-Ridge

Coach: Laura Gartley (1st year)

Team Roster:
5-1 senior setter Alexandra Enciso
5-1 senior liber Julia Poydence
5-3 senior left back Emma Rametta
5-5 senior left back Haley Usko
5-7 junior outside hitter Emily Bonelli
5-2 junior right back Annabelle Casella
5-1 junior right hitter Elizabeth Donahue
5-5 junior outside hitter Morgan Gamble
5-11 junior middle hitter Madison Marks
5-9 junior middle hitter Renee Tomiczek
5-8 sophomore middle hitter Alani Williams
5-3 sophomore setter Emma Frain
5-0 freshman libero Isabel Gerheim
5-9 freshman middle hitter Anna Sodowski
5-7 freshman right hitter Brinley Toland
5-3 freshman outside hitter Morghan Wysocki

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Avonworth

Coach: Sarah Doherty (1st year)

Returning Starters:
5-11 senior outside hitter Makenna Gavin
5-2 senior defensive specialist Riley North
5-9 senior outside hitter Alexie Auth
5-10 middle blocker Kat Goetz
5-1 sophomore Abbi Holjes

Section Favorite: North Catholic

WPIAL Favorite: North Catholic

Young Players to Watch:
Freeport's Erica Lampus, Moon's Molly Simmons, Oakland Catholic's Elizabeth Ford, Shaler's Mia Schubert, Pine-Richland's Kaili Doctor, Bethel Park's Grace Lejeck.

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Beaver

Coach: Tyler Szymanski (2nd year)

Returning Starters:
5-5 senior defensive specialist Alyssa Ross.
5-9 senior outside hitter Lauren Sullivan
5-7 junior setter Talia Gallagher(all section
5-11 junior outside/setter Eden McElhaney
5-11 junior opposite hitter Emilee Hohelshel
5-11 sophomore middle hitter Payton List  
5-11 sophomore middle hitter Kylie haczela
5-7 junior defensive specialist/outside hitter Lanie French

Season Outlook:
Lots of returning starters who had a great offseason. Still fairly young with only two seniors. Should be an exciting and fun season watching them develop as a group. Lanie French returns after missing last season with injury.

Section Favorite:
Ellwood City has some talented players returning.

WPIAL Favorite:
I think Freeport, Frazier, and North Catholic aret the front runners.

Young Players to Watch:
Kylie haczela and Payton List are returning sophomore starters who I think are going to have breakout years

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Beth-Center

Coach: Stephen Beyer (10th year)

Returning Starters:
5-9 senior outside hitter Sarah Hess
6-1 junior middle hitter Noelle Hunter
5-6 junior outside hitter Jen Zenelick

Season Outlook:
We have three returning starters and several girls who saw playing time last year. We look to compete with Frazier and Waynesburg for the top spots in our section. We have lots of girls competing for starting positions so I believe depth is going to be a strong point for us this year.

Section Favorite: Frazier

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Burrell

Coach: Kylie Shields (1st year as head coach, 5th with program)

Returning Starters:
5-3 senior setter/right side Hannah Koziarski
5-9 senior setter/right side/ outside hitter Sara Novak
5-7 senior outside hitterOlivia Kelly
5-8 sophomore outside/middle hitter Anna Novak

Season Outlook:
We have high expectations for our team this year. We have had a lot of girls put in a lot of time this summer. We absolutely expect to be in the top 3 of our section and make playoffs.

Section Favorite: Freeport

WPIAL Favorite: Freeport

Young Players to Watch:
On our team we expect sophomore Anna Novak and freshman Avery Bain to really make an impact.

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Chartiers-Houston

Coach: Carrie Hansberry (1st year)

Returning Starters:
5-4 senior middle/outside hitter Isabella Cramer
5-8 senior middle hitter Kirah Lindsey
5-5 junior setter/outside hitter Joelle Beaumariage
5-8 junior outside hitter Tatum Clayton
5-6 sophomore setter/outside hitter Cate Hansberry
5-1 senior defensive specialist Emma Conaway
5-2 senior defensive specialist Hayley Conaway

Season Outlook:
This Chartiers-Houston team has been very hard working and eager to learn. They are looking forward to competing!

Section Favorite:
We have a section full of great competitive teams. Many made the WPIAL playoffs last season. North Catholic is a favorite in the section.

Young Players to Watch:
Jessalyn Scott, 5-10, outside hitter

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Deer Lakes

Coach: Terry Gaston (7th year)

Returning Starters:
5-7 senior outside hitter Mia Jarnot  
5-7 senior setter Renee Robson
5-7 senior setter Bryson Hazlett
5-9 senior middle hitter Desiree Herman
5-8 junior outside hitter Cameron Simurda  
5-6 junior libero Christiana Saldamarco

Season Outlook:
Looking forward to a more successful regular season and to get beyond the quarter finals for the first time in school history.

Section Favorite: Freeport

WPIAL Favorite: Frazier has all of its starters returning.

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Derry

Coach: Brock Smith (22nd year)

Returning Starters:
6-0 senior middle hitter Rylee Ellis
5-8 senior outside hitter Kamryn Kelly
5-11 senior opposite Ally Pacek
5-7 senior outside hitter Hannah Wedow

Season Outlook:
I feel that we have solid experienced players returning from a playoff team. We have enough depth from our younger players to help fill in the loss of graduating role players as well as starters. As the season progresses, we should develop a continuity that hopefully continues us toward our goal of making the WPIAL playoffs and hopefully advancing at least as far as we have the past two seasons.  

Section Favorite: Freeport

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Ellwood City

Coach: Jenna Ricciuti (4th year)

Returning Starters:
6-1 senior middle hitter Saylee Grinnen
5-7 senior outside hitter Avory Elchison
5-5 senior defensive specialist Taylor Covert
5-7 senior outside hitter Madison Krugh

Season Outlook:
A great group of upperclassmen that have the knowledge and experience to lead the team to victories. We are determined to make playoffs for the second year in a row and have high hopes on winning the MAC small school tournament! This team has contagious energy that brings out the true passion of our volleyball players.

Section Favorite: Neshannock

WPIAL Favorite: North Catholic

Young Players to Watch:
Ellwood City's sophomore setter Angelina Nardone.

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Frazier

Coach: Mandy Hartman (22 years)

Returning Starters:
5-9 senior outside hitter Skye Eicher
5-6 senior outside hitter Logan Hartman
5-4 senior defensive specialist Mackenzie Kelly
5-2 senior libero Kathryn Barch
5-11 senior right side Gabrielle Alekson
5-7 senior middle hitter Sierra Twigg
5-5 senior right side Riley Scott
5-5 junior setter Alexis Lovis
5-6 junior middle hitter Kaelyn Shaporka

Section Favorite:
I think that we should be a strong contender in our section. Southmoreland, Waynesburg, and Beth Center have solid programs and are always competitive.

WPIAL Favorite:
North Catholic is returning a strong team along with Freeport. Without loosing a senior last year, I would expect us to compete once again.

Young Players to Watch:
Payton List, a sophomore middle hitter, should be an impact player for Beaver. I am excited for our strong freshmen class at Frazier.  Jensyn Hartman should provide some extra offense for us this season.

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Freeport

Coach: Tom Phillips (18th year)

Returning Starters:
5-8 senior outside hitter Lauren Lampus
5-8 senior setter Maddie Clark
5-9 senior outside hitter Mackenzie Jack
6-1 senior middle hitter Izabella Russo
5-8 senior outside hitter Tori Radvan
5-8 senior opposite Samantha Clark
5-6 senior defensive specialist Cora Crytzer
5-5 sophomore libero Erika Lampus

Season Outlook:
We are our to defend our section title as always. We have a very strong freshman class incoming with 4 girls who could challenge for varsity playing time. We have been working hard all summer. Iím very happy with the results that Iíve seen this summer.

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Hopewell

Coach: Terry Borkovic (30th year)

Returning Starters:
5-8 senior outside hitter Mikaela Malobabich
5-6 senior setter Kristen Kaminski
5-2 senior defensive specialist Camryn Taylor
5-10 junior outside hitter Leah Driscoll
5-8 junior middle hitter Lexi Thompson
5-4 junior libero Haley Barkovich
5-6 sophomore opposite Sierrah Nicol

Season Outlook:
We are are expecting a strong season with a deep playoff run. Depth is a concern.

Section Favorite: North Catholic

WPIAL Favorite: North Catholic, Frazier, and Freeport.

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Keystone Oaks

Coach: Mike O'Leary (3rd year)

Returning Starters:
5-8 senior setter/opposite Taylor Logan
5-8 senior outside hitter Erin Feeney
5-7 junior middle blocker Emma Serakowski
5-7 junior middle blocker Cassidy Angle
5-6 junior setter Isabella Sikora
5-6 junior outside hitter Helena Piccolino

Season Outlook:
With many returning starters, we look to build off of the experience we gained last season, compete for a section championship, and make a deep playoff run.

Section Favorite:
The favorite remains Serra Catholic until somebody beats them.

WPIAL Favorite: North Catholic

Young Players to Watch: Junior Cassidy Angle

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Neshannock

Coach: Jenny Bollinger (1st year, 4th year with program)

Returning Starters:
5-9 Kaylee George
5-8 Grace Beal
5-11 Maddison DeMatteo
5-9 Chloe Cosgrove
5-4 Mary Omer
5-10 Sophia Smith
5-4 Alexa Vitale

Season Outlook:
We are a seasoned team returning with a strong senior class

Section Favorite:
Love the rivalry between Ellwood & Neshannock.

WPIAL Favorite: Freeport

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New Brighton

Coach: Wes Remley (1st year as head coach, 11th with program)

Returning Starters:
setter Kaylee Shaffer
middle hitter Bethany Krut
opposite Kayla Small

Season Outlook:
Our team goal this season is to improve our quickness and our passing. We expect to compete with every team we face during our upcoming season, and we believe we have the team leadership and determination we need to accomplish our goals, if not surpass them. After losing quite a few senior star athletes last year, we have some upcoming seniors that are ready to fill our needs on the court, along with a few athletes that will be playing varsity for the first time. I expect that our returning starters from last year continue to inspire and encourage everyone on the court so that the team, as a whole, performs at their highest level.

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North Catholic

Coach: Amanda Fetter (2nd year at North Catholic, 8th overall)

Returning Starters:
6-0 senior outside hitter Dominique Felix
5-6 junior libero Elizabeth Feczko
5-8 senior outside Anna Schoeppner
6-0 senior opposite Libby Palmer
5-6 senior defensive specialist Sophia Elias
6-1 senior middle hitter Ava Whitesel
5-8 senior setter Lizzy Ochs
5-8 senior opposite Kailey McSteen
5-8 senior middle hitter Brooke Sturgis

Season Outlook:
We have a very solid group of returning players that are working very hard to get better every day. We are feeling very positive about this year and are hoping to compete at a very high level.

Section Favorite:
Avonworth, Hopewell, North Catholic and OLSH will all compete for a section title.

WPIAL Favorite: Frazier and Freeport

Young Players to Watch:
South Fayette's Sydnei Jones, Seneca Valley's Mandy Altman, Moon's Abby Sanacroce, North Allegheny's Mia Tuman, North Allegheny's Carissa Treser.

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O.L. Sacred Heart

Coach: Mike McDonald (33rd season)  

Returning Starters:
5-8 senior outside hitter Gianna Platt
5-8 junior setter/opposite Grace Bradley
5-8 sophomore setter/opposite Kaleigh Costantino

Season Outlook:
Aside from the 3 returning starters, OLSH will show a big makeover this year, looking to replace a very productive graduating senior class with starters from the JV last year. McDonald hopes to get the new starters to catch up to the speed of the varsity game and continue to improve with every day they compete and work together as a group.  Expectations don't change, regardless of the personnel or the competition, so working to secure a playoff spot and being competitive with other teams on a daily basis are the expectations for this year's squad. Currently, the new group of starters are a work in progress.

Section Favorite:
North Catholic, Hopewell, and Avonworth are the favorites in the section.

WPIAL Favorite:
Freeport, North Catholic, Frazier look to be the favorites in Class 2A

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Serra Catholic

Coach: Keith Trahan (7th year at Serra, 14th overall including 7 years in South Carolina)

Returning Starters:
5-8 senior outside hitter Amelia Bogovich
5-10 middle hitter Lauren Gaydos
5-6 setter Brianna Pasternak
6-0 middle hitter Grace Fazio
5-4 defensive specialist Jenna Gralewski
5-3 defensive specialist Hannah Kessler

Season Outlook:
We are excited to defend out section title and WPIAL semi-final appearance. We expect another tough fight through section. We are returning five starters from last year. We lost three elite level players, which is always tough. However, I think Amelia Bogovich is now a top ten player in AA and Bri is the best setter in AA. To go with those two, we return our two starting middles, Gaydos and Fazio, and two DSs from last yearís team. We will round out the squad with two seniors ready to step in for the two big guns we lost from last yearís team.

Section Favorite:
I am partial to list returning champions as favorites. So, I am thinking we have the targets on us. We expect to get everyones best effort when we play.

WPIAL Favorite:
I think this year will be really competitive at the top. I will have to go with North Catholic as defending champs and they are bringing back two of the top ten players in AA.

Young Players to Watch:
There are quite a few really good freshman that I know are coming into the WPIAL. I am not sure about their status on their teams just yet. I am excited to see how they do once the season get going.

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Seton LaSalle

Coach: Amy Okeefe (3rd year)

Returning Starters:
5-8 senior setter Chloe Lestitian
5-11 junior right side hitter Kate Radan
5-9 junior outside hitter Malia Sigg
5-9 sophomore outside hitter Keira Sipe

Season Outlook:
We will be a young but talented team this year. It is a dedicated group of ladies who work hard and will compete. We have a core group of returners and some younger skilled athletes to build around this year.

Section Favorite:
Serra Catholic won our section last year and is always a strong competitor.

Young Players to Watch:
Seton LaSalle sophomore outside hitter Keira Sipe

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South Allegheny

Coach: Jack Kelley (1st year)

Returning Starters:
5-9 senior middle Kennedy Pikula
5-0 senior defensive specialist Justice Hresko
5-5 sophomore outside hitter Madison Pikula

Season Outlook:
South Allegheny has not been very competitive in recent years but, after spending some time with these athletes, I think thatís about to change. We are a fairly young team (Iíll probably start 3 sophomores) so Iím sure there will be growing pains but I think our older players are strong enough to overcome most of that. I don't really know what our competition looks like but I expect us to, at least, give everyone we play a spirited battle.

Section Favorite:
I havenít seen anyone play yet but Iím told that Serra Catholic is a machine.

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South Park

Coach: Chad Farrington (2nd year at South Park, 8th overall)

Returning Starters:
6-0 senior middle hitter Jenna Nymick
5-10 sophomore middle hitter Faith Fetsko
5-3 junior setter Megan Brokaw
5-6 senior outside hitter Zelda Antantis
5-7 senior outside hitter Lea Francis
5-8 junior outside hitter Shannon Gorny
5-4 senior defensive specialist Cassidy Phillips

Season Outlook:
I'm very optimistic about the coming season! We have a strong core returning, some nice new pieces stepping up from underclassmen, we only lost one senior, and this is my second year, so they are more familiar with me now. I'm thinking playoffs should be our goal and we should be able to achieve that mark.

Section Favorite:
North Catholic will be the team to beat. Returning section champs and some nice pieces coming back.

WPIAL Favorite:
Again, I'd have to say North Catholic. Returning WPIAL Champs and a strong core of returning players.

Young Players to Watch:
I have a freshman defensive specialist, Lanie Schultz, who is very impressive! She's in line to start varsity this year as our libero.

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Waynesburg

Coach: Dan Higinbotham (7th year)

Returning Starters:
5-9 senior setter Abby Fisher
5-1 senior defensive specialist Peyton Foringer
5-8 senior outside hitter Bailey Pauley
5-8 senior middle hitter Alexis Pantalone
5-8 junior outside hitter Emma Robinson
5-9 junior middle hitter Riley Bowers
5-7 junior outside/middle hitter/setter Cayla Rush

Season Outlook:
As a team we are working on improving all aspects of the game through hard work and focus! Our team is full of talented hard working athletes that have the ability to play with any team at this level.

Section Favorite: Frazier

Young Players to Watch:
Waynesburg's 5-1 sophomore defensive specialist Paige Jones and 5-10 freshman outside hitter Sarah Stephenson.