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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged "Volleyball"
Posted: August 30th, 2013

Youngsville Eagles
Coach: Beverly Fox (2nd season, 4-12)
2012 overall record: 4-12
2012 region record: 3-11
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top player lost: Abbey McLaughlin
Top returning players: Kennedy Cratty, Karissa Cratty, Aubree Hendrickson
Outlook: Youngsville will be a team to watch this season and next season. The Eagles lost one senior to graduation in Abbey McLaughlin and have a strong group of juniors back. The junior class has been playing together the past four years and could surprise a few teams this fall. Twins Kennedy and Karissa Cratty are back as middle hitters, while setter Aubree Hendrickson is also back. Emily McChesney and Julie Jameson are junior outside hitters and senior Judi Lewis is back as the right side hitter. The Eagles could also receive contributions from new players Marissa Byler (setter) and Elyssa Horn (defensive specialist). Youngsville should be stronger this season but look out for the Eagles next year if they continue to develop as a team.

Schedule
September
10 at Cochranton* 7:15
12 at Union City* 7:15
17 Rocky Grove* 7:15
19 Maplewood* 7:15
26 at Cambridge Springs* 7:15
October
1 Saegertown* 7:15
3 Cochranton* 7:15
8 Union City* 7:15
10 at Rocky Grove* 7:15
15 at Maplewood* 7:15
22 Cambridge Springs* 7:15
24 at Saegertown* 7:15
*Region 2 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 29th, 2013

Wilmington Greyhounds
2012 overall record: 10-6
2012 region record: 7-5 (tied for third)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.

Note: A preview was not submitted by the head coach.

Schedule
September
5 Sharpsville 7:15
9 at Union 7:15
12 Grove City* 7:15
17 at Slippery Rock* 7:15
19 at Greenville* 7:15
24 at Mercer* 7:15
26 Hickory* 7:15
30 Laurel 7:15
October
1 at Sharon* 7:15
2 Shenango 7:15
8 at Grove City* 7:15
10 Slippery Rock* 7:15
15 Greenville* 7:15
17 Mercer* 7:15
22 at Hickory* 7:15
24 Sharon* 7:15
*Region 3 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 29th, 2013

West Middlesex Big Reds
Coach: Niki Nych (1st season back at West Middlesex, 5th overall, 52-9)
2012 overall record: 11-6
2012 region record: 10-4 (third)
2012 playoff results: Lost to Cochranton in three games in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Shannon Kuritz, Allison Mild, Jade Kroesen
Top returning players: Tori Roberts, Ariel Pratt, Aly Andrusky, Marissa Pursel
Assistant coach: Deanna Patterson
Outlook: Niki Nych is back to coach the Big Reds this season. West Middlesex had four successful seasons with coach Nych in the early 2000′s and the Big Reds are looking to repeat that success. The Big Reds will have to replace middle hitter Shannon Kuritz, setter Allison Mild and outside hitter Jade Kroesen. All three graduated in the spring, leaving holes to fill for coach Nych. Mild was voted to the all-region first team as a senior. The Big Reds have some experience back in Tori Roberts, Ariel Pratt, Aly Andrusky and Marissa Pursel. Pratt was voted to the all-region second team as an outside hitter last fall, while Roberts is a libero, Andrusky is an outside hitter and Pursel is back at middle hitter. West Middlesex could also receive contributions from new players Dani Krepps, Megan Hazlett and Tori Roth. The Big Reds are starting over with a new but experienced coach. Coach Nych will hand out starting jobs during camp but nothing is guaranteed going in. The Big Reds are competitive in Region 1 and will be looking to take the next step this season.

Schedule
September
3 Sharon 7:15
5 at Mercer 7:15
10 at Commodore Perry* 7:15
12 Kennedy Catholic* 7:15
17 at Reynolds* 7:15
19 at Lakeview* 7:15
24 Sharpsville* 7:15
26 at Jamestown* 7:15
October
1 Farrell* 7:15
3 Commodore Perry* 7:15
8 at Kennedy Catholic* 7:15
10 Reynolds* 7:15
15 Lakeview* 7:15
17 at Sharpsville* 7:15
22 Jamestown* 7:15
24 at Farrell* 7:15
*Region 1 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 29th, 2013

Warren Dragons
Coach: Mike Dolan (7th season, 58-36)
2012 overall record: 7-7
2012 region record: 5-7 (fourth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: None
Top returning players: Teah Bines, Rachel Lasecki, Valerie Latimer, Paige Wilson, McKenzie Merenick
Assistant coaches: Sue Baldensperger, Randy Gillotti
Outlook: Warren wasn’t given any favors by being put into a region with Conneaut, Corry and Meadville. The Dragons, however, have one of the more experienced teams back in the region this season. Warren returns its entire starting lineup, including Teah Bines, Rachel Lasecki, Valerie Latimer, Paige Wilson and McKenzie Merenick. Bines dished out 361 assists and had 71 aces last fall, while Lasecki, an all-region pick two years ago, had 191 kills and 162 digs. Latimer racked up 206 kills and 42 blocks last fall, while Merenick had 249 digs. Bines is a setter and defensive specialist, while Lasecki is an outside hitter. Latimer returns at outside and middle hitter, and Wilson is back at middle hitter and right side hitter. Merenick has emerged as a solid defensive specialist for the Dragons. Warren has experience but coach Mike Dolan said that the setting has to be more consistent and the Dragons need better ball control this season. He is also looking for Latimer, Lasecki and Merenick to step up as senior leaders this fall. The Dragons are in a brutal region but didn’t lose anything from last year. If Warren can play consistent volleyball, they won’t be an easy out for any team in Region 4.

Schedule
September
5 at Mercyhurst Prep 7:15
10 at Meadville* 7:15
12 at Conneaut* 7:15
19 Titusville* 7:15
24 at Franklin* 7:15
26 at Corry* 7:15
30 Jamestown (N.Y.) 7:15
October
1 Oil City* 7:15
3 Meadville* 7:15
8 Conneaut* 7:15
15 at Titusville* 7:15
17 Franklin* 7:15
22 Corry* 7:15
24 at Oil City* 7:15
*Region 4 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 29th, 2013

Villa Maria Victors
Coach: Kristy Jamison (2nd season, 4-8)
2012 overall record: 4-8
2012 region record: 4-8 (fifth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Shantel Herrmann, Melissa Mischler, Jennie Fustine
Top returning players: Marge Carroll, Grace DeMarco, Marialana Montefiori, Katie Mischler
Assistant coach: Stefanie Donor
Outlook: Villa Maria is in a rebuilding state right now and it won’t be easy in a region that includes powerhouses McDowell and Harbor Creek. The Victors will have to replace graduates Shantel Herrmann, Melissa Mischler and Jennie Fustine. Villa returns four top players, including three starters. Marge Carroll, Grace DeMarco, Marialana Montefiori and Katie Mischler are back this fall. Carroll and Montefiori are senior middle hitters and DeMarco is a returning senior at outside hitter. Katie Mischler will be looking to step up and play a prominent role for Villa as well this fall. The Victors are still building their program up and hung tough with several top teams last fall. Villa could be a few years away from making a run at the region title but they could surprise a few teams along the way this fall. Winning matches is always important but the Victors should also focus on building the program and developing the lower levels for the future.

Schedule
September
5 at Girard 7:15
10 Central Tech* 7:15
12 Harbor Creek* 7:15
17 at Mercyhurst Prep* 7:15
19 East* 7:15
24 at Strong Vincent* 7:15
26 McDowell* 7:15
30 at Girard 7:15
October
3 at Central Tech* 7:15
8 at Harbor Creek* 7:15
10 Mercyhurst Prep* 7:15
15 at East* 7:15
17 Strong Vincent* 7:15
22 at McDowell* 7:15
*Region 6 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 24th, 2013

Union City Bears
2012 overall record: 10-8
2012 region record: 8-6 (fourth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.

Note: A preview was not submitted by the head coach.

Schedule
September
4 Kennedy Catholic 7:15
10 at Cambridge Springs* 7:15
12 Youngsville* 7:15
16 Seneca 7:15
17 at Cochranton* 7:15
19 at Eisenhower* 7:15
23 Girard 7:15
24 Saegertown* 7:15
26 at Rocky Grove* 7:15
October
1 Maplewood* 7:15
3 Cambridge Springs* 7:15
8 at Youngsville* 7:15
10 Cochranton* 7:15
14 at Girard 7:15
15 Eisenhower* 7:15
17 at Saegertown* 7:15
22 Rocky Grove* 7:15
24 at Maplewood* 7:15
*Region 2 matches

Saturday: Villa Maria and Warren

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 24th, 2013

Titusville Rockets
2012 overall record: 4-10
2012 region record: 4-8 (fifth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.

Note: A preview was not submitted by the head coach.

Schedule
September
3 at Fairview 7:15
10 Franklin* 7:15
12 at Corry* 7:15
17 Oil City* 7:15
19 at Warren* 7:15
24 Harbor Creek 7:15
26 at Meadville* 7:15
October
1 at Conneaut* 7:15
2 at Franklin* 7:15
8 Corry* 7:15
10 at Oil City* 7:15
15 Warren* 7:15
22 Meadville* 7:15
24 Conneaut* 7:15
*Region 4 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 24th, 2013

Strong Vincent Colonels
Coach: Jenna Fitch (6th season)
2012 overall record: 2-10
2012 region record: 2-10 (sixth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Alexa Williamson, Rachel Barnes
Top returning players: Victoria Coleman, Tiffani Jones
Assistant coach: Gita Dev
Outlook: Strong Vincent won two matches last fall but with only two seniors gone to graduation, the experienced Colonels are looking for more. Vincent will have to replace Alexa Williamson and Rachel Barnes. Williamson was a setter and Barnes a middle hitter. The Colonels return everyone else, including standouts Victoria Coleman and Tiffani Jones. Coleman is an outside hitter and Jones is a middle hitter. Vincent also returns starters Erika Thomas at outside hitter, Donjhane Tate at right side hitter and Abigail Stolarski at libero. The Colonels could also receive strong contributions from new players Rebecca Soliwoda and Michaela Donnelly. Soliwoda will likeley step in at setter for Williamson and Soliwoda at middle hitter for Barnes. Vincent is in a brutal region full of solid programs but the Colonels’ biggest concern should be Mercyhurst Prep and city rivals East and Central Tech. McDowell continues to dominate in Region 6 and likely grabs one of the spots in the District 10 Class AAA championship. The other spot will be up to the remaining four teams. If the Colonels can make their way through the Class AAA teams in Region 6, they will earn a spot in the D-10 championship match. Vincent has plenty of experience and has the means to replace the players gone to graduation. Dealing with high-pressure volleyball and coming through in the matches they need to will determine how far the Colonels go this fall.

Schedule
September
10 McDowell* 7:15
12 at East* 7:15
17 Central Tech* 7:15
24 Villa Maria* 7:15
26 Harbor Creek* 7:15
October
1 at Mercyhurst Prep* 7:15
3 at McDowell* 7:15
9 East* 7:15
10 at Central Tech* 7:15
17 at Villa Maria* 7:15
22 at Harbor Creek* 7:15
24 Mercyhurst Prep* 7:15
*Region 6 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 23rd, 2013

Slippery Rock Rockets
Coach: Laura Franklin (5th season, 37-27)
2012 overall record: 13-1
2012 region record: 12-0 (champion)
2012 playoff results: Defeated General McLane in four games in the District 10 Class AA quarterfinals before losing to Fort LeBoeuf in three games in the semifinals.
Top players lost: Laura Hilliard, Taylor Stamm, Megan Little
Top returning players: Heather Urbaniak, Carly Shearer, Kaitlyn Spangler, Lindsey Lueken, Kortney Schaum
Assistant coach: Chelsea Pallone
Outlook: Slippery Rock ran through Region 3 last fall and were only slowed down in the playoffs by eventual state champion Fort LeBoeuf. The Rockets have some work to do in order to repeat that success. Slippery Rock lost all-region selections Laura Hilliard, Taylor Stamm and Megan Little to graduation. Hilliard was voted to the first team at middle hitter, while Stamm was a first-team setter and Little was a first-team libero. The Rockets return a strong defense and coach Laura Franklin has been impressed with their hard work so far. Seniors Carly Shearer, Kaitlyn Spangler and Lindsey Lueken are back to lead Slippery Rock. All three are hitters and will look to fill a void left by senior Heather Urbaniak, who will miss the upcoming season with a knee injury. Urbaniak led the Rockets in kills last fall and was voted to the all-region second team at outside hitter. Shearer is a returning first-team outside hitter and could emerge as a leader for the Rockets. Kortney Schaum had a breakout freshman season as a defensive specialist and is looking to contribute as a sophomore. The Rockets could also get help from new players Ellie Mularski, Brooklyn Walsh and Abbey Little. Slippery Rock has a nice mix of returning seniors with young players as well. The loss of Urbaniak is huge but if the Rockets can fill in the void, they should be in contention for a playoff spot this fall.

Schedule
September
5 at Franklin 7:15
10 Hickory* 7:15
12 at Greenville* 7:15
17 Wilmington* 7:15
19 at Sharon* 7:15
25 Conneaut 7:15
26 at Grove City* 7:15
30 AC Valley 7:15
October
1 at Mercer* 7:15
3 at Hickory* 7:15
7 Greenville* 7:15
10 at Wilmington* 7:15
15 Sharon* 7:15
22 Grove City* 7:15
24 Mercer* 7:15
*Region 3 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 23rd, 2013

Sharpsville Blue Devils
Coach: Rosemary Ferguson (1st season back at Sharpsville, 9th season overall)
2012 overall record: 16-4
2012 region record: 14-0 (champion)
2012 playoff results: Swept Cochranton in the District 10 Class A semifinals before losing to Maplewood in four games in the District 10 championship.
Top players lost: Alexis Ferrara, Madelyn Shuttleworth, Paige Scurpa, Kristen Scurpa
Top returning players: Megan Davis, Rachael D’Auria, Rachel Harenchar, Madison Priczina, Emily Anderson
Assistant coaches: Sophie Paddock, Lauren Belin
Outlook: Sharpsville is under new direction from a coach that is familiar to the area. Rosemary Ferguson returns to the sidelines to coach the Blue Devils this fall. Sharpsville will have some major holes to fill with the graduation of Alexis Ferrara, Madelyn Shuttleworth, Paige Scurpa and Kristen Scurpa. Paige (outside hitter) and Kristen (setter) Scurpa were voted to the all-region first team, while Ferrara was voted to the first team as a libero. Shuttleworth was voted to the all-region second team and all four will be tough to replace for the Blue Devils. Sharpsville returns Megan Davis, Rachael D’Auria, Rachel Harenchar, Madison Priczina and Emily Anderson. Davis was voted to the all-region second team as an outside hitter and will be counted on to lead a young team. Davis is part of a strong senior class along with D’Auria, a middle hitter, and Harenchar, a libero. Priczina is back at setter and Anderson at middle hitter as juniors. Sharpsville could also receive immediate contributions from new players Kara Morrin, Miley Sikorski, Emily Sackett, Alivia Shuttleworth along with sophomores Abby Ferlin, Leah LaRocca and Emma Gerasimek. The Blue Devils have plenty of leadership to replace from graduation. With a new coach and a new system in place, it may take Sharpsville a few matches to build chemistry, but the program is strong enough to reload. Look for the Blue Devils to contend in Region 1 and in District 10 Class A.

Schedule
September
5 at Wilmington 7:15
10 Jamestown* 7:15
12 Reynolds* 7:15
17 at Farrell* 7:15
19 at Commodore Perry* 7:15
24 at West Middlesex* 7:15
26 Lakeview* 7:15
October
1 at Kennedy Catholic* 7:15
3 at Jamestown* 7:15
7 at Clarion 7:15
8 at Reynolds* 7:15
10 Farrell* 7:15
15 Commodore Perry* 7:15
17 West Middlesex* 7:15
21 at McDowell 7:15
22 at Lakeview* 7:15
24 Kennedy Catholic* 7:15
*Region 1 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 22nd, 2013

Sharon Tigers
Coach: Taralee Williams (2nd season, 0-20)
2012 overall record: 0-20
2012 region record: 0-12 (seventh)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Ashley Byerly, Janayia Chester, Alexus Jenkins, Brianta Hilton
Top returning players: Jessica Talbert-Kirsch, Iman Morgan, Tanayja Sanders, Kristina Jacoway, Gerbrea Peterson
Assistant coaches: Janine Stuart, Courtney Christy
Outlook: Sharon is looking to use the struggles the Tigers went through last year to win matches this season. Sharon didn’t win a match under new head coach Taralee Williams but she is confidene that this year has plenty of potential. The Tigers will have to replace graduates Ashley Byerly, Janayia Chester, Alexus Jenkins and Brianta Hilton. Sharon has a strong group of juniors and seniors, including returning players Jessica Talbert-Kirsch, Iman Morgan, Tanayja Sanders, Kristina Jacoway and Gerbrea Peterson. Talbert-Kisch is back at setter, while Jacoway is an outside hitter and Peterson is back on the back row. Morgan returns as a middle hitter and Sanders will rotate between outside, middle and right side hitter. Sharon will also need to fill in a few hitters during camp and could receive immediate contributions from new players Delisa Smith, Leah Smith, Madison Peteros, Danae Baumgardner, Alexa Hoover and Hannah Glaven. The Tigers starting building chemistry last year and they are looking to translate that into success this season. Sharon still needs to develop its program and winning matches this year won’t be as important as gaining confidence and trust in the system and each other.

Schedule
September
3 at West Middlesex 7:15
5 Farrell 7:15
10 at Grove City* 7:15
12 at Mercer* 7:15
16 Brookfield (Ohio) 7:15
19 Slippery Rock* 7:15
23 Reynolds 7:15
24 at Hickory* 7:15
26 at Greenville* 7:15
October
1 Wilmington* 7:15
3 Grove City* 7:15
8 Mercer* 7:15
15 at Slippery Rock* 7:15
17 Hickory* 7:15
22 Greenville* 7:15
24 at Wilmington* 7:15
28 Oil City 7:15
*Region 3 matches

–Tom Reisenweber

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