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Repeat after me

Several area teams must replace lost stars

September 6, 2010
By Scott Franco,

By Scott Franco,

When it comes to successful high school girls volleyball programs, a few teams in the Mirror coverage area have some big-time pedigrees.

Northern Cambria is the defending state Class A champion, Philipsbuerg-Osceola made it to the PIAA Class AA tournament last year, and Altoona, without any seniors in its lineup, made it to the PIAA Class AAA tournament before bowing out to Seneca Valley.

Article Photos

Mirror file photo
Altoona’s Lydia Weatherly (25) and Hollidaysburg’s Sara McGarvey return this fall.

Despite losing a good part of that championship team, the Lady Colts still return seven letterwinners who started at some point under head coach Mike Hogan.

Philipsburg-Osceola might have a harder time getting back to the state tournament after losing some of its top players to graduation. It has a new coach in Dave Eckburg, who was promoted after being an assistant coach last year. The Lady Spikers, under Karan Price, have nine returning letterwinners to challenge State College.

There are some folks in the local scholastic volleyball community who believe teams from Central, Bishop Carroll, Bellwood-Antis and Huntingdon could challenge for a postseason spot.

Here is a capsulized look at some area teams.


Coach: Karan Price, 29th season

Career record: 367-174

League: Independent

Last year's record: 13-5

Returning starters: Kim Bumbarger, OH, sr., Stephanie Dodson, L, sr., Bailey Sinai, OH, sr., Casey Smith, RH, sr., Makenzie Wilt, MH, sr., Adena Delozier, S, jr., Kelley George, S, jr., Lydia Weatherly, MH, jr., Hannah Moore, DS, soph.

Other returnees: Brianna Luciano, MH, soph., Cecelia MacDonald, RH, soph.

Newcomers: Shannon Albright, DS, freshman, Amanda Parrish, MH, freshman.

Strengths: "We are returning a quick, versatile athletic group. "Along with great team chemistry, our players love to compete and are willing to train hard to improve."

Concerns: "We have a very demanding schedule and cannot take anything for granted. We need to win games at the net."

Overall outlook: "We are excited to get our season under way. Provided we can play calm, focused volleyball as a unit we continue to improve our consistency in all aspects of the game. We are confident that our team will once again be prepared to defend our District 6 Class AAA title, as well as postseason play."

Assistant coaches: John Saboe, Erin Wisor


Coach: Rodney Berkey, 2nd season

Career record: 8-12

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 8-12

Returning starters: Marlee Dibert, MH, sr., Brianna Prime, DS, sr., Cari Arnold, MH, jr., Kacy Blevins, S, jr., Maggi Secrest, OH, jr., Kat Whitfield, OH, jr.

Other returnees: Kara Gronborg, OH, jr., Deanna Littlefield, OH, jr., Jolene Nave, MH, jr., Jordyn Cassidy, S, soph., Lauren Fedorchak, MH, soph., Mikayla Shaffer, OH, soph.

Newcomers: Haleigh Easter, S, soph., Jeri Rogish, OH, soph., Jenna Simon, MH, soph.

Strengths: "Improved passing, tough servers, hard hitters, team attitude and solidarity."

Concerns: "Moving past mistakes and court communication."

Overall outlook: "I am looking for good things to happen with this experienced team. They have been playing together in the off-season in a few leagues around the area. This great group of girls have the desire, dedication and dedication to succeed on and off the court. They have a great team attitude and should be very competitive in the LHAC."

Assistant coach: Deborah Fedorchak


Coach: Annette Wilkins, 2nd season

Career record: 11-7

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year's record: 11-7

Returning starters: Karissa Collier, OH, sr., Amanda Grannas, RH, sr., Marisa Lombardo, S, sr., Katy Leamer, OH, soph.

Other returnees: Chelsea Krepps, MH, jr., Morgan Mercer, RH, jr., Alyssa Renney, OH, jr., Abby Bouslough, OH, soph., Lindsey Mercer, MH, soph.

Newcomers: Sam Damiano, MH, sr., Kristin Davis, OH, soph., Chelsea Gardner, S, soph., Tori Miller, MH, Soph., Tessa Nelson, OH, soph., Kathleen Vankirk, MH, soph., Tori Benton, RH, frosh., Emily Hanwell, RH, frosh., Emily Nagle, MH, frosh.

Strengths: "A good number of returning well-rounded players along with a lot of incoming talent."

Concerns: "Getting the two groups used to playing with one another."

Overall outlook: "This is only my second year as head coach and I'm still building my program. But, I am excited about the influx of new talent this year."

Assistant coach: Heather Quick.

Bishop Carroll

Coach: Joe Skura, 3rd season

Career record: 23-18

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 14-8; 11-5 in LHAC

Returning starters: Dani Link, MH, jr., Sunny Settle, S, jr.

Other returnees: Caroline Repko, L, sr., Gabby Gueguen, OH, sr., Karly Yarnish, DS, sr., Maria Kline, OH, sr., Shayna Truscello, OH, sr., Megan Gatto, MH, sr., Josie Yahner, MH, jr., Kayla Legros, MH, jr.

Newcomers: Cassidy Platt, OH, soph., Katie Morris, MH, soph., Taylor Simanski, OH, soph., Alex Lieb, OH, soph., Allyson Przybys, OH, frosh., Janelle Gueguen, OH, frosh., Erika Miller, MH, soph.

Strengths: "Athletically talented girls who work hard and have the will to win. Success in summer leagues has brought team unity and confidence."

Concerns: "Negativity from the bleachers and outside influences can harm our team's success. I'm hoping the girls can remain focused. The Laurel Highlands Conference has

Overall outlook: "I have a lot of faith in this group of girls. They have worked hard over the summer and are coming together as a team. If they stay focused and positive, they will have fun and enjoy victories."

Assistant coaches: Lauren Oldham

Bishop Guilfoyle

Coach: Bob Kasun, 6th season

Career record: 68-37

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 15-7; 12-4 LHAC

Returning starters: Alyssa Lower, MH, sr., Danielle Nazaruk, RH, sr., Jess Welteroth, OH, jr., Alyssa Luther, L, jr., Allison Bearer, MH, jr., Emma Baughman, OH, jr.

Other returnees: Olivia Vellone, RH, jr., McKenna Elder, L, jr., Kaitlyn Yahner, S, jr., Chelsey Ergler, MH, jr., Payne Sherry, OH, jr., Alyssa Rhone, OH, jr. Rachel Potopa, S, soph.

Newcomers: Rachel Zeth, S, soph., Tori Liebal, OH, soph., Logan McIntosh, S, frosh., Bridgette O'Leary, MH, frosh., Lindsie Welteroth, OH, frosh.'

Strengths: "We have a strong core of experienced players returning. Very good team chemistry."

Concerns: "The 2010 schedule is one of the toughest in school history. Along with a very tough Laurel Highlands schedule, we play Altoona, state-ranked State College twice, two-time District 6-AA champion Philipsburg-Osceola, state-ranked West Branch and Hollidaysburg."

Overall outlook: "We will be battled-tested for the District 6 Class A tournament with our schedule. Northern Cambria and West Branch are very good, even though they lost some great players, and teams like Penns Manor, Homer-Center, Bishop Carroll and Bellwood-Antis can challenge for the D6 title."

Assistant coaches: Tina Welteroth, Niki Gioiosa, Jill Heiss, Kira Boland.

Cambria Heights

Coach: Nate Wharton, 2nd season

Career record: 5-13

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 5-13

Returning starters: Amanda Short, Tricia Berish, Devon Henry, Casey Henry, Brianna Weakland.

Other returnees: Angela Morgan, Carrie Weaver, Brittanie Illig.

Newcomers: Jamie Snedden, Kristyn Wendekier, Devonna Weimert, Amanda Illig, Lindsay Welteroth, Lindsey Kosicki, Aimee Albright, Molly Smithmyer, Angela Bobak, Victoria Caretti, Lauren Bobby, Jenya Dautlick.

Strengths: "A young and versatile team looking to establish themselves as a competitive program within District 6."

Concerns: "Overall experience, with only one senior on the roster. We must have other players willing to step up and take leadership roles within the team."

Overall outlook: "Looking forward to being a season full of growth, while developing into a competitive team within the LHAC."

Assistant coaches: Michele Schirf


Coach: Mark Steele, 2nd season

League: Mountain

Last year's record: 10-9; 10-8 ML

Returning starters: Amanda Kelly, S, sr., Sarah Ormsby, OH, sr., Sam Dilling, OH, sr., Rachel Fry, MB, sr., Britni Greenleaf, sr., MB, Shana West, DS, sr., Jess Fluke, OH, jr., Kacey Shaw, DS, jr., Branden Long, MB, jr., Alexa Mock, RH, jr.

Other returnees: Kylie Reilly, RH, sr., Emma Dick, OH, jr., Emily Brumbaugh, OH, jr., Natalie Miller, DS, jr., Macy Gottshall, MB, jr., Katelyn Hamming, S, jr., Shelly Dick, DS, jr.

Newcomers: Kylie Gunnett, OH, soph., Ivy Tomlinson, OH, soph., Emily Reid, MB, soph., Haylei Zimmerman, DS, soph., Kylar Smith, RH, soph., Ashley Smith, OH, frosh., Tessa Shaw, S, frosh.

Strengths: "We have a lot of returning leadership and an eagerness to learn."

Concerns: "Falling short of team goals, and limited playing time which accompanies a large team."

Overall outlook: "A strong, senior-laden team with good passing skills should take us to the later rounds of the district playoffs."

Assistant coach: Paul Cunningham

Central Cambria

Coach: Tracey Elkin, 6th season

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 6-12; 3-7 LHAC

Returning starters: Kurstin Whori, MH, sr., Nicole Zeisman, OH, sr., Kelsie Conrad, MH, jr., Brandi Hildebrand, S, jr., Aimee Espe, S, jr., Samantha Elkin, S, soph.

Other returnees: Emily Daughenbaugh, DS, sr., Brooke Forcellini, OH, jr., Meghan Ostrowsky, OH, jr.

Newcomers: None

Strengths: The team has a strong returning core that brings an aggressive offense to the court and experience that is evident in a strong team nucleus and resulting team play.

Concerns: As with every season, staying healthy and maintaining our strong team nucleus.

Overall outlook: This is a team that will not back down until they've achieved success - and they have the tools to get it done.

Assistant coach: Shane Conley

Chestnut Ridge

Coach: Wendy Miller, 1st season

League: Sideling Hill

Last year's record: 19-1; 16-0 SHL

Returning starters: Tiffany Clingerman, OH, sr., Stef McCoy, OH, sr., Alana Weyant, MH, sr., Makayla Dunlap, S, jr., Taylor Clingerman, S, soph.

Other returnees: Olivia Bence, Alexandra Clark, Kristi Batzel, Sarah Dikum

Newcomers: Jordan Hobson, Breena Morris, Morgan Weyant, Ali Connatelli, Sam Knisely.

Strengths: "Leadership, solid court experience in key positions, hard-working, close-knit team on and off the court."

Concerns: "Consistency."

Overall outlook: "This team is very well focused and determined."

Assistant coach: Tammy Clingerman


Coach: Sue Conner, 22nd season

Career record: 392-179

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year's record: 12-10-1

Returning starters: Brittani Beegle, MH, sr., Brandi College, L, sr., Caitlyn Droz, MH, jr.

Other returnees: Clarissa Barton, O, sr., Annissa Miller, OH, sr., Nichole Feuillet, MH, jr., Theole Feuillet, OH, jr., Kelley Jay, OH, jr., Marissa Ramsey, MH, jr., Amanda Weaver, OH, jr.

Newcomers: Rachel Appel, S, soph., Kayla Barkman, MH, soph., Michayla Crooks, MH, soph., Laura DuVall, OH, soph., Morgan Hall, MH, soph., Skyler Layton, DS, soph., Lexie Miller, DS, soph., Bailey Morral, S, soph., McKayla Ott, DS, soph., Brittany Ramsey, DS, soph., Erica Waltman, OH, soph., Samantha Weicht, O, soph., Baylee Beegle, S, frosh., Macey Colledge, MH, Sarina Laidg, OH, frosh.

Strengths: "Have a strong middle attack in Brittani and Caitlyn. We also have a large number of young girls who have club ball experience from last winter and hope that they will help in the long run."

Concerns: "Trying to change up a few things in our system, so we need to make adjustments now! Getting the young girls key experience ASAP. We have a lack of varsity experience."

Overall outlook: "our goal is to be competitive in our league and make the district playoffs again."

Assistant coach: Samantha Downey, Yvette Clingerman


Coach: Ken Strelein, 5th season

Career record: 16-57

League: Independent

Last year's record: 2-12

Returning starters: Kelsey Salyards, OH, jr., Sara McGarvey, MH, jr., Emily Gottshall, S, soph.

Other returnees: Kathryn Yacobucci, MH, sr., Kaitlyn Lishinsky, OH, sr., Jameson Holsinger, OH, sr., Abigail Duman, S, jr., Andrea Michaels, OH, jr., Nicole Schirf, DS, jr., Rachel Nelson, OH, jr., Jordan Stubbs, soph., Katie Reed, DS, soph., Kristin Reed, DS, soph.

Newcomers: Amber Altmanshofer, sr., Cheyenne Wilt, sr., Allison Matko, soph, Ilene Hernandez, soph., Jamie Manion, soph., Katey Fox, soph., Kennedie Conner, soph., Sarah Kordish, soph., Taylor Herr, soph., Meghan Daisley, frosh., Rachel Sibold, frosh.

Strengths: "We return a lot of young players who saw significant varsity playing time last season."

Concerns: "We need to improve our mental toughness to be able to challenge the tough teams on our schedule."

Overall outlook: "We expect to be very competitive this season. "While we have a small senior class, our players worked hard in the off-season to prepare themselves for the upcoming season. There will be much competition for playing time and it may take us a little while to find the right combination of players who will give us the best chance to win."

Assistant coach: Sheena Fisher.


Coach: Gina Sellers, 1st season

Career record: 0-0

League: Mountain

Last year's record: 15-5

Returning starters: Casey Hawbaker, L, sr., Bethany Ledford, M, sr., Alix Sellers, OH, sr., Michelle Wargo, OH, sr. Torrie Garner, MH, jr., Kathryn Marter, S, jr.

Other returnees: Kristen Biancone, OH, sr., Sara Nead, DS, sr., Joy Oakman, DS, Sarah Snare, MH, sr., Alyssa Yoder, OH, sr. Lindsay Benson, S, jr. Nicole Houck, MH, jr., Alissa Sellers, OH, jr., Lynn Trowbridge, L, jr., Leah Wilson, OH, jr., Kiara Burton, OH, soph., Haleigh Heaton, OH, soph, Julie Leonard, OH, soph., Elisa Schmeck, MH, soph., Mary Sloan, OH, soph.

Newcomers: Carrie Fichter, soph., Elizabeth Holesa, soph., Brittany Weidel, soph., Sarah Beers, frosh, Tabby Brett, frosh., Morgan Glover, frosh., Kendra McCartney, frosh., Jessica Nearhood, frosh., Alycia Park-Ferretti, frosh., Natalie Romano, frosh., Becca Sellers, frosh., Taylor White, frosh.

Strengths: "Six returning starters, strong leadership in seniors. Many girls participated in off-season training/competition, and having a competitive gym with many players vying for playing time."

Concerns: "Players adjusting to a new system and coaching staff."

Overall outlook: "Expecting to make a strong presence in the Mountain League and District 6."

Assistant coaches: Olivia Hallahan, Priscilla Gibboney, Lori Heaton, Cheri Burket.

Juniata Valley

Coach: Mary Reed, 4th season

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year's record: 2-14

Returning starters: Kimi Houck, S, sr., Teresa Mock, S, sr., Heather Carper, OH, jr., Amanda Merritts, S, jr., Taylor Walker, OH, jr., Morgan Moberg, S, jr.

Other returnees: Maddie Lane, OH, sr., Cecilia Grugan, OH, jr., Morgan Ayers, DS, jr., Sara Myers, MH, jr., Ally Culp, S, jr., Anna Sajeski, S, soph., Abbie Zinoble, MH, soph., Scarlett Vogl, MH, soph., Alexa Lecrone, OH, soph., Natalie Burkey, S, soph., Brittany Wagner, DS, soph.

Newcomers: Alana Stoltz, DS, sr., Helena Travares, DS, sr., Ashlee Dick, OH, soph., Jena Hampton, MH, frosh., Erin Mills, S, frosh., Rachael Johnson, OH, frosh., Casey Bowley, MH, frosh., Ashley Foor, OH, frosh., Amanda Hutchinson, OH, frosh.

Strengths: "We only lost two seniors last season. We are returning the majority of our starting lineup this season. We are showing some consistent serving and passing in the preseason."

Concerns: None stated

Overall outlook: "Hoping to play a solid game from beginning to end."

Assistant coach: Lisa Schilling, Ed McEwen

Moshannon Valley

Coach: Danielle Dillon, 3rd season

Career record as coach: 29-8

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year's record: 17-5

Returning starters: None.

Other returnees: Katelyn Thompson, sr., Maria Charney, sr., Jessica Popyack, sr., Alanna Figula, jr., Kacie Gallo, jr., Kristen Gallagher, jr., Tayla Swoope, soph., Brooklyn Stephenson, soph.

Newcomers: Kalen Ohs, sr., Kristin Murphy, sr., Kelsey Beirlair, sr., Cayenne Lantz, jr., Chelsea Domanick, jr., Mikayla Lewis, jr., Katie Davis, jr., Ruthie Hutton, jr., Amanda Howe, jr., Breanna Supenia, jr., Alisha Gillen, jr., Taylor Hallman,soph., Mikala Kawa, soph., Carly Kitko, frosh., Kelsey Kitko, frosh., Lauren O'Donnell, frosh., Olivia Cutler, frosh., Kaeli Criscitello, frosh., Brandee Keith, frosh.

Strengths: "The girls have a very positive attitude and are working very hard. With such a fresh group of girls, this year we have several that are really becoming team leaders."

Concerns: "We have a high number of girls this year and the majority of them are brand new. This is a rebuilding year for us."

Overall outlook: "We're going to have a fun, but busy season this year."

Assistant coach: Kenise Buck

Northern Cambria

Coach: Mike Hogan, 20th season

League: Heritage

Last year's record: 26-1; 16-0 HC

Returning starters: Ashley Kirsch, RSH, sr., Emily Stiles, S, sr., Shawna Serafin, MH, sr., Miriah Butterworth, OH, sr., Emily Krumenacker, OH, sr., Becky Krumenacker, L, sr., Megan Rescinito, S, jr.

Other returnees: Lauren Ashurts, OH, sr., Kelley Sedlock, BR, sr., Becky Britton, MH, jr., Ashley Delfonso, S, jr., Elizabeth Wolfe, RSH, jr., Reba Yahner, OH, jr., Giana Butterworth, OH, soph.

Newcomers: Carina Perrone, OH, soph, Gabbie Pizur, MH, soph., Breanna Sabella, S, soph., Demi Hoover, OH, soph., Kelly Lieb, S, frosh., Lakyn Fornari, MH, frosh., Paige Benton, MH, frosh., Renee Paronish, OH, frosh., Alyssa Walters, S, frosh., Ashley Farabaugh, S, frosh.

Strengths: "Depth, experience, work ethic, attitude and leadership."

Concerns: "Size."

Overall outlook: "Very good. With the number of quality players and experience of being there last year, I look for the Colts to have another good year."

Assistant coach: Jen Dumm


Coach: Leah Montgomery, 8th season

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 17-2; 15-1 LHAC

Returning starters: Stephanie Basile, MH, sr., Jess Delic, OH, sr., Danelle Weakland, OH, sr., Keisha Mulhern, OFF, sr., Kerry Creehan, S.

Other returnees: Briana Toth, M, sr., Katie Buzzella, OH, jr., Sarah Lundberg, OFF, jr., Vicki Regan, OFF, jr., Jocelyn Myers, OH, jr., Miranda Wilkinson, OH, jr., Taylor Freeman, M, soph.; Kayla Uvegas, OFF, soph., Bridget George, OH, soph., Briana Mulhern, S, soph., Lindsey Phillips, OH, soph., Elizabeth Garvel, OH, soph., Deonna Capelli, M, soph.

Newcomers: Katherine Alsaker, OH, sr., Karissa Buzzella, OH, soph., Kelly Minor, DS, soph., Tori Shingler, S, frosh., Meghan Wheeler, M, frosh., Victoria Law, OH, frosh., Marissa Macchia, L, frosh., Hayley Holsberger, M, frosh., Kelly Yusko, OH, frosh.

Strengths: "Experience all over. Teamwork from the upper classmen."

Concerns: "Remaining injury free. Lack of teamwork from the under classmen."

Overall outlook: "We should do well. I am excited for this season."

Assistant coach: "Meghan Wills


Coach: Dave Eckberg, 1st season

Career record: 0-0

League: Mountain

Last year's record: 32-5; 18-0 ML

Returning starters: Aleksa Pollick, OH, sr., Carolyn Gallagher, OH, sr., Brittany Glango, S, sr., Julianne Gray, L, sr., Hunter Schnarrs, OH, sr.

Other returnees: None

Newcomers: Stephanie Schaffer, MB, jr., Callie Tocimak, DS, jr., Kaitlyn Driebelbis, MB, soph.

Strengths: "Serving, passing and court experience."

Concerns: "Team depth and blocking."

Overall outlook: "Our five seniors have played a lot of volleyball together over the past six years and they know the game well We are excited about the upcoming season."

Assistant coach: Victoria Flango


Coach: Jim Cushion,3rd season

League: Mountain

Last year's record: 0-18

Returning starters: Chelsey Hook, DS, sr., Chelsie Santoni, OH, sr., Jess Thomas, OH, jr., Becca Fry, S, sr., Danielle Barton, MH, sr.

Other returnees: Taylor Patton, MH, sr., Ariane Miller, MH, sr., Clarissa Woomer, MH, jr.

Newcomers: Destany Allen, OH, soph., Lindsay Emigh, OH, soph., Courtney McMonagle, DS, jr., Sadie Wiser, DS, soph., Sarah Lehman, OH, soph., Casie Branstetter, S, soph., Maggie Miller, MH, soph., Chelsea Smith, DS, soph., Megan Rizzo, OH, jr., Alyssa Parker, OH, soph., Machaila Kruis, MH, soph., Morgan Taylor, OH, soph., Jess Hoffman, DS, jr.

Strengths: "We have five starters back and we know what we have to do to win."

Concerns: "Our inexperience and lack of confidence. The league we are in is top-notch so we have to be ready every night."

Outlook: "We lost eight seniors from last year. We are still young but each day we are getting better."

Assistant coach: "Charlie O'Rourke


Coach: Carrie Hileman, 3rd season

Career record: 3-29

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year's record: 1-16, 0-14

Returning starters: Lindsey Crouch, DS, sr., Kayanna Brown, MH, sr., Catilin Phelps, MH, sr., Miranda Deterline, S, sr., Alyssa Miller, OH, sr., Shawna Lynn ,OH, sr., Alexis Webster, DS, sr.

Other returnees: Sarah Snow, MH, sr., Naomi Brooks, MH, jr., Amanda Brumbaugh, S, jr., Taylor Michelone, OH, jr.

Newcomers: Steawna Runk, DS, jr., Kara Stayduhar, OH, soph., Natia Repine, S, soph., Emily Shaw, MH, soph., Nichole Lynn, MH, soph., Cassondra Kensinger, OH, soph., Julie Gorsuch, OH, soph., Lauren White, OH, frosh., Alyssa Bowmaster, OH, frosh., Shenia Lower, S, frosh., Paige Pearson, OH, frosh., Natalie Kipe, OH, frosh., Hayley Butcher, OH, frosh.

Strengths: "Senior leadership, key returning starters, depth on bench."

Concerns: "Passing and communication. Staying focused and being team-oriented."

Overall outlook: "The girls are working hard and making adjustments. We are hoping for a successful, fun season."

Assistant coach: Julie Woodling, Laurie Stock.

I am looking for: