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Several girls volleyball teams working toward memorable seasons

Mirror file photo Abby Yahner is one of five veterans returning for Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic this fall.

From Mirror reports

No teams from the Mirror’s core coverage area won a District 5 or 6 title last season, but several teams had success and will be hoping to build off of it when this season kicks off this weekend.

The only returning Mirror first-team all-star is Hollidaysburg senior Brittyn Davenport, who will try to lead the Lady Tigers past defending District 6 champion Bellefonte this season.

Central Cambria, which will have its third coach in as many years with Alicia Huber taking over, returns three Mirror honorable mention players in Leah Burggraf, Maddy Kim and Alli Malay.

Other returning players who were named to the honorable mention team last season include Bishop Carroll’s Tia Bradley, Claysburg-Kimmel’s Emalee Cavender, Cambria Heights’ Kendall Conrad, Glendale’s Hanna Noel and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic’s Abby Yahner.

Just outside the core coverage area is Philipsburg-Osceola, which made the PIAA Class 2A championship game last season and returns plenty of talent that will make it tough on any Class 2A teams seeking a title.

The following is a capsulized look at the teams in the Mirror’s area.

Altoona

Coach: John Saboe, third year

Career record: 10-20

Last year’s record: 3-11, 1-7 in Mid-Penn Conference

Conference: Mid-Penn Conference

Returning starters: Macy Yost, sr., OH; Evy Stroup, sr., S; Kaylee Smith, sr., MH; Jadeyn Price, sr., OH; Nyelah Strobel, jr., MH; Addison Cooper, so., MH; Aunye Counsman, so., OH

Other returnees: Emma Clouser, jr., MH; Julia Veneziano, jr., D-L; Amy Dean, so., D; Julia Kline, so., OP; Jaiden Krull, so., S; Nora Reed, so., D; Emerson Steinbugl, so., OH-L; Sydney Stroup, so., OH

Newcomers: Lauren Papi, jr., OH-MH; Rowan DiSabato, fr., D; Maya Mielnik, fr., D; Smantha Page, fr., S; Lauryn Ryan, fr., MH; Ellaina Saylor, fr., OP; Ava Steinbugl, fr., OH; Karinna Wolfe, fr., D

Strengths: “We have a solid core of athletic, versatile and competitive players. Offensively, we feel we have an experienced upperclassman group that needs to develop into ‘put-away’ hitters and a great mix of young talent that is developing those ‘put-away’ skills. In addition, we’ll need to rely on our tough serving and scrappy defense to keep us in games.”

Concerns: “We lost six seniors from last year, but we have a great core of athletes to step into those spots. We are dedicating a lot of time to our defensive strategy. Our team is very aggressive, so we need to keep our unforced errors to a minimum and be patient during long rallies as our offense continues to develop.”

Overall outlook: “As always, we have a very demanding schedule, and it will challenge us game in and game out. And once again, our team has set very high goals for themselves. Provided, we have solid leadership, focused discipline, and attention to detail, we feel confident that our team will be battle-tested, exciting to watch and a definite contender for the District 6 4A title by the end of the season.”

Assistant coaches: Mitchell Snyder, volunteers Makenzie Negri, Alyssa Fasolo, John Albright, Karan Price, Micah Hamilton

Bellwood-Antis

Coach: Jannell McKinney, second year

Career record: 5-13

Last year’s record: 5-13

Conference: Inter-County Conference

Returning starters: Hailee McConnell, jr., S; Lydia Worthing, jr., MH; Jesse Corrado, so., OH; Alexis Lovrich, jr., D

Other returnees: Abby Walters, sr., OH; Ava Miller, jr., OH; Brielle Campbell, jr., MH; Chloe Brown, sr., OH

Newcomers: Johanna Heckman, fr., OH; Ava Hassler, fr., S-OH; Ava Patton, fr., S-OH; Allison Kendall, fr., OH; Addy Turek, fr., MH; Mackenzie Weber, fr., DEF; Lilly Hardman, fr., MH

Strengths: “Serving.”

Concerns: “Confidence, experience.”

Overall outlook: “This team has been working hard year round. They have grown together as individual players and as a team. We are so excited to see them come together this season and show us the hard work they have been putting in.”

Assistant coach: Sophie Damiano

Bishop Carroll

Coach: Jackie Koscho, first year

Career record: 0-0

Last year’s record: 9-7

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Makaylah Koscho, sr., S; Emma Becquet, sr., OH; Tia Bradley, sr., MH; Casey Buynack, sr., L

Other returnees: Madison Ostinowsky, jr., OH

Newcomers: Brynn Koscho, so., RS; Tatum Laughard, so., D; Mary Golden, so., S

Strengths: “Many players who lead and step up when needed. The team has a positive and fun attitude overall.”

Concerns: “LHAC is a tough conference, must be ready for every game.”

Overall outlook: “They will do well. They love the game and have fun playing.”

Assistant coach: Erin Becquet

Bishop Guilfoyle

Coach: Rachel Potopa, first year

Career record: 0-0

Last year’s record: 12-4

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Caitlyn McConnell, sr., MH; Amelia Partner, sr., L; Abby Yahner, sr., S; Erin Yahner, sr., MH; Lia Simanski, jr., OH

Other returnees: Leanna Biddle, jr., OH; Victoria Clapper, jr., L; Maddie Myers, jr., RS; Samantha Brandt, soph., RS; Molly Burke, soph., OH

Newcomers: Addison Barr, soph., MH; Alyssa Franks, soph., OH; Emily Miller, soph., MH; Ava Taddei, soph., OH

Strengths: “We have a strong group of girls who have been dedicated all summer to improving and getting better. They have a great chemistry and really build one another up. We have a lot of strong servers so, hopefully, we’re able to knock teams out of system.”

Concerns: “The Laurel Highlands is a tough conference, so I think we just need to show up ready to play for every game.”

Overall outlook: “We are excited for this season and to compete against the teams in the area. We look forward to seeing the results of the hard work that was put in during the offseason.”

Assistant coach: Jordyn Platt

Cambria Heights

Coach: Doug Farabaugh, third year

Career record: 22-14

Last year’s record: 4-10

Conference: Heritage Conference

Returning starters: Kendall Conrad, sr., OH; Shaylee Packard, sr., S; Kadence Della Valle, sr., L

Other returnees: Courtney Venesky, sr., RS; Carly Mezzelo, sr., D; Grace Jasper, sr., OH

Newcomers: Paige Burkey, so., MH; Mackkenzie Mulraney, so., MH; Savannah Coover, so., OH; Emmerson Packard, so., D

Strengths: “The strength of our team will be our seniors. Kendall is a strong player on the outside, Shaylee is a second-year varsity setter, Kadence will transition into the libero position after playing defensive specialist at the varsity level for two seasons, Grace is solid as the other outside hitter, Courtney is a tall blocker and effective hitter on the right side and Carly is a good defensive specialist. ”

Concerns: “We really need to limit our unforced errors, get out of our comfort zones and continue to grow as a team. Our sophomore middle blockers, Paige and Mackenzie, will continue get stronger as the season progresses.”

Overall outlook: “Our team has a lot of potential this year. The seniors are ready to lead the team, and the sophomores and freshmen are eager to learn and prove themselves. We don’t have any juniors, so underclassmen will have to develop quickly. They have already shown that they’re eager to learn and prove themselves.”

Assistant coaches: Cindy Farabaugh. Volunteer coaches–Mike Poole, Nancy Hayes, Nikki McCombie

Central

Coach: Caitlyn Welty, first year

Career record: 0-0

Last year’s record: 3-13

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Faith Brumbaugh, sr., MH; Brooke Claar, sr., MH; Haylie Mingle, sr., L; Adalyn Smith, sr., OH; Kirsten Ayers, jr., OH; Maya Hazenstab, jr., D

Other returnees: Alex Klotz, jr., OH-D; Kaitlyn Weitzel, so, S

Newcomers: Aubree Berkhimer, sr., D; Jenna Haney, sr., MH; Rebecca Roth, sr., S; Heather Brumbaugh, so., MH; Madison Kennedy, so., OH

Strengths: “They are a smart team that picks up new information fast and adapts their play accordingly. The team dynamic in and out of the gym is phenomenal and they are very excited to play. There are a lot of girls on the team, which gives us a very good depth chart to play with.”

Concerns: “It’s a new program and coaching staff with big changes, which comes with its own learning curve and we are starting it in a new conference.”

Overall outlook: “We have some really strong athletes that learn fast which should help promote a good season. We are very excited to get started in this new atmosphere and against new teams.”

Assistant coaches: Briana Cunningham, Pam Ayers (volunteer), Michaela Lefchick (volunteer), Bethany Wyant (volunteer)

Central Cambria

Coach: Alicia Huber, first year

Career record: 0-0

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Leah Burggraf, sr., S; Kathryn Kulawiec, sr., OH; Madison Kim, sr., MH; Deanne Long, sr., RS-D; Anna Benko, sr., RS; Hannah Ray, sr., OH-RS; Hayley Evans, sr., D; Jordyn Burkett, sr., D; Mikalah Kim, jr., MH; Allison Malay, jr., OH

Other returnees: Gabri’el Shirk, sr., MH; Isabel Kushner, OH; Emma Pablic, RS; Madelyn Burnatti, so., RS; Skylar Bloom, jr., S; Erika Burket, jr., L; Summer Koss, so., S; Taylor Ream, so., D; Hailee Bickford, so., OH; Maggie McCullough, so., OH; Ally Kudlawiec, so., MH; Morgan Sedor, so., MH

Newcomers: Lola Taylor, fr., MH; Sophia Blasko, fr., MH

Strengths: “Offensive skill level is incomparable. The girls passion for the sport is shown at every practice and competition.”

Concerns: “There is a lot of high level skill on this team and determining who has worked the hardest and performed their best each week is going to be a challenge.”

Overall outlook: “These girls are set up to do great things this year. If they stay focused and work as a team they will accomplish any goals they set their minds to.”

Claysburg-Kimmel

Coach: Julie Cavender, third year

Career record: 30-16

Last year’s record: 14-8

Conference: Inter-County Conference

Returning starters: Bailey Garver, sr., OH; Rebekah Claar, sr., MH; Ally Dicken, jr., S; Emalee Cavender, so., OH

Other returnees: Jessen Poullos, sr., MH; Arissa Hinish, jr., S; Emma Gill, jr., OH; Mckenzi Black, jr., S; Gracie Eicher, jr., MH; Sarah Helsel, jr., MH-OH; Chelsie Noah, jr., MH; Britnee Robertson, jr., MH-L; Alayna Hill, so., L

Newcomers: Emma Ritchey, jr., MH; Jazmyne Claycomb, so., OH; Shanda Weyandt, so., OH

Strengths: “Team quickness and ball control.”

Concerns: “Depth.”

Overall outlook: “Looking forward to playing in the ICC South for the first year and competing for a championship.”

Glendale

Coach: Brenda Hewitt, fifth year

Career record: 43-31-2

Last year’s record: 15-3

Conference: Inter-County Conference

Returning starters: Sam Cherry, sr., OH; Hanna Noel, sr., S; Cindy Richards, sr., L; Alyssa Sinclair, jr., MH; Bailee Wimberly, sr., S

Other returnees: Carlie Cann, sr., UTL.; Riley Best, jr., OH; Alyvia Rutter, jr., UTL.

Newcomers: Ava Krause, jr., S; Jocelyn Mooney, jr., MH; Jillian Taylor, jr., MH; Kaprice Cavalet, so., MH; Koltlyn Cavalet, so., OH;

Strengths: “We have great leadership in our letterwinners. Everyone is working hard and pushing each other to get better.”

Concerns: None listed

Overall outlook: “I have seen a lot of great things happening in practices. I look for us to be very competitive this season.”

Assistant coach: Lindsey Kallas

Hollidaysburg

Coach: Dean Grenfell, third year

Career record: 20-15

Last year’s record: 9-9

Conference: Mountain League

Returning starters: Joelle DeLattre, sr., OP; Bridgett Everett, sr., OH; Sydney Keagy, sr., S; Brittyn Davenport, sr., MB; Sydney Lear, jr., DS-L; Aubrey Pupa, jr., MB; Drew Kordish, so., S; Lexi McLanahan, so., DS-L; Lucy Stanek, so., OH

Other returnees: Breann Shoop, sr., OH; Elsey Kephart, jr., OP; Mary Steward, jr., DS

Newcomers: Sierra McGinnis, so., OH; Elizabeth Wallace, so., MB; Leah Zimmerman, so., OH; Emily Clapper, fr., S

Strengths: “We have a strong core of varsity members with experience in tough matches to go along with newcomers who are eager to help improve our team..”

Concerns: “Joining the Mountain League this year will come with a new schedule and new teams to face. We will get to see strong competition all season long with these teams.”

Overall outlook: “Excited to be back in the gym as we try to improve upon our previous season. We look to work hard and compete with our new schedule of teams in the Mountain League.”

Assistant coaches: Hannah Reed, Brandon Stitt

Northern Bedford

Coach: Shalonne Sipes, second year

Career record: 3-14

Last year’s record: 3-14

Conference: Inter-County Conference

Returning starters: Addie Sipes, sr., OH-MH-S; Jenna Carberry, sr., D-RS; Lydia Byler, sr., S; Lizzie Long, jr., MH-RS; Alaina Sipes, so., L; Halle Lingenfelter, so., OH-D

Other returnees: Jaida Pensyl, sr.; Alayna Bowser, sr.; Madison Walker, sr.; Riley Cottle, sr.; Lauren Over, sr.; Becca Shriver, sr.; Olivia Walter, jr., MH-RS; Aleigha Helsel, jr.; Lacy McIlnay, so., RS-S

Newcomers: Lindsey Koontz, sr.; Julia Helsel, jr.; Dani Imler, so.; Addison Arcq, so.; Lindsey Bolinger, so.; Kara Dietz, so.; Emma Byler, so.; Samantha Corle, so.; Madison Miller, fr.

Strengths: “We have a core group of letterwinners returning to give us much more experience going into this season as compared to the varsity experience we had at this time last year. Even though we are generally still a young team, we are returning most of last year’s starting lineup.”

Concerns: “We need to develop confidence and mental toughness. The girls have the potential to turn things around this season, they just need to believe in themselves and know they can compete with any team on any given night.”

Overall outlook: “We are looking to improve upon last season’s record and our ultimate goal is to make the District 5 playoffs this year.”

Assistant coaches: Kristie Young, Jenn Davis

Penn Cambria

Coach: Leah Montgomery, 24th year

Conference: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returning starters: Marissa Conley, sr., MH; Daijah Lilly, sr., OH

Other returnees: Kaylee Mento, jr., RS; Georgia Borlie, jr., RS; Madi McCoy, jr., OH; Julia Gil, jr., RS; Sage Chislow, jr., DS; Maddie Geist, jr., MH; Alyssa Zupon, so., S; Patty Wagner, so., MH

Newcomers: Gina Pettenati, so., OH; Jelana Boldizr, so., OH; Reese Swires, fr., OH; Loren Stipanovich, fr., MH-OH; Janessa Martynuska, fr., RS; Addison Hite, fr., MH; Madisyn Farabaugh, fr., OH; Mackenzy Farabaugh, fr., RS; Nevaya Hoover, fr., OH; Sophia Rabatin, fr., S

Strengths: “Getting along, attitude, coachable, continued improvement.”

Concerns: “We’re young, injuries, leadership.”

Overall outlook: “If we get a couple leaders to come through and continue being positive, I see us improving weekly.”

Assistant coach: April Gergley

Portage

Coach: Lauren Cordwell, fifth year

Career record: 33-44

Last year’s record: 8-11

Conference: WestPAC

Returning starters: Julia Papcun, sr., MH; Sydni Sossong, sr., OH; Keira Sossong, jr., L; Lexi Slanoc, jr., OH; Brooke Bednarski, so., S

Other returnees: Sydney Leurgey, sr., D; Paige Phillips, so., MH; Annie Davis, so., MH; Trissa Smith, so., MH; Emma Greslick, so., OH; Sierra Crum, so., OH; Tori Harrison, so., OH

Newcomers: Maddy Hudak, jr., OH; Allison Gabel, so., OH; Peyton Noll, fr., MH; Lindsey Castel, fr., OH

Strengths: “The girls worked hard in the offseason to improve their skills both as a team and individually. They compliment each other well on the court in terms of skill level and understanding of the game. We have a strong foundation of returning starters to help us this season.”

Concerns: “We need to push through and be mentally stronger. Work on bouncing back from mistakes and getting that next point and not let teams get runs on us.”

Overall outlook: “I am looking forward to having a great season. We have the talent and determination to be successful and make another run at the playoffs.”

Assistant coach: Mary Walls

Tyrone

Coach: Brandi Moyer, first year

Career record: 0-0

Conference: Mountain League

Returning starters: Maecy Tuskovich, sr., D-L; Kaitlyn Houck, sr., D-L; Reagan Irons, jr., OH; Elaina Gehlman, jr., OH; Piper Christine, jr., MB; Maddy Rockwell so., S

Other returnees: Holly Long, sr., OH-D; Vivian Sciarillo, jr., OH

Newcomers: Rylee Poorman, jr., OH; Aliza Yazzie, so., MB; Kylee Nelson, fr., S-D

Strengths: “One of our best strengths is that we have a very controlled and experienced defense with our seniors.”

Concerns: “A concern this season would be filling the roles of our former players/three key starters that graduated last year.”

Overall outlook: “This season, our confidence and aggressive offense will compete with the tough teams in our conference.”

Assistant coach: Bob Oberheim

Williamsburg

Coach: Marina Brubaker, third year

Conference: Inter-County Conference

Returning starters: Ashley Brubaker, sr.

Other returnees: Alissa Walker, sr.; Ashlie Richardson, sr., Morgan Reighard, sr.; Madison Haney, sr.; Abbie Merritts, jr.; Alexia Brumbaugh, jr.; Ruth Eger, jr.; Billie Harnish, so.; Hannah Dixon, so.; Leah Criswell, so.; Emma Morgan, so.

Newcomers: Kaelyn Calderwood, sr.; Tabitha Black, sr.; Haley Holder, jr.; Hannah Bush, so.; Alana Bowmaster, fr.; Abigail James, fr.; Samantha England, fr.; Chelsey Lane, fr.; Scotlyn Barroner, fr.; Alexis Feudale, fr.; Eleanor Brubaker, fr.

Strengths: “A lot of players returning with playing experience, a young group of newcomers who meshed well during Winter Leagues.”

Concerns: “Lack of depth at skill positions.”

Overall outlook: “We won more games last year than years prior. We need to build on that momentum and positivity throughout the season.”

Assistant coach: Natalie Gorsuch

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