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District 9 Volleyball Preview

CLARION, Pa. – The District 9 volleyball season starts with tournaments Saturday and regular-season games Tuesday.

Here is a look at each team in the district. The capsules were filled out by each team’s coach.

Click here for schedules

A-C VALLEY
Head Coach: Doug Knox
2015 Record: 17-2 overall, 11-0 KSAC (KSAC Champions) (Advanced to D9 Class A title game where it lost, 3-2, to Clarion then lost, 2-1, to Elk County Catholic in true second-place match)
Starters Returning: 1
Top Returning Players: Josey Terwilliger, MH (241 digs, 40 blocks, 142 kills, 50 percent Set/Kills ratio, KSAC 2nd Team All-Conference), Olivia Boocks (OH), Jaleigh Seigal (OH), Cassie Schwalm (OH), Kylee Eaton (MH), Sydney Rankin (S)
Key to the Season: Knox believes if the team serves well and plays good defense it will be a successful year.

AUSTIN
Head Coach: Angela Brewer
2015 Record: 0-16
Starters Returning: No information submitted
Top Returning Players: No information submitted
Key to the Season: No information submitted

BRADFORD
Head Coach: Steve Burgess
2015 Record: 14-3 (Won District 9 Class AAA Title)
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Ashton McGriff (OH), Kamryn Piscitelli (OH), Morgan Roggenbaum (S)
Key to the Season: Play clean (error free) volleyball, strong passing and play all out while giving 110 percent all the time

BROCKWAY
Head Coach: Ann Marie Inzana
2015 Record: 7-9
Starters Returning: 5
Top Returning Players: Katlyn Cappetta, Anndi Bartlett, Kacie Raybuck, Erin Hultman, Kaitlyn Morelli
Key to the Season: Communication and focus

BROOKVILLE
Head Coach: Toni Tosh
2015 Record: 1-19
Starters Returning: 5
Top Returning Players: Olivia Witherite, Elliette Park, Caitlyn Park, Rachel Gardner, Maley Zents
Key to the Season: We need to have better coverage, less than 3 misses serves in a game, and aggressive blocking with strong and smart hitting.

CAMERON COUNTY
Head Coach: Karin Schatz
2015 Record: 3-13
Starters Returning: 8
Top Returning Players: Payton Bloom, Kendyl Guisto, Corrine Burnside, Amily Schatz, Taylor Britton
Key to the Season: Continue to improve as a team and individually

CLARION
Head Coach: Shari Campbell
2015 Record: 14-4, 10-1 (Won District 9 Class A title)
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Olivia Burns, Gloria Kroh, Maya Thornton, Alexis Constantino, Sydney Kiser
Key to the Season: We have experienced passers returning and expect to get a great deal of ball control from Burns, Constantino and Thornton. Kroh is a very athletic setter who has gained a lot of offensive skills and has increased the sets available to run a complex offense for us. Blocking should also be a strength, and serving has been our No. 1 strength throughout the preseason. We will have several powerful hitters as well. This is a group of very hard-working, dedicated female athletes. There is great comradery that exists among the players, which makes the gym a great environment. This group has set high goals and is very focused on achieving them.

CLARION-LIMESTONE
Head Coach: Alyssa Swartzfager
2015 Record: 2-0
Starters Returning: 5
Top Returning Players: Paige Aaron, Olivia Shilling, Maddy Griffith, Erica Hetrick, Amanda Kucic, Maddy Craig
Key to the Season: Our goal this season is to focus on passing. The whole game revolves around that first good pass to the setter. The girls started to see this as they improved and played other teams in our summer league.

CLEARFIELD
Head Coach: Sara Tubbs
2015 Record: 1-17
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Justina Gaylor, Aspen Bishop, Maci Coleman, Samantha Carns
Key to the Season: Communication. This is a very quiet group of girls. So, as long as they are willing to communicate with one another on the court, they will have a very successful season.

COUDERSPORT
Head Coach: Patty Wilson
2015 Record: 18-5 (Advanced to the District 9 Class A semifinals)
Starters Returning: 6
Top Returning Players: Kiarra Perkins (OH), Ally Easton (MH), Joplin Osgood (L)
Key to the Season: Converting from defense to offense more efficiently

CRANBERRY
Head Coach: Cory McGill
2015 Record: 9-6. 6-5 KSAC (Lost to Clarion in opening round of D9 A playoffs)
Starters Returning: 5
Top Returning Players: Erin Merryman (KSAC 3rd team), Bree Swartzfager, Malliah Schreck
Key to the Season: We have to replace our starting setter, who graduated. So that, on top of learning a new offensive strategy, will be a major key to our success.

CURWENSVILLE
Head Coach: Lara wiggins
2015 Record: 8-8 (Lost in the opening round of the District 9 Class A playoffs)
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Maddy Bash, Hannah Dixon, Kayley Harnett, Camyrn Richards
Key to the Season: Strong defense and communication

DUBOIS
Head Coach: Jason Gustafson
2015 Record: 12-6 (Lost in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs to Erie McDowell)
Starters Returning: 3
Top Returning Players: Ashley McCluskey (Has led the team in assists each of the past three season and led the team in blocking while being third in service aces last year), Danessa Allison (Second in kills and digs, third in blocking in 2015), Rachel Garvey (Was among team leaders in blocking and hitting percentage in 2015), Kylee Bundy (Was among team leaders in digs and service aces in 2015)
Key to the Season: Our success will hinge around the play of the underclassmen. In addition to our returning starters, we have several girls who have significant varsity experience who should be able to step in without any problem. We need to blocks better and, in general, play great defense. In addition, we need to receive serve well and consistently. If we are able to do that, our offense will be very effective. This year maybe one of the more well-rounded teams we’ve had. We have the potential to be a good serving team. We are aggressive but have to be consistent. Eliminating or minimizing unforced errors is a must for us to be effective. We are blessed this season with a very hard working group of girls with great attitudes. We have challenged them and they’ve responded. Our focus is to get the team to play one play at a time and not focus on an error they made or things out of their control. We will need someone to step up as a clear team leader. I don’t know who it will be yet, but I know we have a few that have the attitude and ability. We are expecting to have a competitive and successful season.

DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Head Coach: Doug Hanes
2015 Record: 4-13
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Macey Hanes, Libby Mauer, Gabby Caruso, Ashley Wruble. Hanes, Mauer and Caruso are all 3-time letterwinner and 2-year starters. Mauer and Hanes combined for 355 kills last year while Caruso led the team with 35 blocks. Hanes added 56 aces
Key to the Season: (1. Adjusting to running a new offense, a 5-1 instead of a 6-2 with a new setter, Wruble. (2. Ball control (3. Senior Leadership

ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC
Head Coach: Diane Gies
2015 Record: 17-3, 13-1 conference (Lost in D9 A semifinals but came back and won true second place game to advance to PIAA playoffs)
Starters Returning: 6 (letterwinners)
Top Returning Players: Kara Detsch, Jordan Fox, Josie Smith, Ramsey Struble, Cassidy Cunningham, Reilly Herzing
Key to the Season: We are looking for big games from Detsch and Herzing, and Smith is coming on strong as a junior

FOREST AREA
Head Coach: Eva Hollidge
2015 Record: 3-14
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Jasmine Ginnery, Seneka Shick, Jaycee Redick
Key to the Season: Focus on fundamentals and making smart decisions.

JOHNSONBURG
Head Coach: Bill Shuey
2015 Record: 6-10 (Lost to A-C Valley in opening round of D9 Class A playoffs)
Starters Returning: 3
Top Returning Players: Taylor Sherry, Jensen Furlong, Nicole Meyers, Emily Dillinger
Key to the Season: Hopefully develop chemistry with our younger players.

KANE
Head Coach: Judy Kessler
2015 Record: 11-8 (Beat Union in opening round of District 9 Class A playoffs before losing to eventual PIAA qualifier Elk County Catholic in the second round)
Starters Returning: 6
Top Returning Players: Camryn Cummings, MH (214 kills, 53 blocks), Ashley Jordan, S (504 assists), Marcie Stanisch, L (183 service points, 62 aces, 339 digs, Trinity Clark, MH/OH (134 kills), Alyssa Zampogna, OH (193 service points, 72 aces, 177 kills)
Key to the Season: Cohesive team play

KARNS CITY
Head Coach: Lisa Nagy
2015 Record: 8-6 (Lost in the first round of the D9 AA playoffs to Punxsutawney)
Starters Returning: 5
Top Returning Players: Alyssa Stitt, Brooke Moore, Claudia Kamenski, Emily Hegedus, Mackenzie Craig
Key to the Season: This is a new beginning for all of us. Our goal is to play smart and play strong as a cohesive team and to go the distance in District 9. In the words of the girls, “We want to win!”

KEYSTONE
Head Coach: Kari Goughler
2015 Record: 9-7, 8-7 KSAC (Lost in the opening round of the District 9 Class A playoffs to Coudersport)
Starters Returning: 3
Top Returning Players: Kaci Weaver, Alyssa Beichner, Grace Hogue
Key to the Season: Coming in with a new coaching staff, the girls are adjusting to us, while we are learning from them. Goughler is trying girls in some new positions and working to get them comfortable working with the girls on the floor around them. It’s a process of trial and error for certain things to figure out what works for the Lady Panthers as a fairly young varsity team. The girls have been playing strong, and Goughler has seen huge improvements overall. There are some area to continue focusing on, but they are hopeful to continue playing well and to be a strong competitor this year.

MONITEAU
Head Coach: Troy Hull
2015 Record: 3-11
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Cambrie Campbell, Collette Grossman, Sara Hull, Sydnie Mershimer
Key to the Season: Just to work hard and hustle and not stand watch the game. We need to play the game. We have a good, young group and a good core returning.

NORTH CLARION
Head Coach: Heather Bish
2015 Record: 7-7 (Lost in the first round of the District 9 Class A playoffs to Redbank Valley)
Starters Returning: 8 (All starters)
Top Returning Players: Tori Obenrader, Abby Karg, Cassie Wagner
Key to the Season: Mentally staying focused, trusting their teammates on the floor and focusing on the game plan set for each match.

NORTHERN POTTER
Head Coach: Mark Lewis
2015 Record: 10-8 overall, 8-8 NTL (Lost to Elk County Catholic in the opening round of the D9 Class A playoffs)
Starters Returning: 5
Top Returning Players: Gracie Hamilton (160 kills, 131 service points, 50 blocks), Kalie Cowburn (157 kills, 78 service points, 26 blocks), Tory McCutcheon (384 assists, 185 service points, 38 aces)
Key to the Season: Consistency

OSWAYO VALLEY
Head Coach: Rachelle Kellogg
2015 Record: 6-16
Starters Returning: No information submitted
Top Returning Players: No information submitted
Key to the Season: No information submitted

OTTO-ELDRED
Head Coach: Jame Thomas
2015 Record: 17-5 overall, 15-2 NTL (Qualified for District 9 Class A playoffs losing in the second round to Coudersport)
Starters Returning: 6
Top Returning Players: Camryn Thomas (.598 hitting percentage, 89 percent serving and 107 blocks), Emily Smith (96 percent serving with 58 aces while adding 550 assists), Tiffany Bair, Ali Cousins, Alyssa Shelander
Key to the Season: Keeping the focus on one game at a time and passing.

PORT ALLEGANY
Head Coach: Sharon Daniels
2015 Record: 10-10, 9-7 NTL (
Starters Returning: 5
Top Returning Players: Mira Terrette (S; 1st team NTL), Morgan Greeley (DS), Kayla Sprankle (DS), Makenzie Burr (OG), Hannah Lathrop (MH)
Key to the Season: We are fairly young but have a strong core.

PUNXSUTAWNEY
Head Coach: Heather Good
2015 Record: 13-5 (Lost to Bradford in District 9 Class AA Championship)
Starters Returning: 6
Top Returning Players: Alli Lunger (169 kills), Tessa Winebark (294 set assists), Hanna Ebel (92 kills), Leah Miller (231 kills, 66 blocks), Midori Bridges (320 set assists), Mia Lingenfelter (68 digs).
Key to the Season: In addition to the returning starters, juniors Chelsea Snyder, Olivia Weaver, McKenzie Ferrent and Maci Raybuck are all working towards creating an offensive arsenal for us this year, while Jeni Mitchell and Grace Neal are set to make an impact on defense.

REDBANK VALLEY
Head Coach: Matt Darr
2015 Record: 15-3 overall, 9-2 KSAC (Lost to eventual champion Clarion, 3-2, in the quarterfinals of the District 9 Class A playoffs including a 15-12 score in the fifth set
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Heather Traiser (MH), Macy King (OH), Emily Gourley (MB), Hannah Adams (DS/OH), McKenna Shirey (MH/RS) – started at end of sophomore season but didn’t play last season – Josie Rupp (OH), Carissa Rearick (DS/L)
Key to the Season: Having the passing ability to match the offense and block. Redbank Valley is a big team and will need its younger, less experienced defensive specialists to handle the pressure of serve and receive and floor defense to keep its offense in system, especially against high-quality teams such as Clarion, A-C Valley and North Clarion

RIDGWAY
Head Coach: Janet Redmon
2015 Record: 10-7 (Lost to Smethport in opening round of D9 A playoffs)
Starters Returning: 3
Top Returning Players: Hannah Park, Emily Fullem, Jaylee Johnson, Kylee Wall, Karley LaBenne, Casey Woodford
Key to the Season: For the first time, we have very strong hitters. We also have strong serving. We are working on our passing. We don’t have to substitute much because we have strong all-around players.

ST. MARYS
Head Coach: Frank VanAlstine
2015 Record: 8-9
Starters Returning: NA
Top Returning Players: Nikki Anderson (S), Kaitlyn Bankovich (OH)
Key to the Season: VanAlstine, who coached at St. Marys in the 1990s and early 2000s, look back over the program in June and is still getting to know his players and they are still getting to know him. His goal is to bring the program back to where it was when him and Rick Fox coached it and the Lady Dutch won five D9 titles. To do that, the team is focusing on fundamentals and on improving each day.

SMETHPORT
Head Coach: Teri Spittler
2015 Record: 11-7 (Beat Ridgway in the first round of the D9 Class A playoffs and then lost to A-C Valley in the quarterfinals)
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Katie Treat (MH), Olivia Goodwill (MH/OH), Megan Deluca (S), Abbey Woodard (MH/OH)
Key to the Season: We are scrappy and we have heard working girls. That’s going to be a real key. They are a great bunch of girls. I am excited. They are very smart players and very into the game.

SHEFFIELD
Head Coach: Melissa Lemay
2015 Record: 2-14 overall, 0-10 AML
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Rachel Lemay (S/RS), Claire Pierson (OH), Mya Grubbs (S/RS), Lexi Lyon (MH)
Key to the Season: The key to our season is showing improvement every time we are on the court whether it’s practice or game time. Building confidence is huge for us, and getting off to a good start this year is important. We will respect every team but fear no team. My girls have worked hard over the off season as as as the first two weeks of practice. The wins will come if we work as a team.

UNION
Head Coach: Julie Parks
2015 Record: 11-5 (Lost in opening round of District 9 playoffs to Kane)
Starters Returning: 4
Top Returning Players: Taylor Adams (MH), Frankee Remmick (OH), Hannah Atzeni (S)
Key to the Season: Focusing on improving the passing game and serving aggressively

VENANGO CATHOLIC
Head Coach: Kaity Wenner
2015 Record: 0-15
Starters Returning: 3
Top Returning Players: Shannon Gorencnzy, Taylor Anderson
Key to the Season: To get the young girls (2 sophomores and 4 freshmen) playing on a bigger level



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