WVHS Girls' Volleyball Faces Challenging Campaign
The Northern Tier League girls’ volleyball title has been an elusive target for Wyalusing Valley through the years.
First-year head coach Gayle Huffman knows getting another championship banner to hang next to the 1994 flag in Layman Gym will be a difficult task.
“Our league is always competitive,” Huffman said.
It will be even more challenging in the newly consolidated NTL.
With Southern Tioga fielding just one team out of Mansfield and Northern Tioga splitting Elkland’s solid program between a strong Williamson squad and Cowanesque Valley, there will be very few easy nights for the Lady Rams.
But, a solid group from last year’s 6-9 squad returns and will be reinforced with girls up from a junior varsity squad that finished with a 9-6 record.
Erika Huffman, a junior, returns as the setter.
She dished out 384 assists last year en route to second-team spots on both the NTL and District Four all-star squads. She was also among the team leaders with 115 points, 33 aces and 141 digs.
The other returners include seniors Erin Dean-Swank, Samantha Gruver, Laci Holdren and Elesha Schulze and junior Cassie Nedley.
Dean-Swank should be a force at the net. Last year, she had 145 kills, second on the team. She also had 11 blocks. 77 points, 22 aces and 78 digs.
Holdren was solid in the backcourt last year, leading the team with 162 points and 52 aces. She also made 168 digs, 50 kills and 31 assists.
Schulze was versatile with 61 points, 15 aces, 53 kills, nine blocks and 108 digs.
Nedley was effective with limited time on court, serving up 30 points and making 37 digs.
Gruver had four digs in 2010.
The rest of the varsity roster includes juniors Paris Allen, Renee Bouch, Keegan Carpenter, Jessica Carr, Savanna Cobb, Christina Hons, Sara Huffman, JoAnna McGee, Kali Nesslein, Crystal Shirk and freshman Veronica Morrison.
Huffman is impressed with what she’s seen through the preseason.
“The team progressed and is focused on improving,” she said.
Not surprising with a veteran unit, Huffman has been pleased with the teamwork and communication on the floor.
Fortunately, Wyalusing will see action in the Central Mountain Tournament to open the season on Saturday, Sept. 3. League play opens on Sept. 6 with a home match against Mansfield.
The Lady Rams did draw the short straw when it came scheduling with the schools from to the now-defunct NTL West.
Wyalusing will have road trips to Galeton, Wellsboro and Cowanesque Valley. They are also slated to play in the Williamson Tournament.
Tanya Krewson, who was last year’s junior high coach, is the junior varsity coach.
Seniors: Erin Dean-Swank, Samantha Gruver, Laci Holdren and Elesha Schulze.
Juniors: Paris Allen, Renee Bouch, Keegan Carpenter, Jessica Carr, Savanna Cobb, Christina Hons, Erika Huffman, Sara Huffman, JoAnna McGee, Cassie Nedley, Kali Nessslein and Crystal Shirk.
Sophomores: Alyssa Alaniz, Jane Cantale, Jessica Card, Danielle Clark, Christina Jackson, Sarah LaFrance, Bailey Smith, Delana Szemple, Alicia Tewksbury, Alyssa VanGorder and Debbie Walker.
Freshmen: Jessica Cantale, Madison Eberlin, Brittany Hons, Keon Kopp, McKenzie Krewson, Leigh Ann Miller, Veronica Morrison, Gabby Rodgers, Jade Roehrig, Danelle Salsman, Erin Sherman and Adrianna Vaskas.