July 31, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
75°F

Another strong season is expected for volleyball

The Gazette’s Brian Dulik previews Medina County volleyball:

Black River

Coach: Courtney Dieter (8th year).
Assistant coaches: Sarah Wagner.
Last year: 13-11, 5-8 in Patriot Athletic Conference (6th place).
Home-court advantage: 17-36 over last five seasons, 7-3 in 2010.
Letterwinners lost: Cassondra Zumack (All-Gazette), Maleah Ferriman, Holly Jaycox, Kelly Hozan, Megan Holly.
Returning letterwinners: Taylor Goff (sr., OH/S), Jackie Barnhart (sr., OH), Ashley Wine (sr., DS), Amber Neuman (sr., U), Megan Mey (jr., MH).
Varsity newcomers: Kayla Twining (jr., DS), Rebecca Roupe (jr., OH), Brianna Barkhimer (jr., MH), Emily Cartwright (so., S), Makayla Koerner (so., OH), Danielle Jenkins (fr., MH), Jamie Hozan (fr., S).
Noteworthy: Dieter returns to the Pirates after a two-year absence. She previously coached the squad from 2002-08.
• Cartwright will run the 5-1 offense, but could see some time at hitter as Hozan begins her varsity career.
• Wine is a three-year letterwinner, while Mey owns two.
• Ferriman is now playing at Northwestern after her family moved there.

Brunswick

Coach: Mande Pyzik (7th year).
Assistant coaches: Jennifer Jorgensen, Kristen Szutkowski, Kim Lamphear.
Last year: 19-4, 10-0 in Northeast Ohio Conference River Division (1st place).
Home-court advantage: 28-13 over last five seasons, including 9-1 in 2010.
Letterwinners lost: Kelly Merholz (All-Gazette), Sara Szutkowski (HM All-Gazette), Melissa Wichie, Laura Dick, Kara Maloney.
Returning letterwinners: Gabrielle Bulic (jr., MH, All-Gazette), Julianne Laughlin (sr., L), Morgan Ritchie (jr., OH), Paige Elias (jr., DS).
Varsity newcomers: Alex Fuldauer (jr., OH), Megan Rebar (jr., OH/DS), Grace Muniak (jr., OH/DS), Megan Anderson (so., S), Haylie Reichenbach (so., DS), Allison Evans (so., DS).
Noteworthy: After winning three straight River Division titles, the Blue Devils have been bumped up to the NOC’s elite Valley Division.
• Laughlin is aiming to become the first Brunswick player to win four league crowns. She and Bulic are serving as co-captains.
• Varsity rookie Anderson is setting the 5-1 offense. She saw limited action for Brunswick’s girls basketball team last winter.

Buckeye

Coach: Craig Peterson (1st year).
Last year: 21-3, 12-1 in Patriot Athletic Conference (1st place). LaGrange Keystone Division II District finalist.
Home-court advantage: 37-8 over last five seasons, including 8-0 in 2010.
Letterwinners lost: Samantha Mueller (Gazette MVP), Lexi Wredberg (HM All-Gazette), Amelia Shaw, Lindsay Wuebold.
Returning letterwinners: Alexa Weiland (sr., S, All-Gazette), Erin Leneghan (sr., OH), Krystin Estes (sr., OH/MH), Gabrielle Beck (sr., MH/OH), Stephanie Stepanchak (sr., DS/L), Kaila Walker (sr., DS), Victoria Mesmer (jr., MH/OH).
Varsity newcomers: Annie Bolton (DS/OH), Somer Walker (S), Casey Allen (MH/OH), Maggie Galaszewski (OH), Alli Vozar (DS).
Noteworthy: The Bucks have won three consecutive PAC Stars Division and overall championships. Their toughest competition in 2011 should come from Brookside and Keystone.
• Peterson, a Brecksville chemist, has many years of experience at the Junior Olympic level. This is his first varsity head coaching job.
• Mueller opted against playing the sport collegiately and is attending Ohio State.

Cloverleaf

Coach: Courtney Maibach (2nd year).
Assistant coaches: Joe Kolodka, Julie Arndt, Ann Bailey.
Last year: 6-17, 4-10 in Suburban League (5th place).
Home-court advantage: 43-16 record over last five seasons, including 3-10 in 2010.
Letterwinners lost: Sarah Schleich (All-Gazette), Nicole Kolodka, Alex Watkins, Adrea Baughman.
Returning letterwinners: Megan Klinect (sr., MH), Taylor Detwiler (sr., OH/S), Katie Carino (sr., S), Ashley Mullins (sr., OH), Samantha Furr (sr., L), Cyanne Horner (sr., MH), Katie Simpson (sr., MH), Erin O’Callaghan (jr., OH), Morgan Siegler (jr., OH).
Varsity newcomer: Morgan Eyring (jr., S/OH).
Noteworthy: Schleich led the Colts in kills and assists, while Kolodka ranked first in digs and aces. Suffice to say, they have left big shoes to fill.
• Carino is the only experienced setter on the roster and will run the 5-1 offense.
• Simpson is Cloverleaf’s top returning hitter and tallest player at 5-foot-9.
• O’Callaghan is the daughter of former Medina coach and player Sherry Gifford Martin.

Highland

Coach: Jeff McDivitt (3rd year).
Assistant coaches: Becky Bixby, Sherri Adkins.
Last year: 7-16, 3-11 in Suburban League (6th place).
Home-court advantage: 18-30 record over last four seasons, including 3-5 in 2010.
Letterwinners lost: Katherine Knyszek (HM All-Gazette), Margaux Yerian, Adrienne Ryba, Janelle Donahoe.
Returning letterwinners: Missy Doak (sr., L), Julie Janmey (sr., MH), Melissa Bush (sr., OH), Alex Schuhle (jr., S).
Varsity newcomers: Samantha Nemeth (sr., MH), Kelsey Scherler (sr., OH), Maddy Petrilla (so., OH), Mallory Adams (fr., MH).
Noteworthy: Janmey shifts from outside hitter to middle hitter, while Schuhle moves from middle hitter to setter.
• The Hornets went to the Penn State Team Camp and scrimmaged at the Eastside Volleyball Club over the summer.
• Highland went 2-0 against Parma last season, including a five-game victory at the Strongsville Division I Sectional. Bush averaged 14.5 kills in the two-match series.

Medina

Coach: Jason Schellenberger (8th year).
Assistant coaches: Connie Daum, Kim Solosky.
Last year: 6-18, 2-8 in Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division (5th place).
Home-court advantage: 25-17 record over last five seasons, including 3-5 in 2010.
Letterwinners lost: Elainna Peak (HM All-Gazette), Lizzie Oda, Kelsey Kilbane, Anna Mirabella, Julia Schwarz.
Returning letterwinners: Ally Peters (sr., OH, All-Gazette), Kaitlyn Witsaman (sr., OH, HM All-Gazette), Mallory Gustincic (sr., S), Missy Davis (sr., L), Katy Bohurjak (jr., MH),
Varsity newcomers: Sarah Ash (jr., OH), Codi Johnson (jr., OH), Rachel Letts (jr., DS), Carmen DeRose (so., S), Leah Svoboda (so., OH/MH).
Noteworthy: Schellenberger is the dean of county coaches with eight contiguous seasons at the helm.
• Seniors Gustincic, Peters and Witsaman are serving as tri-captains.
• Peters unloaded a county-record 37 kills against Solon on Sept. 30, which also broke her school mark of 32 set Sept. 14 against Stow.
• Letts is the younger sister of former Medina quarterback/point guard Justin Letts.

Wadsworth

Coach: Jill Quayle (2nd year).
Assistant coaches: Bill Quayle, Allison Buchholz, Johanna Benson.
Last year: 21-3, 14-0 in Suburban League (1st place). Barberton Division I District semifinalist.
Home-court advantage: 39-9 record over last five seasons, including 9-0 in 2010.
Letterwinners lost: Julie Bassett (All-Gazette), Sarah White (All-Gazette), Elaine Zollinger (HM All-Gazette), Elliot Georgiadis, Robyn Rotterschmidt, Megan Crawford.
Returning letterwinners: Rachel Jones (sr., MH, All-Gazette), Ali McCauley (sr., S), Alyssa Horton (sr., L/DS), Sabrina Parsons (jr., MH), Haley Beavers (jr., S), Ciera Koons (so., MH), Peyton Booth (so., OH).
Varsity newcomers: Rachel Goddard (jr., L), Haley Hassinger (jr., OH/DS), Leah Takacs (jr., OH).
Noteworthy: The Grizzlies have qualified for the Barberton District semifinals in both of Quayle’s seasons, winning the 2009 district title.
• Jones and Beavers are in their third varsity seasons.
• Quayle predicts big things for varsity rookie Goddard and Parsons, who had an up-and-down season as a sophomore.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.