Tyler Consolidated LK returns familiar nine
Tyler Consolidated’s volleyball program is once again expecting big things after returning the majority of their line-up from last year’s season.
A familiar nine players will dress in the silver, black and blue of the Silver Knights, but one will be missing after graduating in May.
Coach Richard Summers will have to replace Chelsea Musgrave, the team’s setter for the past four years.
“We only lost one senior, but the word only isn’t a very good term I guess because she meant a lot to us,” said Summers. “She was our leader on the floor and right now we’re still searching for leadership on the floor. It’s a big loss, but to have nine kids back, we’re very excited.”
Looking to lead this year’s squad are seniors Christy Jones, Katie Klages and Tiffany Lohri. The juniors include Lynsey Casteel, Allison Clegg and Heather Suter. The sophomore class consists of Sami Jones, Keri Suter and Whitney Williams.
While most coaches would feel comfortable with such a line-up back, Coach Summers is not.
“The only think I’m comfortable with is that the girls put in over 100 hours of volleyball this summer and worked really hard,” said Summers. “If it’s true working hard gets you somewhere, they deserve at least a shot of doing something.”
The off-season training saw the members of the team go to two camps and three-spike outs. The girls also conditioned on their own during parts of the summer.
Defensively, Klages will be an important part of the Tyler Consolidated defense wearing the different color uniform designating her as the libero allowing her special privileges in the back row.
“She may be one of the best liberos in the state,” said Summers.
In terms of who will replace Musgrave as the Silver Knights’ setter, right now Coach Summers is looking at Keri Suter, who set some for last year’s regional tournament team. He thinks Keri has the potential to be one of the best setters they’ve had in the program.
He hasn’t ruled out using 6-2 rotation if he can get enough people to hit and block.
Finding a few different ways to attack shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Summers unless it’s finding the right combination to do so.
The three girls who can play in the middle front include Casteel, Heather Suter and Clegg. Sami Jones is expected to start on the left side while the second left and right side are still undecided.
That doesn’t concern Summers too much mentioning that with nine players returning and very knowledgeable, the Knights can go two-deep at every position.
What does concern Summers is the strength of the sectional. Magnolia, Oak Glen and Weir are the teams in Tyler Consolidated’s section. All four teams have advanced to a state championship final in each program’s respected history with Weir being the only one not to come home with a championship.
While last year’s schedule was travel heavy, this year’s slate is a bit more balanced.
The Silver Knights season starts tomorrow with a dual at Williamstown, but their first home match won’t be until Sept. 17 with a dual against St. Marys. Two days after they will host a quad involving their entire section, Magnolia, Oak Glen and Weir.
A newcomer to the Silver Knights schedule this season that hasn’t been seen in a while is Paden City. The two teams met in a match on Monday in PC.