‘Cats begin season
Last year the Paden City High School Lady Wildcat varsity volleyball team saw some great success, finishing as runner’s up in the OVAC tournament, winning the Mason Dixon tournament and conference, Sectional champions and as Regional qualifiers. This year, the Lady ‘Cats have some work to do.
Losing four fantastic seniors to graduation last year, leaves holes all over the court for the ‘Cats. Super-power hitter, Ali Bertozzi, Amanda Tallman, Amanda Sellers and Amber Palmer all lead the Green and White to success last season and will certainly be missed this season.
“You just don’t replace players like these four,” said Fred King, head coach of the Lady ‘Cat netters. “But such is the way with high school sports. We have some excellent and strong players returning and have a few new kids to add to the mix, and we’ll suffer some growing pains as we did three years ago, but we’ll mush on.”
Perhaps down at the beginning of the season, these Paden City players will not be counted out. Several skilled players return to the team, ready to lead.
Juniors Dominique Craft and Amanda Heasley will lead the way for the 2010 ‘Cats along with returners Megan Cutlip, Lynnsie Parsons, Megan Cosper and Chelsea Loy.
“Dominique and Amanda are all around players and we look for them to step into leadership positions for us,” King said. “Cutlip, Parsons, Cosper and Loy also return as players with experience on the court. We’re going to depend on the patience and skills of all these kids.”
Two freshmen, Josie Fox and Beth Yaron will join the ranks this season, as well as three foreign exchange students: Chiara DiLeo, Olga Perone and Maline Ed.
“We actually have a nice little team here,” King said. “We’re good in a different way than we were last year. Last year we had big, powerful hitters, this year we’re aiming for solid consistency.”
The coach says he believes the main strength of his team this season will be their servers. “We have some kids who have some very nice serving skills. Last year Dominique’s serves were 91 percent successful while Megan Cutlip’s were 92 percent.” Heasley and Loy will also be expected to perfect their already good serving skills.
Parsons and Logan will be the main setters for the team.
Youth and inexperience will be the heavy weakness for the team, especially at the beginning of the season, until they “gel” as team mates. “Overall though, we’re looking for good things,” King said. “We hope to keep the ball in play until we can score. That’s our plan. We’re going to scramble and rally.”
The Lady Wildcats will action for the first time this season on Sept. 1 at Monroe Central. The team will host St. John’s and Valley on Sept. 2.