VOLLEYBALL Winning coaches are back
Sue Deas, Don Conser and Chuck Montgomery have combined for more than 1,300 wins.
By MARK W. MILLER
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
Three veteran volleyball coaches in Division II have combined to win more than 1,300 victories.
Sue Deas, the dean of the area coaches, started the program at West Branch High and begins her 27th campaign with a record of 414 wins and 174 losses.
Don Conser (418-148) will make it a quarter of a century as Salem's coach this year, and during that span the Quakers have enjoyed 22 winning seasons and only two losing (1983-84) years, while appearing in one state and eight regional tournaments.
Chuck Montgomery for the past 12 years has been coach of the Hubbard girls team. He was also coach of the Farrell boys teams for 21 years, and has a combined career-record of 507 wins and only 98 losses.
Hubbard, coming off their best season ever (26-2), returns three starters. Senior Katy Jo Mroski, a 6-foot-2, middle hitter, was an all-state selection. She set a school record with 466 kills last season, including 34 in a match against Thomas Worthington.
Senior Nicole Pringle and junior Traci Hassell are setters for Hubbard.
The Eagles will be counting on juniors Megan Oltman and Diana Conzett to handle outside hitting, along with seniors Jessica Williams and Kristen McMonagle in the back-court with specialist roles, while Monika Rajaicovia will be a middle hitter.
Juniors Felicia Resatar and Ashley Fentress and sophomore Kylene Hoch will see playing time. The fifth Hubbard Classic, on Sept. 21, also will include Boardman, Salem, Southeast, Strongsville, Avon Lake, Mineral Ridge and Columbus Hartley.
Metzgar, Woods back
West Branch, 11-13 a year ago, returns five lettermen. Senior co-captains are Amber Metzgar, a 5-10, hitter-setter, who was first-team all-district, and Taylor Woods (5-6, defensive specialist), who tied a school record for serve receiving.
Amy Beth Edie (5-8), Jen Weingart (5-7) and junior Amanda Benner (5-8) are returning outside hitters. Senior Samantha Benner (5-11, MH-blocker); junior Aubrey Walker (5-4, S-DS), and sophomores Dena New (5-4, S); Evelyn Woods (5-8, MH-B) and Kylee Shafer (5-11, MH-B) will also play.
"This is a hard working group and they are very team oriented with a good understanding of the game the their roles within the team," said Deas.
Salem is seasoned
The picture for Salem, 14-9 last year with no seniors, looks promising. Conser, approaching the season with cautious optimism, said, "With nine letter-winners returning, it's encouraging to say the least."
The anchor for the Quakers will be four seniors: co-captains Megan Sampson (5-6, S) and Taylor Hendricks (5-6, OH); Tiffanie Heestand (5-7, MH) and Kelli Crouse (5-8, OH). Juniors are Lauren Teal (6-0, MH); Jill Berry (5-5, S); Lauren Brobeck (5-4, BCS); Jessica Griffith (5-9, OH), and Allie Rich (5-4, BCS). Sophomore Sarah Hamilton (5-10, MH-B) should see playing time.
Conser feels the record last year should have been better, and thinks with the proper attitude the Quakers could challenge for the district title.
Lakeview hopes to improve on last year's 15-7 record, which included a 12-4 mark in the Trumbull Athletic Conference.
Returning seniors are: Heidi Kracker (MH), who led the team with 28 blocks; Kaitlyn Murphy (MH) and Tina Pinter (DS). Juniors Megan Taylor (S-H) and Whitney Keyser (OH), sophomore Kate Barnett (S-H) and freshman Michelle Antonelli (S) round out the lineup.