Prep volleyball, cross-country, golf capsules

Sep. 14, 2013 @ 03:24 AM

WESTCHESTER COUNTRY DAY

Coach: Mark Sharpe (first year)
Last year: Missed the playoffs
No. of starters returning/lost: 4/2
Missing faces: Kennedy Thompson, Oby Nwamu, Julie Tugwell, Sarah Kate Christiansen 
Familiar faces: middle blocker Kayla Watson (our most dominant player, led conference in blocks), setter Campbell Kinley (never quits), outside hitter (great passing and defense)
New faces: middle blocker Terra Johns (a quick learner, gives us two big blockers)
Expectations: To work hard in practice, play as a team during games, and peak at the end of the season and go as far as we can.
What does your team do best: We work hard in practice. Blocking is what we do best, and that is led by Kayla Watson.
What challenges face your team: We need to serve better and get better at defensive rotations.
What would be a success for your team: A conference title.

WHEATMORE
Coach: Rodney Kirby (fifth year); assistant Katie Watkins
Last year: Co-Conference Champions and won the Conference Tournament. Lost in the 2nd round of the state tournament to Starmount. Finished 22-5 overall and 9-1 in conference.
No. of starters returning/lost: 6/1
Missing faces: libero Taylor Rogers (all-conference, team Most Improved Player), middle blocker Abbey Cates, defensive specialist Lilly Niemitalo, middle blocker Sera Craver 
Familiar faces: senior outside hitter Kathryn Johnson (broke the school record for kills in a season last year with 349, all-conference), junior outside hitter Georgia Garrison (289 kills, .501 attack percentage, all-conference), junior right-side hitter Casey Hawkins (125 kills, all-conference), senior setter Kelly Davis (835 assists last year, giving her 2,245 for her career, PAC-6 Player of the Year). Also returning will be middle blockers sophomores Allie Grubb and Davey Albertson.
New faces: With the loss of Rogers, we will move Hawkins to the libero position. Emily Brown will move up from her outside hitting position on JV to fill the void at right-side on varsity. Also moving up from the JV will be junior Morgan Leonard and junior Kelly McCrary. Morgan can back-up both pins and will also be our back-up setter, and Kelly will be a defensive specialist.
Expectations: With the addition of Eastern Randolph and Providence Grove, our conference got a lot tougher. Getting past those two, Randleman, Trinity and Andrews is no small task. There will not be a night when you can phone in a game, so it should be a lot of fun this year.
Our ultimate goal with the team we have is to be playing in Raleigh on Nov. 2. Getting tested every night in conference will only help us and the rest of the conference come playoff time.
What does your team do best: Our strength right now is on offense. We really don’t have a weak rotation on offense and everyone from our pin hitters to our middles can put the ball on the floor. Kelly Davis does an incredible job running our offense and gives our hitters every opportunity to swing. 
What challenges face your team: Like every other team in the state, we will go as our ball-control goes. We will have to pass well this year to keep our middles involved in the offense and to take pressure off our pin hitters. Moving Casey to libero will help our passing and defense tremendously.
What would be a success for your team: We would really like for this team to not think about wins and losses as much as just getting better every day. If we can improve every week, I honestly believe we could still be playing in November. Obviously hanging a banner would be a successful year, but knowing that we did everything possible to work towards that goal would also be a very successful year.

HIGH POINT CENTRAL
Coach: Meagan Tucker (third year); assistant Ashley Handsome
Last year: 3-18 overall
No. of starters returning/lost: 5/4
Familiar faces: Hayden Harris (all-conference)
New faces: sophomore hitter Lydia Heater, sophomore libero Caroline Fuchs
Expectations: Finish fourth in the Piedmont Triad 4A Conference
What does your team do best: We are very positive, and our defense has become stronger with new libero Caroline Fuchs
What challenges face your team: Being so young. Our best players are sophomores.
What would be a success for your team: Finishing third.

EAST DAVIDSON
Coach: Kim Warrick; assistant Heather Maxwell
Last year: 5-5 in the Central Carolina 2A, fourth
No. of starters returning/lost: 3/4
Missing faces: Michaela Everhart, Bailey Inman, Natalie Naturile
Familiar faces: seniors Taylor Moretz, Taylor McPhatter, Sydney Jones and Lindsay Powers; juniors Miranda Cumpton and Jessica Ferguson
New faces: juniors Madison Gibson, Selena Metcalf and Shay Hepler; sophomores Morgan Key, Maddie Powers and Jea Garcia

LEDFORD
Coach: Megan Mayhew (third year); assistant Amanda Myers
Last year: Finished second in the Mid-Piedmont 3A, lost to West Stokes in the first round of state playoffs
No. of starters returning/lost: 4/3
Missing faces: Middle hitters Chloe Barnes (playing at DCCC) and Haylee Leonard (playing Lees-McRae)
Familiar faces: junior setter Alyssa Doby, senior libero Tori Farlow, senior middle hitter Siarra Walker, senior right-side hitter Kayla Leach, junior outside hitter Sierra Cefali, senior outside hitter Jessie Hayworth
New faces: I look for Allie Fischer, Sarah Baker and Amanda Myers to make contributions to the team off the bench.
Expectations: We look to compete for first in the conference and make a run in the state playoffs.
What does your team do best: They are a great group of hard-working young ladies. They are very competitive and have a fight in them that I feel will help us in close games.
What challenges face your team: We lost two dominant hitters to graduation, so we are going to have to have our girls step up to replace their presence on the floor.
What would be a success for your team: Winning the conference and advancing in the state playoffs past the first round.

THOMASVILLE
Coach: Moranda DeSpain (first year)
No. of starters returning: 3
Familiar faces: junior captain Christina Coleman, senior Jashana Thomas, senior Megan Kindley
New faces: freshman setter Kaitlyn Johnson, freshman back row Aiyanna Hill, sophomore front row Kayla Gammons, sophomore captain Michaela Willaims, sophomore front row Carmen Mize
Expectations: Play hard and work as a team — win or lose. And if we lose, lose with pride that we gave it our best.
What does your team do best: Play hard and earn all our points; serve well; work well together.
What challenges face your team: We have a tough conference.
What would be a success for your team: Make growth every game, win or lose; grow as a team; play hard every match.

TRINITY
Coach: Sarah Beth Campbell (second year); assistant Nicole Craig
Last year: 6-13 (4-4 PAC-6 2A, third)
No. of starters returning/lost: 5/1
Missing faces: libero Susan Yates
Familiar faces: senior Casey Davis — will be a key player; she’s versatile and will help with our overall intensity, as well as with leadership; junior Shay Felder — a very knowledgeable player with experience outside of THS Volleyball, will help to get sets to the right people as the right times; senior Michaela Watkins; senior Kaitlyn Green, senior Jordan Parker
New faces: freshman Michael Ann Holt, sophomore Katie Jackson, sophomore Allison Watkins
Expectations: This season we have multiple players returning who have put time into volleyball outside of our THS season. The extra touches and experience from these players will give us a chance to be a little more competitive during our matches. These girls are also more confident in themselves as players and leaders on the court.
What does your team do best: At this point in the season both our JV and Varsity teams are positive and determined. These girls are working extremely hard to have a good season and play up with our competition.
What challenges face your team: Experience is our downfall. With only a couple of players playing volleyball in the offseason, we don’t have as much knowledge on the court in situations where we may not follow a bump-set-hit. We did encourage our players to get involved with club ball or parks and rec ball and those that did are seeing the benefits.
What would be a success for your team: Playing competitively with our competition would be a big step up from last year. Also, keeping our heads up when down a couple points and pushing points in tight situations during the match.
— COMPILED BY MICHAEL LINDSAY

CROSS-COUNTRY CAPSULES

BISHOP MCGUINNESS
Coach: Robert Youtz (ninth season)
Last year: Both the boys and girls teams were Northwest Conference, regional champs and 1A state champions.
Missing faces: Boys — Zach Bruns (season best: 17:34; all-conference), Greg Redden (16:54, all-conference, all-regional), Leland Lancaster (16:51, all-conference, all-regional, all state), Sam Williams (16:16, all-conference, all-regional, all-state); Girls — Brianna Eichhorn (season best: 21:03; all-conference), Brynna Tremblay (21:20), Katelyn Merendino (21:22, all-conference), Alex Errington (21:54)
Familiar faces: senior William Johnson (season: 17:36), junior Jack Brannan (17:16, all-conference), junior Bryan Soltis (17:29); Girls — senior Carly Kreber (19:27, all-conference, all-regional, all-state, All-American (AAU Nationals), broke the school record), senior Bailey Seach (20:02, all-conference, all-regional, all-state), sophomore Sarah Grace Johnson (20:49, all-conference, all-Regional), junior Lexi Weidman (21:04, all-conference)
New faces: Boys — sophomore Scott Debrecht, junior Peter Balogh, freshman Tyler Linniger; Girls — freshman Claire McDonough, junior Sarah Ann Craven
Expectations: The boys team lost valuable leadership and talent in the seniors. They will be young this year and we won’t be as deep, but the work ethic is still great. The girls will have to find good leadership and handle the pressure of winning the state championship last year and understanding that everyone will give us their best shot at each meet. They’ll also have to adjust to new runners who will step in and be key contributors for the girls. The girls team will once again be a deep team, so making varsity will be a difficult and challenging task.

TRINITY
Coach: Dwayne Allen
No. of starters returning/lost: 2/10
Missing faces: Caleb Reeves, Collin Smith, Ian Sykes, Tyler Myers, Sage Earnhardt
Familiar faces: sophomore Reece Frank (all-conference, ran personal-best 22:29), Daniel Sanford (ran great last year and only male returner)
New faces: Kaitlyn Kropelnicki, Mary Cuthbertson, Tyler Johnson, Lincoln Thomas, Ethan Misenheimer, Chase Nicks
Expectations: Looking at three of my girls making all-conference and at least four of the boys as well. Looking to finish third or better in the conference.
What does your team do best: Work hard and push each other to get better. 
What challenges face your team: Lack of experience.
What would be a success for your team: Beating Wheatmore.

HIGH POINT CENTRAL
Coach: Suzanne White (fourth year); assistant Todd Nifong (second season)
Last year: Boys — finished fifth in the Piedmont Triad 4A; Girls — finished fourth in the PTC
Missing faces: Emory Howell, Michael Verdi, Logan Kepley, Bryan Baccus, Matt Blake, Abby Duffy
Familiar faces: Mason Kepley (finished third in the PTC, 38th at regionals), Susie Griffin (finished 12th in the PTC, 46 at regionals), John Ellis, Tofik Gebre (13th in the PTC, 53 at regionals), Riley Anderson, Christina Verdi
New faces: Maddie Ring
Expectations: I hope we can compete more as a team, in addition to individually.
What does your team do best: Our team recovers well.
What would be a success for your team: For every runner to receiver his or her personal best at regionals like last year.

WHEATMORE
Coach: Will Benner (first year)
Last year: Second in the PAC-6 2A
No. of starters returning/lost: 11/29
Missing faces: Lexa Wall, Claire Webb, Colton Self, Jacob Self
Familiar faces: seniors Madison Fountain, Ian York, Alexis Rowell; junior Katherine Cromer, sophomore Jennifer Williams and Payton Moore
New faces: seniors Randy Hutchens and Alex Millikan; junior Jeremiah Monroe; sophomores Adam Davis, Kristine Cheek and Ruthie Spencer
Expectations: Second place in the PAC-6, maybe next year Randleman
What does your team do best: Boys — push each other; Girls — encourage each other
What challenges face your team: Converting in-season runners to year-round runners, building a culture of running.
What would be a success for your team: Shutting out the rest of our conference with exception of Randlman.

WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN
Coach: Andy Thompson (three years), Mary Olzer (four years)
Last year: Boys - second in the NCISAA PACIS 3A, Girls - third in the PACIS
Missing faces: Chris Peters, Joey Bye
Familiar faces: Boys - junior Michael Ashburn, junior Ben Hostetler, senior Bradley Davis — each was all-conference; Girls - senior Madeline Pace, senior Aubrey Thompson, sophomore Madison Smith
Expectations: Boys - To challenge for the conference title; Girls - To finish third in the conference.
What challenges face your team: We lack depth on both the boys and girls teams.
What would be a success for your team: Improve our individual competitiveness in each race.

WESTCHESTER COUNTRY DAY
Coach: Tim Anderson (four years)
Last year: Boys - first in the Triad Athletic Conference, third in the NCISAA 2A; Girls - second in the TAC, eighth in the NCISAA 2A
No. of starters returning/lost: Boys - 4/3; Girls - 4/3
Missing faces: Boys - Walker Rose, Jeff Green, Charlie Branson; Girls - Avery Goho, Leigh Tyson, Haleigh Breece, Eliza Fisher
Familiar faces: Boys - junior Abraham Hernandez (all-conference, all-state), senior Thomas Verellen (ran 5:30 mile in track), eighth-grader Luke Evans (ran the fastest 3200 in the state), sophomore Josh Evans (ran a 12:02 3200); Girls - freshman Abbi Khan (all-state in four events in track), eight-grader Alex Evans (very talented), senior Anna Hood (captain, great leader for young kids), freshman Lauren Griffith (ran a 15:16 3200 in track)
New faces: Boys - eighth-grader Edward Lindler; eighth-grader Madison Mozingo
Expectations: Boys - win the TAC, finish in the top five in the state; Girls - finish top-2 in the TAC and top-10 in the state
What does your team do best: Boys - We have four runners who train and will race as a group; Girls - The girls train very hard with the boys team.
What challenges face your team: A very young team.
What would be a success for your team: Stay healthy and teach kids to train longer and smarter than they ever have before.

LEDFORD
Coach: Tom Kotris; Shawn Loggins, Jay Pierce
Last year: Boys and girls conference champions
No. of starters returning/lost: 8/5
Missing faces: Boys — Anthony Hughes, Miles Riddle, Blake Lassiter, and Dylan Varner; Girls — Charlotte Lamb, Courtney Farge, and Carter Morsell
Familiar faces: Boys — seniors Josh Jackson, Jonathan Burchett (All-Conference), Cam Fichthorn, Jeremy Dull and Luke Penry; juniors Thomas James (All-Conference, All-County); sophomores Robert Scott, Justin Venable, Harrison Cribb, Reece Clemmons, Adam Spiva
Girls — senior Brenda Luna (All-Conference), juniors Morgan Marion, Kristena Johnson, Emilie Hughes; sophomores Emily Boger (All-Conference), Sydney Farabow (All-Conference), Rachel Emerson
New faces: No new runners stick out just yet
Expectations: We feel that we have a good chance to win the county and conference championships with both the boys and girls teams. Obviously both those meets will be challenging with a resurgent West Davidson in the county
meet, a soon to be much improved North Davidson team (Coach Peters will immediately make that team competitive) and the old standby of Central Davidson to contend with. It might be the most exciting meet of our season. Our conference will be more competitive this year with the additions of Western Guilford and Central Davidson and the continuing growth and improvement of the Asheboro, North Forsyth, and Southern Guilford programs.
What does your team do best: Accept challenges, work hard, set goals and rise to the occasion.
What challenges face your team: Replacing the senior leadership we lost last year.
What would be a success for your team: Making it to the state meet.

GIRLS GOLF

HIGH POINT CENTRAL
Coach: Kim Stalnaker (eighth year)
Last year: Fourth place in the Piedmont Triad 4A; two individuals qualified for the regionals: Jennifer Galanti and Ashlyn Day
No. of starters returning/lost: 4/0
Familiar faces: Galanti and Day both qualified for regionals last year. This is their senior season, and I expect BIG things! Chandler Clodfelter is a senior and returning letterman, and I expect big things from her as well.
New faces: Sophomore Lizzie Smith and super freshman Lauren Giles are new additions to the team. They can be difference makers. Lauren has already turned in a 42 in one preseason match.
Expectations: Top half of conference finish, regionals as a team are possible.
What does your team do best: Excel in studies in school!!!
What challenges face your team: On occasion, they expect too much from themselves. They need to learn to smell the roses.
What would be a success for your team: Qualifying for the regional as a team.

LEDFORD
Coach: John Ralls (seven years); assistants Joe Davis and Johnny Carroll
Last year: 97-3, repeat 3A Central Regional champions, repeat 3A state champions
No. of starters returning/lost: 4/1
Missing faces: Morgan Brock (four-year starter, team co-MVP, played in the state finals her last three years)
Familiar faces: senior Alexis Kershaw (four-year starter, ranked No. 9 in the state, two-time team state champion, plans to attend Catawba next year with a golf scholarship; team MVP or co-MVP all three years, stroke average — 38.5); senior Meghan Holbrooks (four-year starter, stroke average — 39); junior Julia Carroll (three-year starter, stroke average — 41)
New faces: sophomore Jordan Young (first-year starter, stroke average — 44.7); senior Mary Davis (splitting time at No. 5 with Kelsey Leach, stroke average — 49.6); senior Kelsey Leach (started at 5 last yr, splitting with Mary this year, stroke average — 48.8); freshmen Jessica May and Ashley Cano
Expectations: We would like to challenge for the Mid-Piedmont 3A Conference, regional and state titles.
What does your team do best: Putt and chip.
What challenges face your team: Being consistent and continuing to work hard and try to get better.
What would be a success for your team: If we work hard to become the best that we are capable of, then no matter what happens we will be successful. And if we do that we can be real good.

GLENN
Coach: Rick Bridge (third year); assistant Dale Weavil
Last year: 15-22-1 (14-20-1 Piedmont Triad 4A, fourth)
No. of starters returning/lost: 5/2
Missing faces: Kalynn Jones (concentrating on softball), Sarah Poulin (moved; continuing high school golf in eastern N.C.)
Familiar faces: senior Taylor Strassberg (2011 & 2012 all-conference; regional qualifier), sophomore Savannah Gilbert (2012 all-conference; regional qualifier), sophomore Baily Coble, sophomore Sierra Hurley, sophomore Casey Bright
New faces: sophomore Maggie Smith, freshman Sadie Martin
Expectations: Win the Piedmont Triad 4A Conference championship, qualify as a team for regional competition.
What does your team do best: They encourage and support each other on and off the golf course. And they are willing to learn.
What challenges face your team: Youth and amount of experience in golf, learning patience on the course, and not getting too high or low with their results.
What would be a success for your team: In addition to our team expectations, to meet or exceed their individual goals.

WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN
Coach: Jaime Cebollero
Last year: 4-8, finished third in the PACIS 3A
Familiar faces: senior Cecily Overbey (played on the boys for most of her career, took last year off but is back for her senior year), junior Erica Hamilton (all-conference, played No. 1 last year), sophomore Erika Peck (all-conference, will be at No. 3)
Expectations: Our team is still young and only in our second year. My desire is for our girls to continue to grow and have fun. They should approach their matches with a positive attitude cognizant that they are representing Christ and our school out on the golf course.

TENNIS

BISHOP MCGUINNESS
Coach: Catherine Lassiter (third year); assistant Patrick Sturgeon
Last year: 14-3, lost in third round of state playoffs
No. of starters returning/lost: 5/1
Missing faces: No. 5 Megan McDowell
Familiar faces: junior No. 1 Kyndall Cortes (17-5 last year, all-conference, qualified for regionals, finished third in state singles), sophomore No. 2 Megan Auger (16-5, all-conference, qualified for regionals), junior No. 3 Anna Owen, senior No. 4 Adaire Hudson, sophomore No. 5 Anna Petrangeli, junior No. 6 Nicole Saia
New faces: sophomore Caitlin Murphy, senior Grace DeMers, freshman Candyce Sturgeon
Expectations: Our goal is to make it past the third round of the dual tournament — if not all the way to the finals! And we hope to qualify players to regionals again this year.
What does your team do best: Think strategically and act cooperatively.
What challenges face your team: Keeping the game at a high level of performance all season.
What would be a success for your team: A better record than last year and progressing farther in the dual team tournament.
— COMPILED BY MICHAEL LINDSAY