JIM THORPE

Head coach Mary Horvat (Third season)

Assistant coaches Caitlin Kuhn, Anna Leigh Rowlands

Last year's record

League Schuylkill League

Classification AA

Key losses Marissa Cantelmi

Key returnees Brittany Holland (Sr.)

Others to watch Alex Ventrella (Jr.), Shannon Green (So.), Amanda Petrin (So.), Christine Gibson (Sr.), Lauren Mason (Sr.), Ashley Nicola (Sr.), Melissa Weber (Jr.)

Strengths According to Horvat, her girls have a much different midset as they enter this season. The focus of the girls has been 'unreal' as compared to years past. Horvat also believes the team is more dedicated than in years past.

Weaknesses Jim Thorpe graduated eight seniors from last year's squad, so experience will be a problem. Other than Holland, no other lady played at the varsity level last season.

Quoteable "Fundamentals is always a goal of ours. We don't have any feeder programs, so sometimes we get girls who are playing the game for the first time. Because of that, we like to strive to excell at our fundementals," Head coach Mary Horvat.

LEHIGHTON

Head coach Rachel Quinn (Fourth season)

Assistant coaches Terry Haberman

Last year's record 10-2 MVC

League Mountain Valley Conference

Classification AA

Key losses Molly Haberman, Sheena White, Madeline Zurn, Amanda Windbeck, Lauren Jankowski, Rachel Ingram

Key returnees Lauren McCullion (Sr.), Jessica Lobien (Sr.), Debra Lobien (Sr.), Laureen D'Imattia (Sr.)

Others to watch Lauren Poremba (Sr.), Annie Zurn (Jr.), Natalie Zurn (Jr.)

Strengths Although Lehighton lost a number of seniors from its two-time MVC championship winning team, the Indians will still return enough experience to compete for the conference title once again. The team is also very vocal, both on and off the court, and has Quinn liking the communication between the girls.

Weaknesses After this season, the Indians will get young quick in terms of on-court experience. But for now this group of girls seems poised to get back to district play.

Quoteable "We are going for three-in-a-row this year, so we are excited. The girls have been working very hard and right now they are just anticipating the start of the season," Head coach Rachel Quinn.

MARIAN

Head coach John "Doc" Fallabel (Eighth season)

Assistant coaches Jess Yorke, Maria Fallabel Currie, Steve Hartman

Last year's record 17-3

League Schuylkill League, Division IV

Classification A

Key losses Devin Parambo, Abby Owsinski, Sarah Connely

Key returnees Rachel Krajcirik (Sr.), Taylor Mele (Sr.), Tori Vadyak (Sr.), Kathleen Reilly (Sr.), Cathleen Cataldo (Sr.), Laura Cinicola (Sr.), Katelyn Collevechio (Sr.), Marykate Sherkness (So.)

Others to watch Joanna Butala (Jr.), Nikki Collevechio (So.), Grace Boyle (Fr.)

Strengths This year's Marian volleyball team returns plenty of experience, especially in a senior class that has been playing together for the last six years (through CYO, AAU and up through the high school program). Rachel Krajcirk returns at setter. Marykate Sherkness, Kathleen Reilly, Tori Vadyak and Laura Cinicola return as hitters and the defense will be anchored by a combination of Taylor Mele, Cathleen Cataldo and Katelyn Collevechio. While only a sophomore, Sherkness will be counted on heavily at outside hitter, as her 150 kills last year were the most ever for a freshman at Marian.

Weaknesses Despite the returning talent, the Fillies still lack a bonafide power go-to hitter that can possibly give the team 300 kills in a season. Last year, outside hitter and TIMES NEWS Volleyball Player of the Year Devin Parambo in addition to middle hitter Abby Owsinski combined for well over 500 kills on the season. With both girls gone, those numbers will have to be replaced by a group effort (which will most likely consist of three or four different hitters) in order for Marian to make a deep run into the postseason.

Quoteable "This is a fantastic team with a very talented senior class. We're looking forward to a great season and we have set very high goals for ourselves. We've fallen short of those expectations the past few years, and for most of these girls, this is their last opportunity. The experience and talent level is certainly there, but we'll only go as far as our seniors take us." Head coach John "Doc" Fallabel

PANTHER VALLEY

Head coach Nancy Filer (11th season)

Assistant coaches Luann Brida

Last year's record 13-3, 10-3 Division II Champs

League Schuylkill, Div. II

Classification AA

Key losses Carly Markovich, Christa Mantz, Tricia Janowiak, Katie Zulic

Key returnees Amy Yusella (Jr.), Deanna Focht (Jr.), Lyndsay Kusko (Sr.), Chrissy Micholik (Jr.), Sarah Branchide (Sr.), Celene Yelito (Sr.)

Others to watch Stephanie Kachelries (Jr.), Ellen Krajcir (Sr.), Lauren Frantz (Sr.), Jessica Snisky (So), Kristyn Gates (So.), Jacinda Ruzicka (Jr.), Krista Paul (Jr.)

Strengths hard workers, work well together and compliment each other alot and team oriented.

Weaknesses young, graduated competitive four talented players that wanted to win and it's going to be hard to replace

Quoteable "We're looking forward to a new beginning and they're excited to see how we're going to do. they have a lot of pride and we'll see how that turns out as the season goes on," Head coach Nancy Filer.

PLEASANT VALLEY

Head coach John Gesiskie (17th season)

Assistant coaches Kathleen Gesiskie

Last year's record 20-13

League Mountain Valley Conference

Classification AAA

Key losses Priya Patel, Justine Maresca

Key returnees Kayla Dorney (Sr.), Crystal Cambria (Sr.), Katlin Raseley (Jr.), Steph Stone (Sr.), Paige McKinsey (Sr.), Brittni Cumberland (Sr.), Paige Brand (Jr.), Andrea Giardina (Jr.), Breanna Joseph (So.)

Others to watch Emily Shafer (Sr.), Mackensie Dorney (Fr.), Courtney Miller (Fr.)

Strengths So far Pleasant Valley has had a great willingness to work together and it has shown in practice. The Bears also return a number of experienced seniors from last year's MVC runner-up squad.

Weaknesses So far Gesiskie isn't too pleased with the accuracy of his setter's passes. Also, early injuries have hampered the growing process of the team.

Quoteable "Last season we were considered underdogs due to lack of experience compared to the rest of the MVC teams. After a shaky first half we came out of hibernation to dominate the second half of the season and defeated all of our MVC foes. With a well seasoned team, led by All-District and MVC MVP Kayla Dorney, we are looking to make our presence known again as we make another run at the MVC crown," Head coach John Gesiskie.

TAMAQUA

Head coach Stacey Setlock (Second season)

Assistant coaches Lori Mazloom

Last year's record 8-8

League Schuylkill League

Classification AA

Key losses Tiffany Billman, Dana Rottet

Key returnees Paige Baddick (Sr.), Stacey Wallace (Sr.), Kelsey Burkett (Sr.), Sarah Lesisko (Jr.), Sarah Paluck (Jr.)

Others to watch Eushina Leivenguth (Sr.), Jacqueline McMullen (Jr.), Jordan Reabold (Jr.)

Strengths Setlock likes how skilled her ladies are and believes they can make an improvement on last year's record. They have worked well together and have been putting in a lot of work the last few weeks.

Weaknesses The Lady Raiders could improve on their defense. Setlock believes they are talented enough on defends, but could use a little bit more work overall.

Quoteable "Last year we were able to make districts so we would definitely like to do that again. If we can get that far then we will just go from there and see how well we can do," Head coach Stacey Setlock.

WEATHERLY

Head coach Nicole Selert (Second season)

Assistant coaches Robert Selert

Last year's record 9-11 overall (7-9 SL)

League Schuylkill League

Classification A

Key losses None

Key returnees Brittany Hinkle (Sr.), Alicia Panzarella (Sr.), Sarah Dolinsky (Jr.), Rachel Heiser (Sr.), Alyssa Kephart (Sr.), Samantha Strizak (Sr.), Alyssa Miller (Jr.), Jess Adamcyzk (So.)

Others to watch Krissa Titus (So.), Kelly Fisher (Fr.), Kirsten Ursta (Fr.), Cheyanne Wallish (Fr.)

Strengths Without losing a single player to graduation, the Wreckers return a lot of strong players like Hinkle, Panzarella and Heiser in some skilled positions outside hitter, middle hitter and setter. In addition to that, Felert feels the program's team leadership will help the Wreckers in the long run towards what she feels is a potential district championship.

Weaknesses While she feels the varsity program is primed for the up-coming season, Felert is concerned with the future with of up-and-coming Wrecker netters. The Wreckers' coaching staff is set to work on building a stronger foundation for the program, which starts with the jayvee program, by starting from scratch and teaching the fundamentals of the game to prepare those individuals who will play varsity in the near future.

Quoteable "We were shy of the district playoffs by one game last year. We don't want to see that happen again. We want to make it this year in the worst way and make school history, in which it would be the first time a program has made the district playoffs," Head coach Nicole Selert.