‘Jills Return Eight Seniors To 2010 Volleyball Team
The Valley Lumberjills return eight seniors to the 2010 volleyball season. And, with four juniors on the squad, this could be the season that the ‘Jills make a run for a Mason-Dixon Conference and OVAC title.
Eight-year Head Coach Gary Partridge stated, “These girls have good chemistry. They have played so much ball together, you can see it, feel it, and soon, you’ll be able to see it.”
Senior All Mason-Dixon selections Leah Morris and Tiffany Hayes are back to lead the Lumberjills. Morris will guard the net and will set the intensity with her power and blocking ability, while Hayes – and her split play – will help her teammates keep focused and ready for competition. They both are excellent servers and will challenge their teammates to do their very best at practice as well as games.
However, the loss of setter Rachel Ice will hurt the Lumberjills early on, but waiting in the wings is Allyson Ashcraft. Ashcraft saw plenty of playing time last season and is quick and eager to showcase her volleyball skills once the season begins.
Helping Morris and Hayes guard the net are seniors Ashley “Big Red” Staley and Cassie Ueltschy. Staley is the team’s fire-plug. She leaves her blood, sweat, and tears on the floor and leads by example. She gets down and dirty when it’s needed and will use finesse when its necessary. Ueltschy has worked her tail off to be a starter. She works as hard as anyone on the team and her friendliness rubs off to her teammates.
Back row specialist Carla Mason and Brittany Kuhens will be counted on to prevent the ball from hitting the floor and getting the ball to the right people. Meanwhile, senior Olivia Brisendine, juniors Brooke Staley, Heather Quinn, Whitney Blake, Kaitlyn Midcap, along with sophomores Ali Haught, Brittany Sivert, Jessica Ashcraft, and Justine Miller round out the varsity squad.
Players Hanna Loy, Ali Haught, and Brittany Haught will play both varsity and junior varsity ball, while Chelsea Coen, Whitney Haught, and Summer Briggs will play on the jayvee team.
One of the key areas Valley has strengthened in past years is the service department and it will show throughout the season.
With Partridge in charge, the team has improved in many ways, including spirited play that has inspired the hearts of their local fans.
“I am impressed with the girls’ intensity level and aggressiveness,” continued Partridge. “Also, I am impressed with how well they move the balI. I think this will prove to be a promising and enjoyable season at both junior varsity and varsity play.”
The Lumberjills have a busy schedule including with few tri matches, which are economical for teams who have to travel long distances.
Valley opens the season at Bellaire St. John on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. and will travel to Paden City for a tri-match with both Paden City and St. John’s. After a quad match with Tyler, Wheeling Central, and Linsly on Sept. 4 at Tyler Consolidated, the Lumberjills will please their fans with a home match with Clay-Battelle on Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.