Franklin Regional volleyball team ready to take steps forward
Members of the Franklin Regional volleyball team are, in front, from left, Ali Farrell, Angela Klocek, Kylie Carlson, Makayla Kishlock and Jamie Howatneck; in the middle, Isabel Clarkson, Abby Lynch, Meredith Kulak, Andrea Reuther, Amy Alfieri, Madison Heil, Jazmyn Charles, Monica Merante, Muriel Pokol and Courtney Conley; and in back, coach Kate McCullough, Elizabeth Pokol, Jenna Miller, Shawn Busche, Maria Franey, Yasmine Campbell, Kelly Haley, Ashley Lamfrom, Marcella Kishlock, Tori Nied, Melissa Gustafson, Cate Kasun, Gillian Kane, Annie Painter and head coach Matt Heyman. Submitted photo
After coming up empty in section play the last two seasons, this year's Franklin Regional volleyball team has its sights set on moving up in the league.
The Panthers are dealing with roster turnover — some expected and some unexpected — but head coach Matt Heyman has seen good things from his squad in the preseason.
“We had a good camp and played in a good league over the summer,” Heyman said. “They got progressively better, all summer long.
“We have had our ups and downs already. One of our returning players (Angela Nied) is doing an exchange program in Norway, and another (Gillian Kane) tore her ACL, so we turned over more players than we thought.”
On the court, Franklin Regional will be led by senior middle hitter Angela Klocek, along with fellow seniors Kiley Carlson and Makayla Kishlock as outside hitters.
The team also has a number of position battles to be settled.
Juniors Cate Kasun and Mady Heil are both working at the setter position, while on the right side, Jazmyn Charles and Andrea Reuther have both had strong camps.
The team also has another senior middle hitter, Jaime Howatneck, and two underclassmen behind Klocek, junior Melissa Gustafson and sophomore Kelly Haley.
In the defensive positions, junior Muriel Pokol and sophomore Amy Alfieri both are working with the varsity group, while two more juniors, Monica Merante and Meredith Kulak, add depth at outside hitter.
“All these girls are really hungry to be in the lineup, so our practices have been intense,” Heyman said. “I see a lot of improvement because no one is comfortable with their position.
The Panthers hope to get off to a good start from day one, which will be Saturday, when Franklin Regional hosts its season-opening tournament.
Hollidaysburg, Penn Hills, Hampton, Frazier, Gateway, Somerset and Montour will provide the opposition at the event, which begins at 9 a.m.
“We've taken on the Olympic team's motto of being ‘perpetually unsatisfied,'” Heyman said.
“Our last two seasons have been without a section win, but I feel like we're going to turn that around. No one is expecting much from us, but we're not going to be a rollover game by any stretch.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@ tribweb.com.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.