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Young Quaker Valley volleyball team rebuilding

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 8:59 p.m.
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley High School freshman Miasha Beck hits a ball during a junior varsity volleyball match against South Side Beaver at Quaker Valley Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. Beck also dresses for the varsity team, but did not play during the match on Tuesday. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley High School freshman Miasha Beck and a South Side Beaver player both go for a ball during a junior varsity volleyball match at Quaker Valley Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. Beck also dresses for the varsity team, but did not play in Tuesday's varsity match. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald

Quaker Valley girls volleyball coach Mike Vavrek is not exaggerating when he says his team is rebuilding.

Of 23 players, 12 are freshman and six are sophomores.

There is only one senior. Four players are juniors.

“We're very inexperienced,” said Vavrek, in his second year as coach. “It's going to take us awhile to put it all together.”

Four sophomores and two juniors join senior captain Rachel Smith as starters.

Smith, a two-year letter winner, and sophomore Kathryn Wroblewski are middle hitters.

Wroblewski, at 5-foot-11, is Quaker Valley's tallest player.

“Our middle attack is good,” Vavrek said.

Juniors Jade Kost and Alyssa Bartling are outside hitters. Sophomore Hayley Rohrbach is an opposite-side hitter. Sophomore Michaela Sobecki plays in the back row. Sophomore Ashlee Bacvinskas is the setter.

Junior Rachel Dye (back row), freshmen Miasha Beck (outside hitter) and Ayonna Martin (outside hitter) are reserves.

“For as young as we are, we have a solid team,” Vavrek said. “We pass the ball and serve well.

“The more the girls play together, the better they will become. We want them to have a positive attitude. They should be really good in a year or two. I feel bad that Rachel won't be around to enjoy it. She's been a really good leader.”

Smith, in her fourth year on the team, doesn't mind being the lone senior.

“Sometimes I wish there was someone else from my class, but I don't dwell on it,” she said. “I just focus on the present. I want us to practice harder, do more conditioning, so we keep improving. It's fun being with younger players, watching them learn.

“I'll always feel like part of this team. I would be very proud if we make the (WPIAL) playoffs, even if I'm not on the team. I would be there cheering.” Since 1999, Quaker Valley has qualified for the WPIAL Class AA playoffs five times, most recently in 2009, when it advanced to the second round.

In 2002, it qualified for the PIAA championship after finishing third in the WPIAL.

The Quakers had a losing record a year ago, when they had six seniors, four of them starters.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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