Share This Page

Frazier volleyball begins new era

| Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, 11:59 p.m.
Frazier's Dyanna Shaporka (red shirt) and Cassidy Guiser will try to provide offense from the front row. (Jason Black | Daily Courier)

The Frazier volleyball team has won three straight section championships and captured the 2010 WPIAL Class A championship. Now, it appears that the Commodores are about to begin a new era.

Mandy Hartman, who has guided the Commodores to 15 consecutive playoff appearances, is excited to start fresh with a roster that features plenty of young players.

“This group is a lot of fun,” Hartman said. “They are young and determined, and they are an extremely athletic group of kids. It's refreshing because it's like clay that you can mold. They have the desire to do well.”

Desire doesn't replace experience, and the Commodores lost a lot of it. Gone to graduation are Megan Manack, Kelsey Dillon and Janell Vasquez, all of whom played pivotal roles in helping Frazier post a 14-2 record in 2011. The play of those three will be difficult for the Commodores to replicate in the immediate future, but that doesn't mean the Commodores can't achieve success.

The strength of this year's team likely will be defense, which features returning senior McKenzie Barch.

“She is a key component to this year's team,” Hartman said. “She is very talented at what she does, and I feel like our defense is solid with her back there.”

Without the services of big hitters like Manack, the Commodores are adopting a defense-first strategy.

“We have to play a smarter game this year,” Hartman said. “Our game plan has to change for us to be able to compete.”

Barch appears ready to help the team make a smooth adjustment to the new style of play.

“I think the defense will be a big part of our team, and I feel like I can step up,” Barch said. “Our defense has to pull us through.”

In terms of offense, look for sophomores Cassidy Guiser and Jamie Muccioli to do the setting. The hitters include freshmen Dyanna Shaporka and Alena Blaszczak, and junior Alexandra Chuboy.

“They are doing a nice job, and I think they will be solid,” Hartman said.

The Commodores, despite their youth, expect to be competitive. However, this season could be a transition period.

“I don't like to say we are inexperienced because I don't want to make excuses,” Hartman said. “The last few years the expectations were so high, so it's nice to shift gears a little bit and see these kids come along.”

According to Barch, seeing the team make strides throughout the season will be rewarding.

“Honestly, I just want to see everybody grow,” Barch said. “I've already seen us come a long way.”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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 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.