Southmoreland girls volleyball banking on depth, experience
Although the Southmoreland volleyball team plays in a strong Section 7-AA, coach Sam Coffman is seeing evidence his team can be competitive this season.
“This team is unique in that from top to bottom the skill level is much closer together,” Coffman said. “We don't have that big drop. They are all competing for positions, even the freshmen.”
Coffman, who is in the sixth year of his second stint as coach of the Scotties, also likes the fact that the players all seem to be on the same page when it comes to systems and strategies.
“I think we are finally getting to the point where they are used to the system we play,” Coffman said, noting the program's style of play is streamlined between junior high and high school. “We don't have to teach the offense and defense because they have already been playing it.”
The Scotties lost three players to graduation, but lack of experience should not be a major concern with seven returning letterwinners.
Seniors Alex Ledbetter and Cindy Severi, juniors Emily Myers, Trisha Bungard, Kristyn Howell and Taylor Millslagle and sophomore Brianna Bunner have significant varsity experience and were part of last year's 8-10 team.
“My seniors have to play a leadership role ,and everyone has to contribute,” Coffman said.
Myers, Howell and Ledbetter are strong candidates to fill defensive roles, while Severi, Myers and junior Laken Frye could be tabbed to fill various hitting spots. Bunner and Millslagle are capable setters.
In addition to experience, the Scotties also have strength in numbers. The preseason roster comprises 22 players.
“This puts me in a new situation where I may have the luxury of having a lot of depth,” Coffman said.
With depth and experience on their side, the Scotties are excited to begin the upcoming season.
“I definitely think we can make it to the playoffs with all the experience we have,” Severi said. “We just all have to bring it together and play as a team. We are all motivated to make it into the playoffs this year.”
Coffman also believes the postseason could be a possibility.
“We're in a tough section,” Coffman said, noting the strengths of teams such as Thomas Jefferson and Elizabeth Forward. “Last year we came in fifth, but we're playing for a playoff spot.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.