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Led by large group of returning players, Quaker Valley volleyball hopes to contend

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

The Quaker Valley girls volleyball team has high goals.

It wants to build off last season's trip to the WPIAL playoffs.

The Quakers open Section 2-AA play at Freedom on Sept. 10. On Sept. 12, Quaker Valley plays Ambridge.

Quaker Valley finished third in the section last season.

“The big motivational cry is to go to the next level,” Quaker Valley coach Mike Vavrek said. “The girls are hungry for the section title.

“It's a realistic goal if we show up and work.”

The Quakers will miss graduate Rachel Smith, who led the team with 101 kills.

But other top players return, including junior Kathryn Wroblewski and senior Jade Kost, who were second and third with 61 and 56 kills, respectively.

Kost also had a team-high 30 aces and was third on the team with 73 digs.

Juniors Michaela Sobecki (124 digs) and Ashlee Bacvinskas (296 assists) are back, as well, after posting team bests.

Senior Alyssa Bartling, who was second with 74 digs and third with 19 aces, also returns, as does sophomore Ayonna Martin (second with 20 aces).

Senior Sydney Lane, sophomore Miasha Beck and junior Emma Fortuna also will contribute, said Vavrek, in his third year as coach.

Vavrek said height may be the Quakers' biggest weakness.

Quaker Valley's tallest player, Wroblewski, a 6-foot middle hitter, towers over teammates.

“It's not quite a problem right away, but could be one later,” Vavrek said.

Quaker Valley hopes to compensate with fundamentals.

“We're very good (defensively),” Kost said. “We're quick and can dig balls.”

Wroblewski said players have been practicing hard.

“The team is more experienced,” Wroblewski said. “We got to where we want to be.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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