Off to a strong start, the Eden Christian girls volleyball team is optimistic about reaching the playoffs for the first time.
In their third year in the WPIAL, the Warriors were 3-1 in Section 4-A entering this week. Last season, they were 2-10 in section play.
They travel to Avonworth on Thursday.
“Making it to the playoffs was never (an option) until this year,” second-year coach Brenda Hemans said. “The girls worked really hard in the summer.
“Some of them played club volleyball.”
One of five returning letter winners, junior Maddie Tissue is the team's leading hitter, averaging eight kills per match, and blocker (four blocks per match).
Junior Ellena Hasley averages nine digs as the leading passer.
In her first year on the team, junior Brianna Bedillion is the top server with 15 service points per match.
Juniors Kylie Ritchie, Emily Blendermann and Sarah Aiken also returned from last year.
Senior Natalie Bishop, sophomore Nicole Hauskins and junior Katelyn Gaston are reserves.
Eden Christian has improved fundamentally.
“Our serving is 100 percent better than last year,” Hemans said. “We spend a lot of time on it.
“If you can't serve, you can't win.”
Tissue said she sometimes gets bored practicing serving, but agreed it is necessary.
“We wouldn't be doing as well without it,” said Tissue, 16.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.
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