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Connellsville volleyball team embraces unity

The Connellsville girls volleyball team is developing cohesiveness that could translate into a successful season.

The Falcons will be coached by Stacey Domer, who supplanted Sara Pockstaller at midseason last year. Domer, a Connellsville alumnus who played four years of volleyball at Slippery Rock University before graduating in 2010, loves the togetherness that the players share.

"I think the team chemistry is above and beyond what we've had, and it's getting better," Domer said. "I think that if they continue to work, they can go far this year."

Aside from team chemistry, Domer should also benefit from having a large number of girls to work with in 2011.

"This year we have a lot of depth, and the girls know that they have to challenge each other every day," Domer said.

Because so many girls have been competitive in the weeks leading up to the start of the season, which begins Saturday at the Fayette County Coaches Association Tournament at Laurel Highlands, Domer doesn't have a starting lineup set in stone.

There are, however, several players who have stood out and will likely play a large role on this year's team.

Juniors Caitlyn Williams, Lauren Harvey and Maria Merendino will all see plenty of playing time. Harvey and Merendino are outside hitters.

"They're work ethic is phenomenal," Domer said. "They do everything without complaining."

Williams will be counted on as the team's primary setter.

"She is a great leader on the court," Domer said. "I like how she takes control and lets the girls know what they need to do."

Like her coach, Williams also enjoys how everybody on the team appears to be working as a group.

"We all get along, and there's no drama on the team," Williams said. "I feel like we'll play good as a team. I think everyone on the team wants to achieve major goals and everyone wants to win."

Domer will also look to seniors Mikisa Solomon, Caitlyn Onusko, Elizabeth Hendricks and Taylor Bauer to add leadership and solid play to this year's team.

The Falcons will compete in Section 2-AAA, and Domer believes they can be in the postseason mix at the end of the season. Connellsville will try to qualify for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs for the first time since 2008.

"We have a tough section, but if we continue to work together, we'll be in the top three," Domer said.

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