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2013 Volleyball Preview: Elyria Catholic Panthers poised to make another run in the WSC
After winning the West Shore Conference championship last season, the Panthers are poised to make another run. Already knowing it won’t be easy, they are looking forward to the challenge.
“We’re an offensively loaded team,” Elyria Catholic coach Jennifer Lee said. “We’re hoping to carry it throughout the course of the season.”
The challenge occurred early on with the Panthers losing Rachel Duffield due to an injury, but they still have plenty of hitters. Seniors Maryssa Kellick and Brooke Nedrich will rotate in the middle, while freshmen Jessie Lee and Josie Carandang join the starting lineup. Caitlin Rock is the other outside hitter.
“Last year we had four seniors who totally dominated the court,” Kellick said. “So we kind of took notes from them. It was a brand new story coming into this season. We had to learn for ourselves what it was going to be like. We know we have the height.”
The Panthers don’t have a shortage of height with Kellick and Lee each stand at 5-11. Rock and Carandang stand at 5-9, while Nedrick and setter Marie Vasitas stand at 5-9 and 5-8 respectively. Using a change in rotation, the Panthers are able to maximize the height they have.
Being a close-knit team has helped the Panthers in the past and this year is no exception. They are hoping the bond will help them get through rough patches and move forward.
“I think we are all close to each other,” Lee said. “We’re all one family — like sisters. We all help each other to stay positive and lead each other on the court.”
Kellick knows one person can pick up the entire team and get things moving in the right direction. With tough competition within the conference, it will be needed.
“When one person is having a good game, everyone else fuels off of their energy,” Kellick said. “(With) their adrenaline pumping, it gets everyone else psych and it just causes the whole to get (excited).”
Though they may not have the experience of last year’s squad, the Panthers know what they want. They also know what it will take for them to reach their goal.
“We want to be as strong in the conference as we were last year,” Kellick said. “If that means we each have to work a little harder then that’s what we are going to do. Just because the seniors left doesn’t mean we’re down. We’re still here and we want to be champions again.”
Last Updated: 9/7/2013 9:28:25 PM EST