PREP VOLLEYBALL: Southside chasing conference title

Published 3:36 pm Sunday, August 10, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Southside coach Elizabeth Pruden has high expectations for her volleyball team in 2008.
After finishing second behind Williamston in the Atlantic Conference and qualifying for the first round of the state playoffs last season, Pruden believes her Seahawks have the talent to soar to the top spot in the conference this season.
The Seahawks will return all-conference player Mandi Harding along the front line. She’ll be relied on heavily to lead Southside’s bid for a conference title.
Flanking Harding on the attack will be juniors Caitlin Bogart and Kristin Ayers, both of whom saw time last season. Also joining them will be Jessica Taylor who moves into the starting lineup after playing for the junior varsity team a year ago.
Southside’s main focus this season will be to replace setters Gabby Ciluffo and Resla Penn. But Pruden has a plan to combat having to find two setters. This season, the Seahawks will shift to a 5-1 offensive attack, instead of the 4-2 they used last season.
The two girls that Pruden is referring to are Dot Jones and Courtney Avery.
Defensively, senior Danielya Whitney and junior Danyelle Jedlicka will play major roles. The two liberos will serve as the quarterbacks of the Seahawks’ defense.
Junior Becky Poole’s role will be a back line sub for the setters.
All told, Southside will carry only nine girls on this year’s squad. And Pruden likes the group that she’s got.
A new look for Northside volleyball
By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
YEATESVILLE — Northside coach Tami Wagaman spent the 2007 volleyball season getting adjusted to her new school, but this season the second-year coach must adapt to a crop of new players.
In 2007, the Panthers’ volleyball team was laced with senior leadership, easing the transition for Northside’s new skipper. However, five of the Panthers’ six starters have graduated, giving Northside a new look in 2008.
Wagaman said it’s back to the drawing board.
While sculpting a young team can be tough, Wagaman said the good thing about having a team full of fresh faces is that it brings a lot of enthusiasm to practice.
Part of the process of getting the players familiar with one another on the court, is figuring out who exactly will be on the court.
When fielding a new team the biggest challenges are identifying talent, and then trying to figure out where that talent will play.
Making that whole process even more difficult for Wagaman the fact that the clock is ticking.
Wagaman said her first scrimmage will tell her a lot about her team.
As far as practice goes, Wagaman said there have been a few players who have stepped up and demonstrated leadership.