The Delone Catholic girls’ volleyball team hasn’t lost since 2012 and is coming off a state title run last season. Three seniors graduated but the Squirettes still boast a lineup that includes Maddie Comly and Cheyenne Altland. Another run through states is a very plausible goal and they’re off to a 5-0 start. As we continue our Q+A series, we sat down with head coach Jason Leppo, who is in his fourth year at Delone, to talk about the challenges of repeating and reloading. He spoke with us about this year’s squad, his favorite away venues and his picks to win each division this season.
Question: What would you say is a strength of this year's team?
Answer: “We should be a more physical and athletic team than we've been in past years with a lot of versatility too. We’re just a bigger, stronger team with a little more ‘pop’ on offense.”
Q: Going into the first few weeks of the season, what are some things you’re going to have your eye on?
A: “Everything (laughing). It's a new year, new team, there's nothing that is a given or we take for granted. We want to focus on all the little things and pay as much attention to detail as possible.”
Q: What will be a concern or challenge for your team this season?
A: “I think our biggest challenge right now is figuring out who we are and what we want to be about as a team. Finding and creating our own identity and personality as a unit is our challenge.”
Q: Are there any games on the schedule you kind of highlight and get excited for?
A: “The cool thing about our division as opposed to some of the others, is so many of the schools are close by and there is a history between all of us. Anytime Delone matches up with Hanover, Littlestown, Bermudian or York Catholic, in any sport, it's a big deal. We also have a quad match between us, York Catholic, Berks Catholic and Trinity that we did last year at Trinity and should be a lot of fun again this year on Sept. 19 and 20.”
Q: Who would you predict to win the division this season?
A: “In division I, Central is the favorite and after that, it's a toss-up. In Div. II, it’s Susquehannock until someone shows they can beat them. Suburban has the pieces to give them a run and potentially West York or Northeastern also. In division III, as much as I don't like picking us, I think realistically we would be the favorites. Bermudian has some good players and will be tough and I think York Catholic can make a move as well.”
Q: What is your favorite place to play in the YAIAA besides your home school?
A: “We’ve played so many matches at Dallastown in the past two years that the girls always joke it's our home away from home, so I'll say Dallastown.”
Q: Do you remember the last time that Delone lost?
A: (Laughing) “Yes, that would’ve been the state finals two years ago. That’s a tough one to forget.”
Q: Can this team make a run in states?
A: “We have the potential and we have the talent to be very good this year. There are a lot of hard-working kids here, so we’ll see how far we can go. We have as good of a shot as any team.”