YAIAA girls' volleyball preview: Three-time league champion Delone Catholic looks for four
Delone Catholic's Katie Laughman emerged from a three-setter rotation to start the 2013 season, a year that closed with Laughman having an increased role on the Squirettes' PIAA championship squad. Sarah Senft also broke into the lineup as a sophomore that year.
Now, both are seniors. And no team has been able to stop Delone's three-year run of YAIAA championships.
Central York and Red Lion will try in 2015. The Panthers and Lions are the last two teams to reach the league final vs. Delone and could be in position to try again.
Here is a look at the upcoming girls' volleyball season in the YAIAA:
Preseason top 5
1. Delone Catholic
2. Central York
3. Red Lion
4. York Suburban
Players to watch
LINDSEY BLEVINS, RED LION, JR. >> An all-state selection by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, Blevins powered the front of a Lions' attack that reached last year's YAIAA title match.
JORDAN LANDIS, YORK SUBURBAN, SR. >> A libero, Landis had 341 digs to help the Trojans claim the YAIAA Division II title in 2014. She also can serve and had 39 aces as a junior.
KATIE LAUGHMAN, DELONE CATHOLIC, SR. >> As a sophomore, Laughman split time as a setter on the Squirettes state title team. She had 509 assists as a junior, helping Delone win another league title and reach the district final. Laughman also was an all-state selection by the PVCA.
ALLISON RIFE, CENTRAL YORK, SR. >> One of two returning front line players for the defending YAIAA Division I champs, Rife was a GameTimePA.com second-team all-league performer last year. She received third-team All-District 3 honors from the PVCA.
EMILY POOLE, CENTRAL YORK, SR. >> The 6-foot-2 Poole is a force at middle blocker and committed to Lehigh. She received second-team All-District 3 honors from the PVCA.
SARAH SENFT, DELONE CATHOLIC, SR. >> A versatile player for coach Jason Leppo, Senft will enter her third year starting and comes off a 158-kill, 125-dig, 31-ace junior season.
MADYSON WHITCOMB, BERMUDIAN SPRINGS, SR. >> A middle blocker, Whitcomb received GameTimePA.com second-team All-YAIAA honors and was a second-team all-district selection by the PVCA.
Division I breakdown
DEFENDING CHAMP >> Central York
The Panthers will need a new setter to replace the graduated Julia Terpak, but coach Nate Ocasio's squad should be strong up front. Start with Allison Rife and Emily Poole. Senior libero Hannah Rishel is back in the fold, as is senior outside hitters Laura Fahs and Jalissa Linz. Junior Emma Saxton is a prime candidate for the setter spot.
ASCENDING >> Red Lion
Third-team all-district setter Brooke Daugherty was the Lions' biggest departure from graduation. Coach Heather Shoemaker's squad returns Lindsey Blevins, another junior outside hitter in Lauren Enfield and senior setter Rachel Groff to take Daugherty's duties.
SHOES TO FILL >> Dallastown, Spring Grove
Shannon Werner's Dallastown squad returns junior libero Kat Forry but graduated all-district outside hitter Sophia Messner. A big loss, but the Wildcats have experience every where else on the court: hitters Toni Cappas, Tessa Myers, Paige Childs and setter Emma Mason.
Spring Grove also lost its district all-star outside hitter, Mia Bennett.
MATCH TO WATCH >> Central York vs. Red Lion: Sept. 24 at Central York, Oct. 20 at Red Lion.
Division II breakdown
DEFENDING CHAMPS >> West York, York Suburban
The Trojans graduated an all-state player in outside hitter Maura Brehl but return Jordan Landis and senior middle hitter Ciara Buckingham. Junior Georgia DuMars will enter her third season as the starting setter.
West York graduated a number of starters: all-district hitter and basketball standout Kari Lankford, libero Alexis Harbold, outside hitter Shaina Robinett and Dixie Miller. The Bulldogs still have senior outside hitter Amanda Sides.
SHOES TO FILL >> Susquehannock, Eastern York
There is plenty of change at Susquehannock. First, the new coach is Darla Pennewill. She takes over for Rob Marrison, whose teams reached the state semifinals and finals his first two years. Also gone is all-around standout Abigail Bentz, now a setter at the University of Maryland. Where will the Warriors go from here? Senior setter Kelly Franz and outside hitter Laura Savin are a start.
Eastern also is transitioning from a coaching change while losing its top player to graduation. Coach Jen Reichard is out. Bill Hahn is in. Reichard's daughter, Lauren, is now playing at Georgia Southern after an all-state senior season. Setter Lauryn Snyder also graduated.
MATCH TO WATCH >> Susquehannock vs. York Suburban: Sept. 10 at Suburban, Oct. 6 at Susquehannock.
Division III breakdown
DEFENDING CHAMP >> Delone Catholic
The Squirettes own the last three league tournaments titles. Along with Senft and Laughman, coach Jason Leppo's squad returns hitter Lilly Singleton.
ASCENDING >> Bermudian Springs, York County Tech
The Eagles bring back Whitcomb and setter Gabrielle Emeigh. The seniors are a good start for a team that will plug holes elsewhere with junior Jenna Rohrhbaugh, who can play setter or either hitting spots. Coach Mike Beachy expects senior Miki Seifert to step in at libero and junior Alaina Murren to take over the opposite hitter spot. Senior Celia Caldwell provides another middle blocker.
After a .500 season, but 4-10 run in the division, York County Tech returns five starters — including three-year starter Krista Rupert at outside hitter. YAIAA track and field high jump champion Kirstyn Evans is a middle blocker.
SHOES TO FILL >> York Catholic
After an 11-7 season, the Fighting Irish graduated setter Natalie Stewart and outside hitter Meredith Beecher. Both were all-district selections in Class A.
MATCH TO WATCH >> Bermudian Springs vs. Delone Catholic: Sept. 15 at Bermudian, Oct. 8 at Delone.