STRATTANVILLE — With 27 players on the roster, head coach Kelly Dungan has a lot of flexibility when it comes to this year’s version of the Clarion-Limestone Lady Lions volleyball team. Dungan is hopeful that flexibility will turn into a successful season.
“It is kind of a blessing to have so many girls come out for the team,” said Dungan, whose team was 5-9 last year. “It gives us a lot of depth and options which will be a big help.”
The Lady Lions, who open the year at Forest Area Friday in Tionesta, return several players who saw significant time last year.
“We have four of six starters back along with several other girls who saw time on the floor last season,” said Dungan. “We have six returning seniors who can play a variety of positions on the floor. We also have a lot of leadership which I think is going to help.”
When asked if the Covid pandemic restrictions have impacted her team much, Dungan replied, “These girls have handled everything really well. I think they are all just happy to have the opportunity to play and they want to do everything they can to continue to play. They’ve been working all summer and we’ve had some really good turnouts for all of our practices.”
As far as what the season holds with the possibility of no fans in attendance, Dungan said, “We’ve come up with the mantra that we have to play for ourselves. Especially if we go out and play without fans. We have to play for the love of the game because at this point we don’t know if there will be playoffs or not.”
As far as the strengths of her team heading into the new season, Dungan replied, “Our communication has been pretty good. We started a club team which has really helped. These girls always support each other and they work really well together. We’re looking forward to the season and hopefully we won’t have any interruptions.”
Seniors: Lauren Jamison, Janelle Pezzuti, Carlley Hunter, Cassidy Makray, Summer McLaine, Emma Smith, Katie Harriman, Brooke Baughman.
Juniors: Abby Himes, Brooke Kessler, Tori Beichner, Kyle Mumford, Ruby Smith, Emily Jamison, Brinna Bailey, Kat Foster, Regan Husted.
Sophomores: Celia Shaffer, Sarah Bottaro, Kennedy Schwabenbauer, Bre Hannold, Karley Renninger, Kendall Dunn.
Freshmen: Maleah Smith, Mylie Clark, Abby Knapp, Zoey Ferguson.
11-at Forest Area, Tionesta
8-at Karns City
15-at North Clarion
26-at Venango Catholic
Matches begin with junior varsity at 6 p.m.