DuBOIS — After losing nine seniors, who occupied most of the playing time in 2019, the DuBois Central Catholic volleyball team will have a much different look when it takes the court this season.
Those nine seniors were led by multi-year starters Maia Cogley, Shayleigh Gulvas, Jordy Kosko and Martina Swalligan, along with Juliana Stine, Bella Mangiantini, Gabby Delzangle, Allie Pittsley and Hannah Holdren.
“All of them played a role in our success last year (first playoff win in 15 years),” head coach Ted Fitzer said. “They set a standard that the younger girls are working towards and I am pleased with the progress that everyone is making.”
After losing the large senior class, the Lady Cardinals return just a pair of letter winners in senior Erin Maloney and junior Morgan Tyler, as Fitzer expects the duo to be team leaders this season.
Maloney is the lone senior on the roster this season, as Tyler is part of a five-player senior class along with Savanah Morelli, Maddy Hoyt, Sophia Ginther and Abby Suplizio.
Fitzer noted back in July when workouts were able to begin, he was unsure if they would make it all the way to September for the start of the season.
“I’m excited that the girls are going to get to play volleyball this fall and the girls are excited too as we have 30 girls between JV and Varsity,” Fitzer said. “I’m still hoping that parents will be allowed to come to games in the near future.”
While many teams across District 9 in every sport had to alter a large portion of their schedules due to the creating of the Intermediate Unit 9 bubble for the northern half of the district, Fitzer noted the bubble did not have a large impact on his team.
“The IU-9 bubble didn’t affect us much as we lost 4 games but we were able to pick up 2 more games against other opponents giving us 16 games which I’m happy about,” Fitzer said.
When it comes to keys for the season, the head coach stressed the ball control will be important, as the team must get the ball to their setters so they can run the offense effectively.
Defensively, Fitzer is hoping his team’s size at the net will lead to plenty of blocks and he will look for his team to defend off of their blocks.
Fitzer noted he expects Maloney and sophomore Faith Jacob to be the team’s starting setters this season, while freshman Lydia Morgan and Melia Mitskavich.
At middle hitter will be Tyler and Ginther, as Fitzer noted freshman Kayley Risser and sophomore Megan Pittsley are working hard to earn time at the position as well.
Morelli and Hoyt are battling for starting time at outside hitter along with freshman Jessy Frank.
Splitting time on the back row as defensive specialists will be sophomore Alyssa Johnston and Sophie Mangiantini as well as Suplizio.
Fitzer also noted he is helped out by assistant coaches Karrie Miller and Julie Fitzer.
The Cardinals’ head coach stressed his main goal for his team is to improve every day throughout the season.
“If the girls continue to get better and work on their teamwork, I believe we can be a very competitive team this year,” Fitzer said.
DuBois Central Catholic gets its season underway Monday as it hosts Union.
Seniors: Erin Maloney. Juniors: Morgan Tyler, Savanah Morelli, Maddy Hoyt, Sophia Ginther, Abby Suplizio. Sophomores: Faith Jacob, Alyssa Johnston, Megan Pittsley, Sophie Mangiantini. Freshmen: Lydia Morgan, Kayley Risser, Jessy Frank, Melia Mitskavich.