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JOHNSONBURG â€“ Johnsonburg volleyball brings a senior-laden group into the 2011 season, a group which experienced reaching the District 9 Final Four last season.
â€śThings are going well, theyâ€™re a coachable bunch,â€ť Johnsonburg coach Bill Shuey said. â€śTheyâ€™re eager to learn and get better at their skills. I think weâ€™re going to surprise some people this year.â€ť
The Ramettes won on the road in playoff matchups against Cranberry and A-C Valley last season to reach the Final Four. Johnsonburg won one of the three matches last season as the Ramettes took on Clarion, Elk County Catholic and Oswayo Valley.
â€śI donâ€™t know if weâ€™ll make the Final Four, we hope to, but one thingâ€™s for sure,â€ť Shuey said. â€śThe girls had that experience last year and you can see they are excited and are showing some very good leadership skills knowing that possibility exists again this year.â€ť
Shuey said a strong point of the team entering this season is their chemistry and their willingness to learn.
â€śI think theyâ€™re a really close-knit group,â€ť Shuey said. â€śChemistry should be a good foundation to build on. We do have some very skilled players as far as passing and serving. I think weâ€™ll be competitive.â€ť
Johnsonburg has five seniors on this seasonâ€™s roster which are Brianna Fabris, Katie Galsick, Kiana Myers, Kiesha Dornish and Sarah Bevacqua. Shuey said the leadership provided by the seniors will be important.
â€śItâ€™s very important especially when they had that taste of success last year as we made our run toward the Final Four,â€ť Shuey said. â€śThey know what it means and what it took to get there.â€ť
With improvements, Shuey wants the volleyball players to improve on their entire skill sets.
â€śJust continue to improve on the skills which allow you to be competitive,â€ť Shuey said. â€śBe able to read, anticipate and pass the ball and move without the ball, all those things.â€ť
As the season begins, Shuey is looking for the players to get better as matches accrue.
â€śI think itâ€™s important for us to see improvement game after game after game,â€ť Shuey said. â€śThey havenâ€™t been bored with what weâ€™ve been doing. They still have the same enthusiasm as the first night of practice. They are starting to see improvement in their game.â€ť
Johnsonburg opens the season with the Union Tournament on Saturday.
The varsity team roster consists of: Emilee DeMay, Elena Solorio. Allyson Wheeler, Samantha Bevacqua, Sarah Bevacqua, Brianna Fabris, Kiesha Dornish, Lisa Feronti, Kiana Myers, Chelsea Benson, Brittany Watts, Katie Galsick and Lydia Hefright.