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2018 high school girls volleyball

By: Warren Mayes


St. Joseph’s Academy coach Katie Richardson has four starters back from last year’s Class 4 state championship team.

The Angels went 32-3 and won Metro Women’s Athletic Association title en route to defeating Ozark 25-20, 25-13 to win Class 4 state championship.

It was the ninth state volleyball championship for the program and the Angels’ first state title since 2010. Richardson has won a state title both as an Angel player and as the head coach.

“We all know what we are working for here and this team is focused on the goal, but we are having a lot of fun doing it,” Richardson said.

Lafayette had its run of six consecutive state crowns ended with a loss in the quarterfinals to St. Joseph’s Academy.

Lancers coach Zach Young has just two starters returning this fall.

Young is optimistic.

“We are very young, but think we’ve got a lot of talent and a team full of hard workers and leaders that will strive to improve every day,” Young said.

Susan Anderson is entering second year as head coach at Parkway West. The Longhorns won a district championship last fall and have three starters back for this season.

Tom Schaefer begins his 19th season at Parkway Central. He has seven starters returning for the Colts.

There are new district assignments this year for all the teams.

The suburban public high schools have new conference alignments this season. Gone are the old Suburban West, Suburban Central and Suburban XII designations. In are colors as names for the new conferences.

There are two new coaches this fall.

Tammy Becker is the new head coach at Marquette. Becker started coaching at Marquette in 2006. She coached the freshman team for four years and then stepped out while her daughter played. She returned as junior varsity coach in 2014. She also has coached a club team for Rockwood Thunder for the last 16 years. Nine of her club teams have earned a bid to play in the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships.

Bryndyn Crutcher takes over at Westminster Christian Academy.

Here is a look at the teams that responded to requests for information.

LAFAYETTE LANCERS
2017 record: 35-3. Went 9-0 to win Suburban West Conference. Defeated Eureka 25-17, 25-12 in Class 4 District 3 championship match. Lost 25-21, 25-17 in quarterfinals to eventual state champion St. Joseph’s Academy.
Coach: Zach Young, entering his seventh year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Sue Tillery, Steve Burkard, Kim Aschoff, Chris Toomey and Abbey Meier
Returning number of starters: 2 returning starters
Players team to watch this fall: Senior OH Staciana Stock, senior OH/DS Natalie Lenoard, senior S/DS Ava Mitchell, junior S Shannon McLain, junior MB Allison Beaton and junior OPP Allison Sink
Newcomers expected to contribute: Senior MB/OPP Lauren Willis, junior OH Fiona Lazzaretti, junior OH Brooke Borgmeyer, junior DS Maggie Rogan, sophomore MB Morgan Isenberg, sophomore S Jenny Nguyen and sophomore DS Lexi Basler
Captains: Natalie Lenoard, Ava Mitchell, Staciana Stock and Lauren Willis
Players committed to college: None
Team strengths: Team chemistry.
Goals: To have constant improvement throughout the season and be playing our best volleyball in October.
Yellow Pool Conference teams: Eureka, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway West and Webster Groves
Favorites to win the conference: Marquette and Eureka
Class 4 District 3 teams: Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway South and Parkway West
Final Thought: “We are extremely excited about the potential of our team this year,” Young said. “We are very young, but think we’ve got a lot of talent and a team full of hard workers and leaders that will strive to improve every day.”

MARQUETTE MUSTANGS
2017 record: 19-12-3. Went 5-4 to finish tied for fifth place in Suburban West Conference. Lost 25-21, 19-25 and 25-23 to Parkway Central in Class 4 District 6 semifinal match.
Coach: Tammy Becker, entering first year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Felicia Durst and Kacey McBride
Returning number of starters: 4
Players to watch this fall: Senior OH Colleen Flynn, senior setter Kenzie Meador, sophomore MB Jenna Gruender. Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman middle Madilyn Sell.
Captains: Kenzie Meador and Colleen Flynn
Players committed to college: None
Team strengths: Solid defense and a bigger block than prior seasons.
Goals: Run a solid offense, play good defense and be the best that we can be. In it to win it.
Yellow Pool Conference teams: Eureka, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway West and Webster Groves
Favorites to win the conference: Lafayette is always a force to be reckoned with and Parkway West looked good over summer, too.
Class 4 District 3 teams: Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway South, Parkway West.
Final thought: “I am very excited about this group of athletes, especially my seniors,” Becker said. “They have really stepped up and provided the leadership to the underclassman. They are coming in the gym with the right attitude, they are working hard and pushing one another, and excited about taking our game to the next level. With that determination and work ethic, we will do great things.”

PARKWAY CENTRAL COLTS 
2017 record: 17-15-2. Went 4-0 to win Suburban Central Conference National Division. Lost 25-23, 25-27, 25-19 to Parkway West in Class 4 District 6 championship match.
Coach: Tom Schaefer, entering 19th year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Nathan Biggs, Sue Keller and Danielle Maul
Returning number of starters: 7
Players to watch this fall: Senior setter Rylee Schertzer, senior middle blockers Julia Hendricks and Mackenzie Duvall, senior outside hitter Cathryne Sheridan, junior outside hitter Lana Cristiani, junior libero Katelyn Matzdorf and junior setter Jill Stolte
Newcomers expected to contribute: Sophomore opposite Deja Campbell, sophomore defensive specialist Madison Katz and freshman opposite Mercedes Browder
Captains: Senior captain Rylee Schertzer and junior assistant captains Lana Cristiani and Katelyn Matzdorf
Players committed to college: Mackenzie Duvall is committed to going to Eastern Illinois University.
Team strengths: Will be a very balanced team hopefully with great ball control. The experience we have returning means all of our girls know our system and work very well together.
Goals: Hope to consistently challenge other teams by attacking every ball we send across the net. The team is not going to overpower most teams, so we hope to keep constant pressure on the other teams and play the points on our terms as much as possible.
Red Pool Conference teams: Ladue, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway South, Mehlville and Summit
Favorites to win the conference: With the new conference set up, every conference is very balanced and could be won by any team. I think it is pretty unlikely that anyone will go undefeated. Mehlville, Summit and Northwest all have been very strong over the past couple of seasons and could be the front-runners, but will have lots of teams challenging them for the title.
Class 4 District 3 teams: Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway South and Parkway West
Final thought: “We are very excited about the season,” Schaefer said. “We have 7 returning starters that will bring a lot of experience to our team. Practices so far have been very competitive due to how deep we are as a team. We enjoy having a challenging schedule and look forward to growing together as a team.”

PARKWAY WEST LONGHORNS
2017 record: 17-14-3. Went 3-1 to finish second in Suburban Central Conference National Division. Defeated Parkway Central 23-25, 27-25, 25-19 in Class 4 District 6 championship match. Lost 25-14, 27-25 in sectional to Timberland.
Coach: Susan Anderson, entering second year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Molly Dean, Kristen Judd, Rob Monroe and Jordan Neisler
Returning number of starters: 3
Players to watch this fall: Senior Rebecca Reinecke, senior Tess Allgeyer, sophomore Anna Pavlisin and sophomore Carly Kuehl
Newcomers expected to contribute: Sophomore Maddy Truka and senior Aniela Nozka
Captains: To be determined.
Players committed to college: None
Team strengths: Will be strong defensively. Have girls that play with no fear or hesitation and hope that contributes to a strong defense.
Goals: Have a very different dynamic of players this year so our goal is to play and maintain our game throughout the season and against whoever our competition may be.
Yellow Pool Conference teams: Eureka, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway West and Webster Groves
Favorites to win the conference: This conference is stacked with good teams and tradition so I do not know. Every team changes every year its probably anyone’s to win.
Class 4 District 3 teams: Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway South and Parkway West
Final thought: I am ready for this season to start so our players can see their strengths and all the positives they bring to our court. Our players are all very competitive and fight in every situation, so I am excited to see that come out in our games lead us to success.

ST. JOSEPH’S ACADEMY ANGELS
2017 record: 32-3. Went 5-0 to win Metro Women’s Athletic Association title. Defeated Nerinx Hall 25-16, 25-23 in Class 4 District 4 championship match. Defeated Ozark 25-20, 25-13 to win Class 4 state championship.
Coach: Katie Richardson, entering fourth year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Jacqui Zancanata and Jordan Berry
Returning number of starters: 4
Players to watch this fall: Libero Tara Beilsmith, OH Johni Bunkers, MB Amanda Meyer, MB Bella Lorenz and MB Hanna Dressing
Newcomers expected to contribute: CC Chipley, Gabbie Noonan, Lana Gerard and Brooke Plessner
Captains: Not named.
Players committed to college: Tara Beilsmith to Southeast Missouri State.
Team strengths: Have strong chemistry and a desire to work hard for our goals. With Beilsmith leading the defense, we will be picking up some incredible balls.
Goals: The goal at St. Joseph’s Academy is always the same.
MWAA teams: Cor Jesu, Incarnate Word Academy, Nerinx Hall, St. Joseph’s Academy, Ursuline and Visitation
Class 4 District 4 teams: Gateway, Ladue, Nerinx Hall, Ritenour, St. Joseph’s Academy, Ursuline Academy, Webster Groves.
Final thought: “We all know what we are working for here and this team is focused on the goal, but we are having a lot of fun doing it,” Richardson said. “We have a lot of hilarious personalities on the court, so practice and summer workouts have been tough but fun. Every day they come in and get better. That will continue.”

WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY WILDCATS
2017 record: 9-16-3. Went 3-2 to finish third in Metro League. Lost 25-21, 25-21 to Francis Howell North in Class 4 District 6 opening match.
Coach: Bryndyn Crutcher, Entering first year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Bailei Jonson and Kelsey Willey
Returning number of starters: 5
Players to watch this fall: Senior Libero Emma Gustafson, senior OH Sarah Elizabeth Williams, junior middle hitters Heidi Hightower and Izzy Cunningham and junior right side hitter Evie Cunningham
Newcomers expected to contribute: Junior OH Allison Hardin; junior Right side hitter Grace Skiljan, junior defensive specialists Hayley Adair, Avery Burkemper, and Kate Johnson; junior setter Bricyn Johnson and sophomore setter Kate Orrick
Captains: To be named.
Players committed to college: None
Team strengths: Team’s greatest strength is the bond the girls have formed with each other on and off the court. They trust each other and work hard to make each other better. We will be a strong defensive team with a lot of height at the net and very quick defensive players in the back row.
Goals: The team goal is to continue to get better each week, to compete well in our conference and in districts, but most importantly to use our gifts and talents to honor and glorify God.
Metro League teams: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia, Villa Duchesne and Westminster Christian Academy
Favorites to win the conference: Lutheran South and Westminster Christian
Class 3 District 5 teams: Clayton, John Burroughs, MICDS, University City, Villa Duchesne, Visitation Academy and Westminster Christian Academy
Final thought: “I am most excited about the exceptional young women I am blessed to work with,” Crutcher said. “They are a very skilled, volleyball group, but most importantly they really seem to care about each other and have great enthusiasm for the upcoming season. I have every reason to believe they will continue to grow as a team and as volleyball players, and I fully expect them to be a team to watch this season.”

WHITFIELD WARRIORS
2017 record: 10-17-1. Defeated Brentwood 25-12, 25-16 to win Class 2 District 6 championship. Lost 25-17, 21-25, 25-15 to Fatima in sectional.
Coach: Maureen Dube, entering third year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Aly Ytterberg, Rob Kampen and Olivia Burke
Returning number of starters: 2
Players to watch this fall: Junior middle blocker/outside hitter Anya Mehta
Newcomers expected to contribute: With only returning two starters there are many opportunities for players to step up to fill a role. I am looking forward to my players rising to this challenge.
Captains: Anya Mehta and junior L/DS Tyler Harris.
Players committed to college: None
Team strengths: Looking forward to the strength and versatility of our offense as well as the work ethic and perseverance of our defense.
Goals: Have a large junior class this year. As a coaching staff, we look forward to their development of skill and growing confidence to not only compete this season but set the tone now for these next two seasons. As a team, we are striving to compete at a consistent level of execution as well as defend our District title.
Conference: Independent.
Final thought: “I am excited to start this season off strong and work towards defending our district title,” Dube said. “The team is comprised of a great group of athletes who have already shown in practice their willingness to rise to challenges and push each other to reach their highest skill level. We are looking forward to kicking off our season at the Visitation Academy Invitational.”

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