NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

GLOUCESTER CITY HIGH SCHOOL Class of 1961 50TH YEAR Reunion Sept. 24

2011 Women’s Volleyball

Penn State Nittany Lions
Key Players: Micha Hancock (Freshman, Setter), Ariel Scott (Sophomore, Outside Hitter), Katie Kabbes (Senior, Outside Hitter), Kristin Carpenter (Junior, Setter), Deja McClendon (Senior, Outside Hitter).

Notes: The Nittany Lions are going for their fifth consecutive national championship. If they are to win it this season, they’ll do so with a young bunch. Counting redshirts, Penn State will bring seven freshman to the floor in 2011.

USC Trojans
Key Players: Kendall Bateman (Senior, Setter), Alex Jupiter (Senior, Outside Hitter), Sara Shaw (Sophomore, Outside Hitter), Lauren Williams (Senior, Middle Blocker), Katie Fuller (Junior Outside Hitter).

Notes: Reaching the NCAA semifinals and finishing third in the Conference last season, the Trojans return virtually intact, with five starters and top libero back for 2011.

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Key Players: Brooke Delano (Senior, Middle Blocker), Hanna Werth (Junior, Outside Hitter), Jordan Wilberger (Senior, Middle Blocker), Allison McNeal (Junior, Middle Blocker), Shelby Winklemann (Freshman Defensive Specialist).

Notes: Entering their first Big Ten season in 2011, the Huskers will return two AVCA All-Americans. However, they’ll also bring five freshmen to the court.


Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears
Key Players: Cassie Haag (Junior, Middle Hitter), Megan Carlson (Senior, Outside Hitter), Kayla Koenecke (Sophomore, Outside Hitter), Amanda Konetchy (Sophomore, Setter), Kara Piosky (Junior, Outside Hitter).

Notes: In Division II, it’s Concordia who has the dynasty. Like the Nittany Lions, the Golden Bears also have won the past four national championships. However, unlike their Division I counterparts, Concordia brings back most of its championship squad.

Tampa Spartans
Key Players: Danielle Selkridge (Junior, Middle Hitter), Jessica Yingling (Junior, Outside Hitter), Julie Howlett (Senior, Libero), Eva Dupay (Senior, Outside Hitter), Camille Hanks (Senior, Middle Hitter).

Notes: The 2006 national champions have now been represented in 203 consecutive polls, marking the nation’s second longest active streak (Central Missouri). Head coach Chris Catanach’s squad is no stranger to the top of the polls, spending a total of 23 weeks at No. 1.

Central Missouri Mules
Key Players:Taylor Krejeci (Senior, Defensive Specialist), Paula Harris (Senior, Middle Hitter), Bradye Peniston (Junior, Middle Hitter), Kelsey Ort (Senior, Defensive Specialist), Hillary McCormick (Junior, Middle Hitter).

Notes: The Jennies were the unanimous choice to win a third consecutive league title with six starters returning from the 2010 squad that advanced to the NCAA DII semifinals.


Calvin Knights
Key Players: Rebecca Kamp (Senior, Middle Blocker), Renee DeHaan (Junior, Middle Blocker), Megan Rietema (Sophomore, Setter), Lizzie Kamp (Junior, Middle Blocker), Erin VanderPlas (Junior, Outside Hitter).

Notes: During its march through the DIII tournament, Calvin knocked off then No. 2 Wittenberg No. 3 Juniata College and top-ranked Emory. All but two members of that championship team return this year.

Emory Eagles
Key Players: Breanah Bourque (Junior, Middle Hitter), Molly Landers (Sophomore, Defensive Specialist), Jessica McAlvany (Senior, Outside Hitter), Alena Ransom (Junior, Outside Hitter), Natalie Schonefeld (Senior, Setter).

Notes: Emory spent most of last season ranked No. 1 in the nation. Not only does a good chunk of that squad return, but its freshmen class is being touted as one of the best in the nation, as well.

Wittenberg Tigers
Key Players: Hallie Donathan (Junior, Setter), Katie Sumner (Senior, Middle Hitter), Miranda Sagle (Senior, Middle Hitter), Kimmie Dyer (Senior, Outside Hitter), Christine Simpson (Senior, Outside Hitter).

Notes: Rarely does an NCAA Division III volleyball team start a season with more seniors on its roster than freshmen. But that's the enviable position that Wittenberg Head Coach Paco Labrador finds himself in. Wittenberg heads into the 2011 season with just one graduation loss, but it's a big one in All-American setter Amy Cox, who dished out 1,025 assists in 2010.

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