2008 York College Volleyball Season Preview

    After a stellar 2007 season, the York College volleyball squad ended the season wanting more. A school-record 30 wins and three in-season tournament championships were great but the Spartans fell short of what they really wanted, a Capital Athletic Conference championship.
    Head coach Sue DuMars believes this year’s edition of the Spartans have an outstanding opportunity in front of them. York welcomes back a strong core of returners while a stellar recruiting class has positioned the green and white for a run at a conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
    “I really like this team,” says DuMars. “With the number of quality returners and the incoming recruiting class, I feel we have the talent to have another great season.”
    The Spartan returners are paced by junior Casi Brough and sophomores Alishia Waltermyer and Heather Toth.
    Brough has worked very hard in the off-season as she looks to build on a solid first two years in the green and white. Brough finished the season hitting .187 last year as she accumulated 270 kills while she received serve at 91%. Brough made great strides in the spring season with her vertical and power. She will have the chance to be a major point scorer for the green and white in 2008.
    “Casi really improved herself in the spring,” says DuMars. “She has the chance to be a huge part of what we hope to accomplish in 2008.”
    Waltermyer and Toth give York a legitimate one-two punch in the middle. Waltermyer made a big splash as a freshman for York as she hit .322 with 415 kills in 36 matches. She led the Spartans with 80 total blocks for an average of 0.63 per game. Waltermyer also had 29 service aces and a serve percentage of 90.3%. Waltermyer’s 488.5 points placed her second on the squad in 2007.
    “Alishia is a talented player that continues to grow and improve,” says DuMars. “She will be a key to our success on both offense and defense. I expect her to have a very good sophomore year.”
    Toth finished her freshman year playing in all 127 games as she hit .162 with 176 kills and a team-high 18 solo blocks. She is an aggressive player that is also highly competitive and motivated.
    “Heather had a good freshman year and I fully expect her to be even better in 2008,” says DuMars. “If Heather comes into the fall camp in competitive form, I think her impact will be even greater. The combination of Alishia and Heather gives us a great presence at the net.”
    DuMars will also look to juniors Jess Smith, Amanda Clemens, and Jaclyn Davis for production in the upcoming campaign.
    Smith returns for her junior year after missing 2007 due to a knee injury that put her on the shelf in late 2006. Her return will key a defense that lost a pair of stalwarts in departed seniors Laura Krajewski and Lindsay Crider. As a freshman, Smith averaged 3.12 digs per game while that number jumped to 3.66 in 77 games as a sophomore before the injury ended her season.
    “Having Jess return is a big boost defensively,” says DuMars. “She is a vocal player that does a good job of passing and reading the opponent’s offense.”
    Clemens and Davis are a pair of juniors that will battle for time on the outside. Clemens was hampered by injuries last season as she played in just 37 games during the year. She finished the campaign hitting .159 with 1.78 kills per game. Clemens was strong in service reception as she had just eight errors in 106 attempts, a mark of 92.5%. She also served the ball well with a 92.7% service average as she also notched 12 aces.
    Davis played in 49 games last year as she hit .111 with 1.94 kills per game. She also averaged 0.47 blocks per game.
    Clemens and Davis each finished the campaign averaging 2.26 points per game.
    “If Amanda can stay healthy this season, she has the ability to be a contributor,” says DuMars. “Jaclyn is another player that has a chance to contribute. She has a good work ethic and is also very competitive.”
    Junior Jess Diaczun and sophomores Sarah Jackson and Theresa Heintz are three other Spartans that will have the opportunity to break into the lineup in 2008.
    Diaczun has taken more of a leadership role as she battles for time as a right-side hitter. Jackson has been transitioning into a back row role as DuMars looks to utilize her athleticism and strong passing skills. Heintz made tremendous strides during her freshman year and will compete for time as an outside hitter as a sophomore.
    “I really like our core of returners,” says DuMars. “They got to experience success last year but the end of the year also left them wanting more. That edge should help us throughout this year.”
    DuMars’ recruiting class has the potential to be one of the best in her 13 seasons at the helm of the Spartans.
    The recruiting class includes Alysse Beshore, Amanda Rouillard, Heather Bucher, and Sierra Dell. Beshore is a 5-9 middle hitter from Northeastern High School. She is a solid athlete with the ability to play in the middle or outside. She has a great vertical and a fast arm swing. Beshore could have the ability to contribute early on in the season. Rouillard is a setter who is transferring from Howard C.C. She has great hands and experience in running a quick offense. Bucher is another setter as she comes to York from Carlisle High School. She was a two-time Mid-Penn all-conference first team while she was also an all-district selection for the Herd. Dell is one of Boblits’ teammates from Susquehannock and brings her 5-11 frame to the right side for York. She has the versatility to play on the right side or slide into the middle if needed. Dell is a great blocker with soft hands and a good knowledge of the game.
    Freshmen Jana Arentz from Hanover High School, Cortni Rentzel from Northeastern High School, and Julie Coombs from Leonardstown High School round out DuMars’ 2008 recruiting class.
    “Much like our group of returners, I am very excited about the potential of our newcomers,” says DuMars. “This class has the potential to be one of the best we have had and if we can get some contributions from these players, we have a chance to be a very strong squad.” 
    The Spartans open the season at home on Aug. 30. York will participate in four in-season tournaments including the Muhlenberg Buttermaker Classic, the Lebanon Valley Dutchmen Tournament, the Spartan Best Western Invitational, and the Susquehanna University Hampton Inn Crusader Classic.
    “I am looking forward to getting the team on the floor and getting started,” says DuMars. “This could be a special season for us.”