After a 27-win season, York College head volleyball coach Sue DuMars enters the 2011 campaign with high expectations. She returns four starters including all-regional selection Ashley Rineman and seniors Cortni Rentzel, Heather Bucher, and Julie Coombs. DuMars does need to replace starting middle hitters Alysse Beshore and Alishia Waltermyer who both earned All-CAC accolades in 2010.
"I am excited about the talent we have coming back," states DuMars. "Obviously, losing Alysse and Alishia has an impact upon us but I choose to look at it as an opportunity for other players to step up and make a contribution to the team."
Rineman, a junior, averaged 5.65 digs per game as the Spartans' starting libero. That average was almost a full dig more than any other player in the Capital Athletic Conference. Rineman received serve at over 92% for the season. She was also dangerous as a server as she accumulated 55 aces and served at over 88% for the year.
"Ashley is a fiercely competitive player that really gets all she can out of herself and her teammates. She is simply one of the best liberos in the region and I am excited to see how good she can be as a junior. Her ability in the back keeps us alive in longer points."
The senior core is strong and leadership shouldn't be a problem for the Spartans in 2011. Rentzel enters her third year as the starting setter for the Spartans. She started all 33 matches for the Green and White last year. Rentzel averaged 10.03 assists per game while she also averaged 2.68 digs and 0.21 aces per game. She served at 95.6% while she also chipped in with 0.45 kills per game.
"Cortni is a very hard worker that has continued to improve in each season," says DuMars. "She has the experience and leadership that should make our offense tough to stop. Cortni is also one of the top servers in the conference."
Bucher begins her final year in the Green and White as the heart and soul of the team. She is a three-year captain with a tremendous work ethic and the respect of the team and coaching staff. Bucher had a very good junior year as she hit .210 with 1.98 kills, 2.82 digs, and 0.33 aces per game. She tallied 313 points for the year, tops for all the returning players in 2011.
"Heather is a player that had stretches of dominate play last year. This year, we are looking for those stretches to be longer and a little more consistent. She is a strong player that also has great hands. Heather is a great weapon on second sets for our offense," states DuMars.
Coombs is one of the most underrated players in the Capital Athletic Conference. The senior outside hitter hit .153 with 2.17 kills and 2.87 digs per game. She received service at 93.3% and served at 94.8% for the year. Coombs accumulated 294.5 total points last year and should have a chance to post even better numbers this fall.
"Julie is one of the most consistent players on the team," says DuMars. "She is not only a tremendous athlete but also gives us great effort every time out on the floor. It is important for us to have her on the floor all the time."
Mastroieni enters her junior year healthy after being limited to 14 matches last fall. She is a player that can really contribute from the outside. Mastroieni had a very strong spring campaign and the coaches are excited to see her on the floor at full strength.
"Dani could be a factor for us this year," says DuMars. "She has battled injuries her first two years but she has come such a long way as a player. I am excited to see how she can perform when fully healthy."
Arentz begins her fourth year in the Green and White as a very valuable back row performer for the Spartans. She averaged 2.16 digs per game while she received serve at 91.4% last year. Arentz is a tough, hard-nosed player that is also a great leader for the Spartans.
"Jana is such a tremendous competitor and leader," states DuMars. "She is very steady in the back row which helps make our defense strong and consistent."
Moyer had a solid freshman year as she played in 18 matches, hitting .184 with 2.21 kills per game. She tallied 222.5 points while she served at 94.6%. Moyer has a great deal of ability and really just scratched the surface of her talent as a freshman.
"Jess has the ability to be an impact player for us this year," states DuMars. "She has worked on rounding out her game and had a good spring season. Jess needs to work on being more consistent and with that consistency will come good production for us."
Patterson begins her junior year looking to earn a starting spot after playing a reserve role behind Beshore and Waltermyer last year after starting as a freshman. She is athletic and has the ability to blossom with extended playing time.
"It's all in Melissa's hands right now," says DuMars. "We need her to step up and fill a role in the middle. I am confident that she has the ability to be a good player for us now it's just a matter of her going out and meeting the opportunity."
DuMars also returns Kristin Sargente to the squad in 2011. She will have a chance to break into the Spartan rotation during the year.
DuMars welcomes in five newcomers that should have the chance to make an impact on the Spartan squad this fall. Middle hitter Katie Huston, middle hitter Noelle Bricker, outside hitter Jackie Schwarm, setter Gabi Klebanow, and outside hitter Kristin Martinak come to the York program with high expectations. Huston is an experienced middle that comes from a very good high school program and a very strong club program. Bricker is a local product from Dallastown High School. She is a solid all around player that also comes from the Yorktowne Club program, a hotbed of recruiting for the Spartans. She is very quick and athletic but needs to adjust to a faster tempo on offense. Schwarm is a hitter with a fast swing and solid passing skills. She should fit into the Spartans' style of play pretty easily. Klebanow provides solid depth as a setter while Martinak will get the chance to develop on the outside for York.
DuMars is excited about the possibility of what the season holds.
"I strongly believe that we have the potential to be as a good as last year if not a little better. We were one set away from being in the CAC Championship match last year and the talent we have coming back should enable us to be right in the mix again. The leadership on this team is outstanding and that will help us as we deal with any adversity we will face during the year."
The Spartans open the season with a trip to Messiah on September 1 followed by a tri-match on September 3 in the home opener. The Green and White will have eight home dates including their York College Spartan Invitational on September 23 and 24.