Serve, set, block, pass. Can you dig it?
The Cherry Hill High School East volleyball team is back in full swing and looking to surpass last year’s 13–6 record.
After six successful seasons and a 2005 Group IV State Championship under his belt, Coach Scott Mooney is back on the court ready to coach his team to victory.
The Cougars claimed the state title in 2005, a first in school history.
A group of seasoned seniors, as well as a few additional players with experience, should give the team the opportunity to make a run for the title this year, Mooney said.
“We should have a strong team this year. We have a core group of seniors that have varsity experience and four other seniors with club volleyball experience that will fit in nicely. Offensively, we have two of our top three hitters coming back this year and we have more height than last year, so we should be able to protect the net on defense,” Mooney said.
“I think we have a realistic shot at a conference championship.”
Some younger members of the team will have the opportunity to step up and show the opposition what they’ve got.
The Cougars lost a few key players last season to graduation, including four-year varsity letter-winner Fangel Tung and lead hitter Shaylin O’Connell.
“Fangel was our setter and we have spent the offseason trying to replace her. Nancy Brown, our junior setter, will have some big shoes to fill,” Mooney said.
“O’Connell’s offense will be missed, but we expect Kate Wrinn to handle the increased load on offense quite nicely.”
Mooney said he has high hopes for Wrinn, who had back surgery her junior year, but has been showing signs of improvement.
“Kate Wrinn made a huge jump during her junior season after back surgery and has carried that development through the club season. She should provide the bulk of our offense this year. I expect her hitting percentage to increase by around 25 percent,” Mooney said.
Jamie DiVito is also expected to contribute heavily on the defensive end, Mooney said.
“Jamie DiVito is our strongest returning player, already having earned All-Conference honors. She will anchor our defense with superior blocking and we expect a very efficient offensive performance from her this season,” Mooney said.
Mooney said he is anticipating a good season and record that reflects the team’s hard work.
“(Last year), our team was very skilled, but lacked the height needed to protect the net. This year, we should have a little more power,” Mooney said.
The team began its season with a match against district rival Cherry Hill High School West last week.