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Brentwood volleyballs looks back on season

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randy jarosz | for trib total media
Brentwood senior RS/S Christine Gerstel (26)
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Brentwood junior S Taryn Sherry (22)
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Brrentwood senior L Amanda Henning (9)
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Brentwood senior volleyball players.

The Brentwood girls’ volleyball team ended up in fifth place in Section 2-A this season.

The Lady Spartans posted a 2-8 section record, to finish behind defending WPIAL Class A champion Bishop Canevin (10-0), Serra Catholic (8-2), Carlynton (6-4) and Vincentian (3-7).

“Our record does not reflect the character, effort, nor our talent,” Caitlin Grattan, Brentwood’s head coach, said. “So many of our matches this past season were dangerously close and could have went either way. Unfortunately, they didn’t going our way too many times.

“I think we grew tremendously as a team. We began to figure out how to mentally approach a big game, how to finish a tight game, and how to rise to the level of a competitor.”

There were seven seniors on this year’s team, led by Amanda Henning, a libero, and Allison Mrkonja, a middle hitter. Both were third-team all-section selections.

Their senior classmates consisted of Kaitlyn McNamara, an outside hitter; Sydney Luther, a defensive specialist; Christine Gerstel, a right-side hitter/setter; plus defensive specialists Jenel Faust and Miranda Klein, who sat out the season because of an injury.

“Our seniors helped pave the way for us by displaying excellent leadership and tremendous effort,” Grattan said. “They set the bar for expectations of the Brentwood volleyball program.”

Alicia Folina, a junior libero, also was chosen as a third-team all-section player.

Folino, setter Taryn Sherry and outside hitter Alexis Wagner were the only junior members of this year’s squad.

“The three juniors are serious competitors,” Grattan said. “All three of them were very frustrated this year and constantly questioning what they could do to help the team or manufacture more wins, which tells me that they will take their frustrations from this year and channel them into determination next year.

“Alecia became a presence on the court for us this year as a libero. She is fearless and does everything she can to win a game.

“Taryn was nominated co-captain by her teammates because of her leadership ability. Being a senior next year will only make her thrive more with confidence on the court. She’s always working with her hitters to establish consistency and new play sets.

“And Alexis is a total gamer. She comes into every game with an attitude and I love it. She brings a fire to the court that we need.”

A strong sophomore class is expected to make a solid impact next season for the Lady Spartans.

Sophomore team members in 2014 consisted of varsity reserves Hannah Livingston (MH), Emma Betz (DS) and Molly Huffman (OH/DS); along with Bryanna Brown, Morgan Carr, Emily Kraeuter, Madison Pelkey and Lindsey Powell.

Jacqueline Drazdzinski, Morgan Dryburgh, Brittany Stewart and Marie Stofesky are top freshman prospects.

“The underclassmen are excited and ready to take on the challenge of varsity play next year,” Grattan said. “I think the girls, as well as I, just want next year’s season to start so we can begin implementing our new-found knowledge as soon as possible.”

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or [email protected].

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