The Oak Glen volleyball team has a goal just like any other year - win a state championship.
The Golden Bears have done that the past two seasons in the West Virginia Class AA ranks and seek the trifecta.
"We are looking forward to another exciting year," said veteran head coach Ethel Riser, who has never had a losing season in her 33 years as a coach. "The teams are working hard in practice every day to improve their skills. If everyone continues to put forth the effort, anything is possible."
Oak Glen’s Morgan Poling (11) hits the ball against the defensive efforts of Indian Creek’s Kiarra Kamarec during a match last year.
-- Fred Younce
Leading the way is senior Morgan Poling, a returning first-team all-state player who was also named to the all-tournament team as the state finals.
She is joined by classmates Vanessa Hissam, Jessica Hutton and Carissa Williams, all of whom lettered.
The juniors are letterwinner Jessica Stivason, along with Samantha Finkbeiner, Brianna Evans, Taylor Allison, Kayla Campos and Emmy Delekta, sophomores Madison Juszczak (letterwinner), Alex Arnott, Kami Koper, Toni Powell and Kenzie Rosenlieb and freshmen Hanna Clunk, Taylor McKay, Emma Smith, Cassidy Strum and Abby Wilson.
Oak Glen was 40-6 last season.
The Redskins were 21-4 a season ago, losing to New Philadelphia in the district final.
Head coach Crystal Hammack, 138-47 at the school, looks to take that next step this season.
"We are looking forward to our upcoming season," said Hammack. "Our senior class is strong this year with the underclassman helping to fill the holes. We have had a strong off-season and summer with a great group of hard working kids."
Leading the way is four-year starter at setter, 5-foot-9 Jessica Furda.
The Fairmont State University verbal commit was the OVAC Class 5A Player of the Year last year. She was all-OVAC, all-Buckeye 8 and District 5 first team the last two years.
She is joined by classmates Kiarra Kamarec, a 6-2 three-year letterwinner at middle, 5-5 outside hitter and two-year letterwinner Whitney Martin (all-OVAC and second team District 5 last year), 5-10 outside Alexis Fithen and 5-3 libero Mallorie Sullivan, both two-year letterwinners.
Also roaming the middle is 6-5 Bre Berryman (first-team District 5 in 2012, second team in 2011), 5-7 outside hitter Martina Marko, 5-4 defensive specialist Kaylee LaRue and 5-6 defensive specialist Brooke Spence. All are juniors.
Bethany Davis is a 5-8 sophomore outside hitter.
The Crusaders are coming off back-to-back OVAC Class 2A championships.
Central is led by seven seniors - Monica Rigaud (middle), Taylor Bednar (middle), Maddy Gulan (outside), Robyn Runkel (setter), Monica Fischer (outside), Kamy Belardine (libero/defensive specialist) and Logan Colabella (outside).
Joining them are juniors Megan Lloyd (setter/outside), Fran Capaldi (setter) and Ashlynne Daley (outside).
"We have seven returning letter winners with a very solid all-around team," said first-year head coach Sherri Barber. "Many of the girls have speciality positions but are very capable of playing any position. Our team goals are to qualify and win the OVAC's and to advance out of our sectionals.
"They are very talented group of girls who come every day with good work ethics and strive to improve individually and as a team. I look forward to coaching them this season and expect great things from these seven seniors and three juniors.
"They really are a pleasure to coach and just to be around."
The Wildcats are coming off an OVAC Class 5A title, the third for head coach Leah Snyder.
The first two came as a player in 2001 and 2004.
After losing five to graduation, Snyder is looking for the six seniors to lead the way.
Heading that list is outside hitter Katelyn Pollock, a three-year letterwinner.
She was all-OVAC the last two years, District 5 first-team in 2012 and second-team in 2011.
Snyder will also look toward setter Caitlin Brenstuhl, also a three-year letterwinner. She was all-OVAC last year.
The pair is joined by classmates Alexis Gill (middle), Maddie Williamson (middle/outside), Kalee Neal (libero/defensive specialist) and Jackie Wiedaman (setter/opposite).
Cassady Jarvis is the lone junior who will roam the middle. She is a two-year letterwinner.
The sophomores are Mackenzie Bererdinelli, Sarah Ross, Kayleigh Westbrook and Kim Wilson.
"The team has put in a lot of hard work in hopes of having a great season," said Snyder.
Head coach Lynn Meyer is in her third year and has a talented group.
Leading the way are seniors Mytia Barker (outside), Abby Taylor (setter/middle), Carmie Biasi (defensive specialist), Brittany Bodo (outside) and Amanda Roscoe (outside).
"We have set high goals for ourselves but all of those are attainable," said Meyer. "We definitely want to make the OVAC tournament, have a winning record and go deeper into the playoffs."
Thirty-one players dot the high school roster.
"That bodes well for the future of our program," said Meyer.
Taylor Young (setter/outside) leads the juniors, along with Izzie Biasi (setter/defense), Kayla Marker (defense), Annie Nehrbas (middle) and Justine Wickham (outside) and sophomores Lysaih Rice (middle) and Tenie Barker (outside).
The Lady Blue Dons enter the season as the defending OVAC Class 1A champions and return four starters - senior Amanda Paul (libero) and sophomores Chloe Conner (setter), Eva Boswer (middle) and Monica Bragg (middle).
"We have a tougher schedule this year but the girls have been practicing hard and work well together," said second-year head coach Jennifer Ewusiak. "We hope to keep the momentum of last season going."
Madonna also has seniors Emily Pietranton, Gianna Anile, Gabrielle Selletti and Emily Pollard, juniors Anne Magnone and Paydon Raymond and sophomores Dominique Brown, Gabriella Anile, Taylor Thompson, Maria Notni and Courtney Kaczmarek.
Third-year head coach Chelsey Fletcher is expecting some bigger and better things this year.
The Red Knights are coming off a successful season in which they finished 5-15, the most wins in school history.
"Although we graduated six key women, we gained great talent in seven freshmen," said Fletcher. "Our current seniors have impressively filled leadership roles while tirelessly working trhough our rigorous summer/offseason program."
Toronto has five seniors in Chelsea Anderson, Amber Fuller, Katie Spadafora, Emily Kosikowski and Mykia West. There are no juniors on the roster.
"Our sophomore class is comprised of key 'go-to' young women," said Fletcher. "They have a wealth of opportunity on the court and with our program culture."
The five sophomores are Emily Anderson, Miranda Robinson, Josey Jones, Olivia Kosikowski and Sydney Troski. The freshmen are Danielle Barrett, Serena Burkey, Seneca Fuller, Megan Lauris, Desiree Meadows, Delaney Meredith and Maddie Robbins.
"If each of these young women employ the work ethic and fundamentals we honed throughout the summer, success will be theirs," said Fletcher.
The Red Riders and head coach Carrie Magnone are looking forward to the season.
"These seniors have been working together for six years, so I am pretty confident that are going to do what's necessary to make good decisions and make the right plays," she said. "This is a good, close knit group that are friends on the court and off the court.
"They are pretty fired up for this season."
Leading the way is Kimberlyn Persina, a powerful middle hitter and blocker who has been a West Virginia Class AA special mention all-state selection the past two seasons.
She was also an all-OVAC performer.
Ontasia Petteway will play the right side and they are joined by classmates Samantha McCartney (setter), Michayla Dobosz (left), Selena Wolverton (left), Elizabeth Kush (middle), Morgan Goff (libero), Hannah Hinerman (left) and Claudia Diaz.
The juniors are Megan Longwell (setter) and Barbara Sulimanova.
"Our practices have been going very well," said Magnone. "We have put a lot of things in play and we'll see what the girls can do with it. We're pretty confident in this group."
Head coach Lori Lynn Jackson has something different on her hands - no seniors.
"We have a young, strong group of girls," said Jackson. "We are looking for our first winning season in four years."
Leading the way are four juniors - all returning starters - in Angela Staffileno (middle), Kourtney Leonard (outside), Emily Stuck (setter) and Isabella preston (outside).
Jackson also has sophomore Alexa Gerrard (middle) and freshmen Courtney Elliott (libero) and Adrianna Bailey (rightside).
Vying for playing time are juniors Krista D'Ulise Jentzen Kowcheck, sophomores Taylor Hair and Alivia Brown and freshmen Haily Boyce and Madison Marchetti.
Head coach Janelle Windsheimer has taken over the program from Shelby Luther and she inherits a club that finished 10-11 a year ago and lost four players to graduation.
A solid senior class will lead the way for the Lady Panthers and that includes starters Preslie Renforth, Nicolette Devore, Morgan Fedorko and Morgan Staten.
Also slated to be in the opening day lineup are junior Lexus Fedorko, Kierstyn Czuchran and sophomore libero Becky Zeroski.
The remainder of the varsity roster includes: senior Ashley Taylor and junior Amanda Barbarossa.
Battling for playing time are juniors Kylie Lovinski, Kala Petrella, Bailee Morrocco, sophomores Jamaya Christian, Adrienne Yanssens, Angel Emery and freshmen Jennifer Kruise, Kelsey Hilderbrand, Sydney Myers, Taylor Strauss, Abby Decesare, Allexis Spencer, Destiny Christian and Kayla Ankrom.
The Huskies have a new head coach as Sarah Wilden has taken over the helm and returns all but two players. Gone are Janese Eckley and Marissa Bennett.
"We have seven returning lettermen, but we have many young girls that haven't played much at the varsity level," Wilden said. "We've seen some good things from our girls so far and we're looking forward to a successful season."
Battling for time with the varsity squad are: Samantha Middaugh, Katie Stackhouse, Kaylee Toland, Lesley Decker, Tirzah Curry, D.J. Keesy, Jesse Ledger, Michala Saffell, Sarah Roush, Chelsea Toland, Ronna Orr and Rachael Pittman.
Jefferson County Christian
The Lady Royals are coming off a SouthWestern Christian Athletic Conference championship after being the runner-up the previous two years.
They graduated seven of the nine varsity players.
Returning for her fourth year is setter/outside Kassie Lucas. She is joined by classmates Breona Brown (outside/middle) and newcomer Elizabeth Wendt.
There are no juniors on the team.
The sophomores are Sara Moro (setter/outside) and Alayna Pugh (outside/middle) and freshmen Lauren Pritchard (outside) and Allison Miller (outside).
"The girls know what we expect out of them," said head coach Mike Mathison. "They know who is first and we follow from there. Our two returning seniors chose Colossians 3:23 as the team verse and it fits our team perfectly.
"Things are a little different this year and adjustments have been made on all sides. They have worked hard and done all that we have asked. We will be a scrappy team that will get to just about any ball. But, in order for us to be successful on the scoreboard, we have to be able to serve well and that was evident in our first match.
"Like everyone, we still want to win. But, more importantly, we all have testimonies to keep and share and our players know what is expected out of them.
"Having the right attitude toward God and their teammates is paramount on this team."