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November 28, 2009

 

Homer tries to replace top duo

Spike

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Outside hitter Ashley Cavellier is back for her senior volleyball season with Homer Central.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

There will be a noticeable change when Homer Central steps on the volleyball court for the 2009-10 season opener.
The Trojans will be without three-year setter McKenna Riley and five-year hitter Katie Wick for the first time, and got the chance to test out some new combinations at yesterday’s tournament gathering in Homer that included teams from Cortland High, DeRuyter and Cincinnatus in a pre-season tune-up.
The duo of Riley and Wick — who just finished their freshman seasons at SUNY Cortland — helped Homer post a 13-6 overall mark and a 10-4 OHSL Liberty Division record last season as seniors. Wick holds the Trojan career record with 956 kills while Riley is the all-time assists leader with 1,376.
“It will be tough losing a three-year setter and five-year hitter,” Brian Fox said heading into his sixth season as Homer’s head coach, the Trojans slated to host Solvay Monday. “It will be a tougher season, but we really have some great leaders coming back. We are certainly going to be competitive.
“We may have to play a more defensive style this season with more passing to make our team better this season.”
The Trojans also face the challenge of returning to OHSL Freedom Division competition for this campiagn.
“We are coming back into a tougher league,” Fox said. “I don’t know as much about the Freedom teams after being away for a season. The Liberty Division teams played a style which was much more similar to what we play. That was always a plus for us, in my opinion.”
Heading the list of veteran returnees this season are seniors Ashley Cavellier, Rachel Perry and Deanne Stafford. Cavellier is an outside hitter. Perry is a middle hitter and Stafford is a right-side hitter.
Also back are juniors Katie Camp (outside hitter) and Alysha Camp (right-side hitter), along with sophomores Katie Sinclair (middle hitter) and Taryn Heath (setter).
Moving up for the junior varsity team are juniors Karley Brown (right-side hitter), Katelyn Buchanan (outside hitter) and Nichole Sanford (setter).
Making the bigger jump for the modified program to varsity in 2009-2010 are freshman middle hitter Lauren Smith and libero Lainne Reese.
Rounding out the Trojan roster is exchange student Claire Favreul, who will play libero.
After the non-league opener with Solvay, with the JVs starting things at 5:30 p.m, the Trojans head to Marcellus Thursday for another non-league match at 6 p.m. before the Freedom Division opener at Chittenango Dec. 7.
“I am glad that we have a couple of non-league matches before the league season begins,” Fox said. “We have good kids that have been in the programs, but it will take some time for them to adjust to playing at this level and to play with each other.”
Jeremy Cook is the new junior varsity coach this season. Cook is an assistant volleyball coach at SUNY Morrisville in the fall.
“Jeremy brings a wealth of college knowledge from Morrisville,” Fox said. “He’ll be learning what we do and he will be looking to help build our program.”
Randi Patterson and Lynne Renner are building the program’s foundation as junior high coaches.