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OFA Volleyball Preview

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OFA Girls Volleyball has established itself among the upper echelon of programs in Section 10 Athletics.

Programs which reload rather than rebuild to consistently compete for Northern Conference and Section 10 honors.

Coach Sue McLean’s Blue Devils (9-6, 9-7) will be looking to chase NAC West Division and Section 10 Class C honors in the season ahead. Last season the Devils dropped a dramatic showdown to Potsdam for NAC West Division honors on the final night of the regular season.

The Devils will open a new season on Thursday by visiting the Sandstoners.

“To be a contender in our division is always a major goal and we came up short to Potsdam last year,” said Coach McLean.

“In the last three years we have fallen short in the Class C playoffs and we are focused on making a run. Salmon River is always the team to be beat but Potsdam and other teams will be strong.”

Coach McLean feels that her team will return to the level of past OFA teams if they can fully exploit their strengths in setting, serving and hitting with consistent passing and communication.

“We would like to think that the division and Class C are up for grabs, as far as we’re concerned, and we will focus on our goals daily by overcoming our weaknesses and building upon our strengths” said Coach McLean who must replace four starters in two-time NAC West MVP and Patti Baldwin Award recipient Felicia Barr who now playing at SUNY Potsdam, a two-time All-NAC selection in Brittany Barr who is playing softball at SUNY Potsdam and team captains in second team all-star setter Olivia Bender and starting libero Katrina Couperus.

Among a group six returning players are three starters. Senior Taylor Fisher earned second team All-NAC honors as a forceful middle hitter/blocker with a powerful server.

Junior Sky Hoover will move from middle hitter to the outside to replace the void created by the graduation of the Barr sisters. She will also be a key defender and passer.

Junior Emma Hart has the skill to play almost every position. She will be called upon to be the primary setter, help develop the rookie setters and will be used as an outside hitter because of her adaptability.

Also returning are three seniors who played some quality minutes during their junior year as role players. Adrianna Compeau is a fearless defensive specialist, Jessie Logan is another defensive specialist and excellent leader through communication on the floor and Shanice Wallace is a strong rightside hitter who can also be used as a setter.

This year’s team will also feature a sister combination among its first year players. Senior Paige Perry and younger sister, freshman Taylor Perry, are expected to make an immediate impact by bringing hitting (Paige) and setting (Taylor) skills.

Junior newcomers in promising hitters Kiersten Morrow and Brooke Richardson, defensive specialists Sarah Richer and Grace Mashaw and rightside hitter/setter Kiana Zulauf are all adapting well to the difference between the JV and varsity level.

Another junior, Jennie Dalton, has been unable to practice due to family commitments but will return soon according to Coach McLean who cites the first year players for a “fantastic work ethic and attitude.”

NAC VOLLEYBALL

East Division: Brushton-Moira, Chateaugay, Franklin Academy, Massena, Salmon River, Tupper Lake

West Division: Canton, Edwards-Knox, Gouverneur, Madrid-Waddington, Ogdensburg Free Academy, and Potsdam

SECTION 10 VOLLEYBALL

Class A: no schools. Class B: Massena and Malone. Class C: Salmon River, Canton, Gouverneur, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Potsdam. Class D: Brushton-Moira, Chateaugay, Edwards-Knox, Madrid-Waddington, Tupper Lake

State Tournament: Regional Playoffs will be hosted in Section 2 this year. The Section 10 teams in each classification will host Section 7 in a Semi-final match. The winner of the Section 7/10 semi-final will travel to Section 2. The 2/7/10 regional winners advances to NYS Final Four in Glens Falls.

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