Franklin Regional girls volleyball embraces changes

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Saturday, September 11, 2021 | 11:01 AM


It’s not exactly a hot take by Rachel Frye, the new Franklin Regional girls volleyball coach, when she says her team will be watched by many this season.

Champions often get the proverbial target on their backs the following year.

“After our successful season last year we will have a lot of eyes on us this season,” said Frye, who took over for Mike Feorene, who resigned after his ninth season.

The Panthers made school history and raised the bar for all future teams that come through the program, when they won their first WPIAL championship and reached the PIAA finals for the first time.

They finished 21-3, negotiating a season leery of covid-19 and its protocols.

Now, Frye will look to keep the bar raised.

Five key returnees will lead the charge in seniors Sydney Breitkreutz, Julia Kubera and Kami Marcus; junior Ella Evans; and sophomore Brooke Feorene.

Breitkrutz, Marcus and Feorene are defensive specialists, while Evans plays middle hitter, and Kubera is a setter and right hitter.

Frye said the team is adjusting to a new system.

“From a new coaching staff to some graduating seniors, there have been a lot of changes,” said Frye, who was a standout player at Kiski Area and Penn State Behrend. “This team has embraced every single change and is more than prepared to take on everyone in our section. We are a very well-rounded team with a lot of strengths and talent.”

Franklin Regional opened the season ranked No. 8 in Class 3A in the Western PA Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Top 10 poll.

Frye, who coached for three years at Westmoreland Elite and was an assistant at Obama Academy for a year, wants to bring enthusiasm to the Panthers.

Juniors Maddie Nguyen, a softball standout, and outside hitter Lexa Yankausas, also should play a key role among the five aforementioned players — and others.

“For all of our key players, I’m expecting them to utilize their strengths and be role models that lead by example,” Frye said. “We are deep in talent and have a ton of young players who will be making an impact this year.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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