MSA Sports Hometown Girls Volleyball Program – Avonworth

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 | 3:19 PM




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We have four returning seniors including Moriah Eck, strong-side hitter who is a 4 year varsity starter.  She was a WPIAL first team selection as a junior and led the team with 252 kills last season.  Moriah plays club ball for Pittsburgh Elite Premier and previously played for Renaissance.  Mo also has been a starter on the varsity basketball team the past two seasons and will continue to play this season in addition to playing club. In addition to having a high volleyball IQ, Moriah maintains a 3.96 GPA in honors classes and is a member of the National Honor Society and numerous clubs. She plans on majoring in engineering in college and to also continue playing volleyball. 

Also returning as a starter is 5’9” senior middle hitter Lauren Brace.  Lauren is one of the best blockers to ever play at Avonworth.  Lauren also has a passion for dance since the age of 2 and has danced competitively.  She is the president of the class of 2013 and has been for the past two years.  Lauren is a member of the National Honor Society and has an impressive 4.1 GPA.  Her goal is to attend Westminster College and major in biochemistry with a minor in business. 

Rachel Turnbull is our next returning starter.  Rachel was chosen as the captain this season.   She is a senior and started varsity as a defensive specialist and utility player as a junior.  Rachel is our setter and may be our most versatile player. She has played every position on the court.   Rachel is an outside hitter when we run a 6 – 2 offense.  She has played club ball since she was a freshman and is a very gifted athlete.  She is also the team captain.  She was a second team All-Section player as a junior.  Rachel also excels in the classroom with a 3.75 GPA and is a member of the French club and math league. Rachel’s sister, Abby is our starting libero and is a junior.  

Our fourth returning starter is junior middle hitter, Katie Pendrak.  At 6’1”, Katie is the tallest player to play to play at Avonworth. Katie has only been playing since the 8th grade but continues to develop as an excellent hitter and dominating blocker.   She is her class vice president and carries a GPA of 4.0.  She is a member of the Avonworth Drama Club, Student Council, Avonnews, Key Club and Mentor Program.  In 2011, she was a 2nd Team All-Section selection. 

 Other starters include 6’ Mackenzie Mayernik.  Mackenzie saw a great deal of varsity playing time as a sophomore and continues to contribute this year.  She plays middle and weak-side in the same line as Katie Pendrak.  New starters to the varsity line-up include junior defensive specialist, Abby Turnbull, outside hitter Olivia London, and setter/defensive specialist, Ericka Thomas.  Due to injury, freshman Abby Oberdick is now starting on the varsity squad as a weak-side hitter.  She is the sister of former player and current assistant coach, Elise Oberdick.  Also seeing additional varsity time are Olivia McKay and Caitlyn Miller. 

Avonworth is in its 15th season of girls’ volleyball and has made the playoffs for the last 12 seasons.  They have won their section championship 6 times in those12 seasons and the last 3 seasons consecutively.  Avonworth lost in the WPIAL championship in 2011.  Coach Vandervort attributes their continued success to a very dedicated group of athletes who work very hard to be successful. 


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