Seniors spark Brentwood girls volleyball to another playoff appearance

Friday, October 11, 2019 | 5:28 PM

Four senior athletes in the Brentwood girls volleyball program will be honored Thursday prior to the Spartans final home match against section rival Bishop Canevin.

Outside hitter Mandy Race, libero Jaden Schwartz, right-side hitter Sarah Livingston and OH/RS Akir Deng, will be recognized.

“This senior class has been very loyal to the Brentwood volleyball program,” coach Kayla Hubsch said. “All four seniors played for me in middle school. Mandy, Jaden and Sarah have played for me since seventh grade.

“They are a nice group of girls who get along with the underclassmen. Sometimes, seniors can distance themselves from the underclassmen but this group has really embraced the younger girls. That has helped mold our team because we have girls of all age levels playing at the same time.”

The Spartans’ regular rotation includes Race, juniors Sidney Wuenschell, an outside hitter/defensive specialst, Taylor Davis (setter) and Calli Kammermeier (RS); Schwartz, Livingston, sophomores Maura Daly (MH) and Hannah Fornear (OH/DS); and freshman prospects Olivia Trent (OH), Mackenzie Castiglione (DS) and Abbey Czerwien (DS).

“Mandy Race and Jaden Schwartz have stepped up in our leader positions in the front row and back row,” Hubsch said. “Jaden is back now and playing better than ever. We moved her to the libero position because of her dynamic performances the past few games after her injury.

“Sidney Wuenschell and Taylor Davis have been consistent in our success this season as our outside hitter and setter. Sidney has been the most consistent player on our roster this season. She has both the best hitting percentage and best serving percentage on the team. Sidney also plays a really good mental game and does not get easily frazzled, which is a big part of her success.

“Taylor is in her first year as a starting setter for varsity and is settling in nicely. She hustles and is making improvements on her footwork and hands to be able to adjust to the varsity level.”

Brentwood has qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for four consecutive seasons.

Through 10 matches, the Spartans were 7-2 in section play and 7-3 overall, and were ranked No. 8 in Class A by the Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. The section losses were to Bishop Canevin and Fort Cherry, ranked as the top two teams in Class A.

Hubsch lauded the play of some of the younger girls in the starting lineup this.

“Maura and Olivia have really stepped up in their roles as middle blockers and are making a name for themselves,” Hubsch said. “Mackenzie has also been a floor boss for us, especially when Jaden was out with her ankle injury.”

Schwartz suffered an ankle sprain in the first half of the season and missed a few games at that time. Deng is a first-year player for the Spartans.


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