Slow start gave Chartiers Valley volleyball a big hill to climb

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Saturday, November 20, 2021 | 11:01 AM


In her first season as coach of the Chartiers Valley girls volleyball program, Amanda Burgess guided the Colts to a fourth-place finish in Section 2-3A and a WPIAL playoff berth.

While Chartiers Valley lost in the preliminary round to Central Valley, the hopes and plans were to build off the 2020 success and improve this fall.

However, an August of optimism turned into a September to forget for the Colts.

“The beginning of our season during (preseason) tournaments and scrimmages, we proved to many teams that we could have been a strong force this season,” Burgess said.

“Unfortunately, due to fall colds and injuries, we were missing some starting players at the beginning. Then the team had some trouble bonding. Hopefully next year we can play more as a team instead of individual players.”

The Colts never could catch up from a slow start in which they lost their first four and eight of their first nine section matches.

They rallied to win two of their last three, but it was too late as they finished 3-9 and in sixth place in the section.

“I think we can all agree that this season didn’t go the way we wanted, but I have some talented young girls and I’m excited for next season,” Burgess said.

Burgess highlighted some of the key players who will be returning next fall.

“Addie Cousley saved many plays being the skillful passer she is. Sarah Harris stepping up to set as she proved that she is a strong player as setter and hitter. Delaney Rodella moving from an impressive passer to a talented setter. Caitlin Dinco showed growing confidence to be a starting and dependable passer, and Zoe Mangan was coming out of her shell and was dominating the middle position,” she said.

There will be some big shoes to fill next season.

The Chartiers Valley program said goodbye to four talented seniors in outside hitter Rachel Bayer, middle hitter Becky Stevens, defensive specialist Maddie Bell and Sommer Komar, who missed her senior season because of an injury she suffered this past summer.

“My seniors will be greatly missed,” Burgess said. “Rachel, Maddie and Becky are very talented players, dedicated team members and stepped up to be great leaders. I am so proud of them in so many ways.”

Some of the highlights Burgess pointed out for the three included seeing Bayer become a force on the outside, Stevens being able to hit well from both the middle and outside with her being able to switch between sets and Bell stepping up with her passes.

As is the case in all PIAA sports, realignment will take place this winter, shuffling the deck on some of the section. The current Section 2 that included CV, South Fayette, Montour, Trinity, West Allegheny, Ringgold and West Mifflin may or may not be changed before next season.

No matter what the look of the section Chartiers Valley is in next season, Burgess is optimistic the Colts will improve from the 2021 campaign.

“I am confident in my players, coaching staff, and the support from our athletic department,” she said.

“I don’t think anyone should count us out of next season.”

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