Southmoreland volleyball reflects on up-and-down season
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 | 11:37 AM
Heather Meyer’s team showed it can compete with some of the best the WPIAL has to offer in Class 2A.
But, for the second-year Southmoreland girls volleyball coach, maintaining that level of play was a problem. And one she hopes can be remedied in the coming months.
“Our season, we had our ups and our downs,” said Meyer, who coached previously at Greensburg Central Catholic for more than a decade. “When we were on, we could play with anybody. However, we couldn’t figure out how to get it back together when we weren’t playing well. This team had a lot of talent.”
By “on,” Meyer means her team’s intensity and the level of fun the girls exuded while playing the game.
But that’s not to say it wasn’t a respectable year for the Scotties. Southmoreland finished 7-5 in Section 3-2A, tying for third place with Carmichaels behind Frazier (11-1) and Waynesburg Central (10-2).
The Scotties battled the section champs tough, taking a set from the Commodores in the first meeting and two in the rematch. Southmoreland also swept Waynesburg in a match and lost to it 3-2.
But the season ended with a loss in the WPIAL Class 2A preliminary round for a third straight year as the Scotties fell 3-0 to Ellwood City on Oct. 25.
The team had five Section 3-2A all-stars.
First-team senior outside hitter Gracie Spadaro stood out the most to Meyer.
“She played,” Meyer said, simply. “She put the ball away.”
Fellow senior Delaynie Morvosh, a middle hitter, joined Spadaro on the first-team all-star list, and sophomore Amarah McCutcheon and senior setter Lizzie Albright, who converted to the position after beginning her career as an outside hitter, ended up on the second team.
“It really impressed me how far (Albright’s) come in two years as a setter,” Meyer said. “When I took over the program, we didn’t have any setters. To be put in that position, she really embraced it. I can’t thank her enough for doing as much as she did.”
Southmoreland will lose four seniors to graduation but only three who played regularly in 2021. The team likely will not have any seniors next season, operating without any juniors on its roster this year.
“They gained a lot of experience,” Meyer said of her young players. “The freshmen were very quiet, but our two sophomores (McCutcheon and third-team all-star Kaylee Doppelheuer) started stepping up at the end of the season to become leaders next year.”
But Meyer, who won two WPIAL Class A titles and a PIAA crown at Greensburg Central Catholic, knows that for the team to build a true contender, preparation needs to begin early.
“As a team, as a whole, we need to put some additional work in in the offseason,” she said. “If they want to get to a point where they’re competitive in the playoffs.”
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