by Tom Utescher
This fall Mount St. Joseph Academy’s volleyball opponents will be seeing a number of new faces on the other side of the net. There are a total of half-a-dozen seniors and juniors, but there are also seven sophomores hoping to make an impact in the 2014 campaign.
Mount St. Joe won the Catholic Academies championship in 2012, and even though perennial power Villa Maria emerged with the league title last fall, the Magic were right in the mix, splitting with the Hurricanes in the two regular-season meetings between the teams. Villa returns most of last year’s talent and should be a force this fall, both in the league and in the PIAA.
Meanwhile, seven seniors from the Mount’s 2013 squad have departed, including co-captains Samantha Eberle (setter) and Moira Mulholland (outside hitter), libero Samantha Burns, and the Zakrzewski twins, Caroline and Elizabeth. In addition, two players who were varsity underclassmen last year have not returned to the court for the Magic.
Middle hitter Sarah Thomas, a 6’1” senior and fourth-year varsity player who is getting serious looks from college recruiters, is a tri-captain for Mount St. Joe this season, along with defensive specialist Monica DeIenno and outside hitter Jessie Tyrell.
There’s also a trio of juniors lending experience to the varsity, middle Monica Goebel, right side Katie Strosser, and defensive specialist Katie DeLuca.
The largest class, by far, is the sophomore segment, with seven athletes looking to be in the varsity mix at this initial stage of the season. One of them, setter Jacey Abdalla, already earned a place in the everyday rotation as a freshman last fall. Another is the younger sister of Sarah Thomas, Liz, who also plays middle and can perform on the right side, as well.
Ava Jancarski, Courtney Kasperski, and Siobhan McBride are all outside hitters, and Sofia Little and Maddie Riehman are setters.
George Trabosh is back for his eighth season as head coach for the Magic. When time permits, he’ll also be helping out down the road with the team at Chestnut Hill College, where his daughter, former Mount standout Regina Trabosh, is a sophomore libero for the Griffins. MSJ grad Christine Steinmetz is returning as assistant coach for the Mounties.