by Tom Utescher
Despite some significant losses from last year’s volleyball roster, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy has experienced players to build around for 2019. After participating in a few playdays and a scrimmage, the Blue Devils played their first official match last Friday afternoon, grinding out a five-set victory over host Harriton High School.
This was also when the 2019 captains were announced; seniors Becca Arnold and Julia Hannigan, and junior Maya Gerlach. Gerlach, a 6’2″ hitter, has made a verbal commitment to play for Howard University.
SCH graduated five seniors from its 2018 roster, and two junior starters from last year’s team have transferred to other schools.
In last week’s debut at Harriton, the three captains were part of a seven-player starting rotation, with substitutions made for offensive and defensive purposes on the change of serve. Making up the rest of this group were juniors Kyley McTamney and Jada Peoples, and sophomores Sam Klug and Jazze Wingard.
Peoples is a transfer student from a traditionally strong Upper Merion High School program. Later in last Friday’s match, senior Hannah Cohen and junior Celia Mazzarelli subbed into the match.
Three other seniors with varsity experience are Jane Herron, Corinne Motl and Sabrina Wang, and two of their classmates came out for the sport this fall: Erin Fennessy and Amber Stallworth.
Along with Mazzarelli, Ella Webb is a new varsity player from the junior class, and joining Klug and Wingard in the sophomore segment is Maddi Callas. Jamie Ehnow, a freshman just entering SCH, has also earned a spot on the varsity roster.
Third-year head coach David Noll is joined this fall by new assistants with strong volleyball backgrounds. Ambrose Crenshaw played for Drexel University and then went on to gain extensive experience as a coach at the college level, including stints at Penn and Philadelphia University (now Jefferson University). He’s also worked in high school and club volleyball programs.
Casey Griffith is a 2013 graduate of Upper Merion High who went on to play for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has helped develop many players at area schools as a coach in the East Coast Power club organization.