OFA Girls Ready To Chase, Defend NAC West, Section 10 Class Vbasll Titles
Chasing and winning winning regular season and postseason titles have been a regular development for OFA Girls Volleyball teams in the tenure of Coach Sue McLean.
Last fall the Devils placed third in the NAC West race at 5-3 behind 6-2 Canton and Potsdam teams and then as the second seed downed top-seeded Salmon River for the Section 10 Class B title.
Coach McLean feels that her latest team is well equipped for another run in the NAC West and very capable to defend the sectional title in the season ahead which begins with an NAC Interdivisional home game with Brushton-Moira of the NAC West..
"Reloading or rebuilding is where coaches will find themselves every year. At OFA volleyball, we have been blessed to reload the majority of the time and at first glance with graduating eight seniors from last year’s team and having a small squad of 9, many would say this looks like a rebuilding year," said Coach McLean.
"However, returning four quality players who were all starters last year, I do believe this is a reloading year.
We participated in a Section 7/10 scrimmage on Aug. 28 and I was very pleased with their play. The OFA blue collar mentality of hard work and commitment is alive and well on the volleyball court and they are giving 100 per cent effort 100per cent of the time working together constantly. They are very skilled and many can play more than one position on the court. Their commitment, work ethic and talent will provide what we need."
The Devils are a team of two outside hitters, three middle hitters, three setters/ rightsides and one libero.
"They are challenge each other and themselves daily. I am blessed to be working with not just talented athletes but tremendously good people with great personalities who are a joy to be around. I am confident we will see great things from them," said McLean.
The current team will look to replace the leadership of eight seniors (four of whom saw regular time in the starting lineup). Graduating in June were: Two time All NAC and 3 year starter Outside Hitter Adrianha Parks, *All NAC Riley Planty, middle hitter, three year varsity player Hannah Richardson, right side hitter/ setter starting setter Hannah Smith and Mattilyn Hough, middler hitter Natalie Crofut, middle hitter Michelena Price, setter/right side hitter
Returning Players (all in starting line up last year) are three seniors and one junior : Melissa Barr, Senior, Libero, Celia Henry, Senior, setter/right side hitter/outside hitters and Rosie Jeneault, Senior, middle hitter
These three seniors will serve as captains along with junior returner Emily Farrand, outside hitter.
"The veteran players have been great examples for our newcomers and this team has bonded early in the season especially after our team building trip to the ROTC leadership course at Clarkson," said Coach McLean who offered the following evaluation on her team.
"Rosie and Celia are three-year varsity players who were core to our success last year. Rosie is a force at middle hitter and loves to play the net and block the ball. Rosie can hit the ball straight down and with her athleticism at the net, we should see her pick up quite a few blocks. She has worked hard this summer and is in the best athletic shape she has ever been in which is apparent in preseason. She has improved in her back row defense and is a very quick middle who can play the entire rotation of the court. "
"Celia is an athletic all-round player can literally play any position on the court. As a sophomore she played libero, as a junior she played setter/right side hitter. This year she will continue to play setter/right side hitter but is seeing time as an outside hitter during rotation. She is an extremely coachable athletes and listens and tries anything and everything you ask. She is playing with great confidence and her joy of the game and determination to give 100% 100 per cent of the time is apparent on the court."
:"Melissa Barr is one of those players whose quiet demeanor can fool an opponent. As our libero, she is tough as nails and doesn’t shy away from any serve or hit. Her passing has improved tremendously over the last year and her overhand serve has developed and will be put to use this season. She can hit a great down ball from the back row that will pick up points for the team."
"Returning All NAC outside hitter Junior Emily Farrand is playing the smart volleyball. She is so quick on her feet and can quickly see where to place the ball on the opponent’s court and she has a variety of hits that she uses. She will be tough for her opponents to defend. She has a hang time that allows her to pound the ball when hitting. She is one of the best passers on our team and her foot speed allows her to get to many balls and not allow them to drop. Her serve has become extremely consistent and is powerful as well."
Transitioning from JV squad are three juniors and one freshman who Coach McLean has the greatest confidence in.
"Emma LeBeau, junior outside hitter. Emma can do so many things well. You can tell she comes from a family of volleyball players. She knows the game and has a multitude of skills. She can play any position but will be found the majority of the time as an outside hitter while from time to time hitting rightsize and helping with setting duties when needed. She is able to place her powerful serve and it is difficult to return. "
"Junior Jordyn Tupper missed her sophomore season due to a shoulder injury requiring surgery. Jordyn will be our primary setter and she has been working hard to get in position to set every ball. She has beautiful sets that she has been trying to customize to every hitter’s strengths. "
"Junior Jenna Mitchell is our own lefty and will be found as a rightside hitter. Jenna has one of the best serves on our team and has been working on her defense as well as her hitting. We should see quality time from here.
Freshman middle hitter Abby Raven is playing like a veteran player and has made the transition to varsity level seamlessly. Her power at the net allows her to hit the ball straight down and pick up quite a few blocks. She has a great serve, can set the ball as well as has great foot speed to pick up many digs on defense."
New to Volleyball is middle hitter Gabrielle Morley who has impressed with her athletic ability and ability to learn the game quickly..
"Gabby is an amazing athlete and extremely coachable and has made tremendous progress preseason. With her athleticism and work ethic, she will no doubt develop into a quality player this season"
Tje NAC Divisions are same as last year with
Brushton-Moira, Chateaugay, Franklin Academy, Massena, Salmon River and Tupper Lake playing in the East and 5 Schools in West Division: Canton, Gouverneur, Madrid- Waddington, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Potsdam.
Clifton Fine will have JV/Varsity teasms this season,
Each team plays teams in their own division 2 times (home and away); each school also plays teams in the opposite division one time for crossover matches. OFA is also scheduled to play in 3 tournaments—Saranac Central, Massena, and Lake Placid with a possibility of a fourth tournament in Beekmantown.
At the end of regular season, a division winner is named. For playoff purposes, schools are broken into classifications depending on school size.
A: Massena. B: OFA, Franklin Academy and Salmon River, C: Gouverneur, Canton, & Potsdam, D: Brushton-Moira, Chateaugay, Madrid-Waddington, Tupper Lake
Regional Playoffs—Section 10 will travel to Section 2 for semi- final regionals and Section 7 will host the 10/2 winner for the regional final .