By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
SAYRE — First-year coach Tiffany Glielmi, who is beginning her second stint at Sayre, likes what she sees in the 2019 Lady Redskin volleyball team — experience, team chemistry, and athleticism.
(Sayre opens the 2019 campaign at home Tuesday night against Cowanesque Valley.)
“These seniors are super close, and have been playing together for a long time. Their energy on he floor is really good,” she said. “The energy they have together, and how comfortable they are together can be useful.
“I saw them play last year, and I think they struggled last year with confidence, but I think this year they’ve shed some of that.
“We definitely have some strong athletes," noted Glielmi. “In practice, I’ve had some fun moving girls around to see where they shine. It’s been great, but also tough because they can be very good in a position and decent in another, but it’s all about where you need them the most, and where they click in the team concept.
“That’s huge in volleyball,” she added. “You have to be comfortable around each other, it’s such a team sport.”
Senior Madeleine Dutra will start at outside hitter.
“She’ll play all the way around,” said Glielmi. “I have to keep her on the floor, she’s such a valuable player.”
Senior Julia Boyle will start at setter, and will also hit on the outside and in the back row, and senior Lexi Post will start at setter or libero.
“Julia Boyle is a very strong setter, same thing with Lexi Post, she’s a strong setter,” said Glielmi. “We’re in good shape at setter.”
Senior Emily Brion will also start at outside hitter, while senior Madeline Wilson and sophomore Gianna Quattrini will start at middle hitters.
Senior Hannah Garrity will come off the bench as defensive specialist or libero.
A pair of newcomers, and part-time soccer players — senior Emily Sutryk and junior Gabbi Randall — will also see action for the Lady Redskins. Sutryk will play defense, or hit in the middle or outside, while Randall will see time at middle hitter.
“We’re excited to have Emily Sutryk,” said Glielmi. “She’s very athletic, and she’ll a bit of a utility player for us.
“Gabbi is an interesting player,” noted Glielmi. “She’s is extremely athletic, the tallest player on the team, and has never played volleyball before. I’m super-excited for her to learn the game.
“I think she’ll be a strong middle blocker, she’s already getting it,” she added.
Freshman Madison Belles will see time at middle hitter, while senior Sarah Vandemark and first-year senior Evynn Johnston will see time on defense, junior Brelin VanDuzer will be a serving specialist, senior Erika Wells outside hitter, and freshman Elizabeth Boyle could work into time as a setter.
“(Elizabeth Boyle) is super level-headed, very mature,” said Glielmi. “When she’s on the floor, you can’t tell she’s a freshman. Once she gets some reps, and starts to get the feel for the flow of a varsity game, she could see some action at setter.”
Glielmi’s biggest concern is another power hitter to go alongside Dutra.
“We have a lot of defensive players, but we may struggle to find another big gun alongside Madi Dutra,” said Glielmi. “A lot of the hitters we’re asking to hit aren’t necessarily super-strong hitters, so that will be tough.
“Gianna Quattrini and Maddi Belles coming off the bench still need some time and experience.
“I think we may struggle with having someone other than Madi Dutra step up and be a big gun for us,” she reiterated.
AROUND THE NTL
“I’m excited to get back into the NTL, but at this point it’s an unknown for me,” said Glielmi. “I have been away for a few years.”
IN PHOTO: Sayre coach Tiffany Glielmi and senior Julia Boyle. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.
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