South returns five starters from last year’s squad that finished 15-9 overall and 6-3 in the Western Reserve Conference, but even more importantly, the Rebels are led by a solid group of seniors with multiple years of varsity experience.
Head coach Bill Behrend hopes his class of 2019 will lead the Rebels to even more success in 2018.
“We are a senior-heavy team with most having three or more years on varsity,” he said. ‘Their expectations may be bigger than mine this year. If we can stay healthy, we will have a lot of potential.”
Five seniors are projected in the starting lineup.
Setter Sarah Miozzi, a three-year starter and fourth-year varsity player, earned first team All-WRC and honorable mention all-district honors last fall after recording 726 assists.
“Sarah has high expectations this year for both conference and playoffs,” Behrend said. “She is a two-year captain.”
Isa Luciano played most of last season with a stress fracture but still managed 95 kills from her middle hitter position and Jessie Ceboll, who also was plagued by injuries, landed 107 kills in the middle.
“I expect big things from (Luciano) this year. This is the first year she is 100-percent healthy coming into the season,” Behrend said. “Coming off an off-season injury, Jessie is a quiet leader, but leads her teammates by example.”
Brenna Yerse returns on the outside after finishing second on the team with 218 kills.
“She’s a pure athlete who loves the game,” Behrend said.
Mya Matriano returns at libero, where she recorded 291 digs last season.
“She is a motivator, loud and such a leader on the floor,” Behrend said. “She keeps us rolling.”
Sophomore middle hitter Margo Huff is the lone underclassmen projected to start for the Rebels this season.
She recorded 100 kills as a freshman.
“As a sophomore on a team full of seniors, you would never know,” Behrend said of Huff’s maturity.
Junior defensive specialist Lauren Vrban also is expected to make a major contribution this fall.
“Playing in the shadow of a senior, Lauren is ready to take the defense over,” Behrend said. “She has and continues to learn from some great leaders. I have high expectations for her in the next two years.”