Girls volleyball preview: Young Trojans have experience

As you glance at the roster of the Chambersburg girls volleyball team, you notice that of the 14 names, only two are seniors.

Ty Frelin

Coach Ty Frelin

So when veteran coach Ty Frelin says his team is young, you know he’s not blowing smoke — it includes eight juniors, two sophomores and a pair of freshmen.

Yet Frelin can also accurately say that his team has experience, and he’d be correct again. Four girls who started last year are back, as well as two others who logged a lot of playing time.

“We’re young grade-wise,” Frelin said, “but a lot of the girls who are back have played on the varsity and only a handful haven’t. We’ve got a lot of good quality players who played last year.”

And that means Frelin hopes his team can be in the thick of the race in the Mid Penn Commonwealth Division.

He said, “Our goal every year is to win the conference, which year in and year out is one of the toughest conferences around. I expect Cumberland Valley, State College and Central Dauphin to all be very good again.”

Taylor Myers

Taylor Myers

Senior libero Taylor Myers returns after leading Chambersburg in three statistical categories last year — digs (324), service points (141) and aces (35).

“Taylor’s good on defense and our defense will go as she goes,” Frelin said.

Junior Marlee Wrights (5-foot-9), who can play middle or outside hitter, paced the Trojans in kills (119) and blocks (47) a year ago.

Junior setter/opposite Robyn Stepler (5-8) is back from an injury suffered in basketball last year. She led the team with 260 assists last year, and also added 73 digs, 133 points, 40 aces and 29 kills.

Sophomore Raelyn Johnson (5-7) also got a lot of playing time last year, racking up 115 points, 25 aces, 39 kills and 133 digs from her outside hitter spot.

Frelin said, “Robyn and Willa (Moats, a 5-7 junior) had good seasons at setter for the club team. I think our middle will be strong with Marlee and Rachael Meyers (jr., 5-9), and on the outside, Raelyn and Izzy (5-9 senior Isabella Fidler) are solid. Izzy has a very good volleyball IQ.”

Marlee Wrights

Marlee Wrights

One area Frelin has been pleased with is the offense.

“Our serving should be good and we have some strong hitters. Even though we’re not real big, some of the girls can really jump well,” Frelin said.

“Our passing wasn’t that good (at the start of practice), but it’s come along. It was nice to have more practice time before school started — the last two years we started right in with school and that felt like we were rushing to put everything in.”

One concern Frelin has is the schedule. It includes a strong list of opponents, as usual, but it also includes a lot of travel.

“Our travel is demanding,” he said. “You have all the Harrisburg schools and State College, and we do them every year. But this year we also travel two times to Berks County and also to Red Lion. It’ll be challenging.”

NOTES: The Trojans were 11-8 last year and fell in the first round of districts to Wilson … Bobby Culler is the long-time assistant coach … Wrights was a second-team Commonwealth all-star last year … Chambersburg’s season opener is Tuesday at home vs. Carlisle at 6:30 p.m.