South Adams volleyball preview

    South Adams volleyball coach Ashley Buckingham figures a program that has found victories hard to come by has to go back to the basics.
    The 2010 Starfires were just 5-28 on the season and they were 0-8 in the ACAC but Buckingham asserts "we are continuing to build a new attitude in the volleyball program at South Adams. We might now have improved our record greatly last year but we did grow in our skill level and in turn gained respect from our opponents."
    Buckingham has stressed building a volleyball program from the ground up at South Adams with elementary and middle school participation and pointed out "we are excited about the improvement we have made in the off season and look forward to winning a lot of the close matches we lost last year."
    The improvement in the South Adams program, Buckingham feels, will come as her team focuses on "intangibles of a great competitor such as work ethic, passion, desire, heart and unity. We will also stress finishing matches. We know these are the key to finding success this season and we hope to demonstrate them every time we play. We are excited about the future of this program and to restoring a winning tradition."
    South Adams lost two seniors from last year's team including Taylor Farlow who was a strong middle hitter and defensive player (178 kills and 283 digs) and Jennifer Miller, a defensive specialist with 107 digs.
    Buckingham is looking for a trio of seniors returning this year to help SA fortunes on the court.
    Chelsea Bollenbacher and Ashlynn Jennings will be counted on as a middle hitter and right side hitter respectively.
    Bollenbacher will be participating in her fourth varsity season and brings 131 kills and 44 blocks from last season. "We are expecting great all around play from Chelsea this season," the coach said.
    Jennings will be in her third varsity campaign and finished last year with 29 blocks and 41 kills. "We're looking for her to be a great offensive contributer through her hitting and her block on the right side," Buckingham noted.
    Another senior is Lily Taing who will be a setter for the South Adams offense. Taing "is expected to be a big team leader this season," Buckingham said. Taing had 169 assists and 98 digs last year in her first varsity season.
    Three juniors will also see considerable action for the Starfires including Kara DeLong, Alyssa Armenta, and Maizy Switzer.
    DeLong had 91 kills and 203 digs last season as an outside hitter. DeLong "continues to grow as a hitter and we are expecting her to be an offensive factor this season," said the coach.
    Armenta was a defensive specialist last year in her first varsity season and had 154 digs while Switzer, a right side hitter, concluded the 2010 campaign with 34 kills.
    Another letter winner from last year is sophomore Alyssa Bluhm. She was voted to the ACAC second team last year as a freshman and had 257 assists. "We look for her to be a big offensive and defensive contributor this season," Buckingham added.
    There are several newcomers to the SA varsity this year that Buckingham is looking to for contributions to success.
    Hannah Mitchel, a junior, is slotted as a right side and outside hitter, Mykala Coblentz, a sophomore, will be a defensive specialist, and freshmen Cady Farlow and Lauren Smith have been penciled in as a middle hitter and defensive specialist respectively.
    This year will be Buckingham's fourth season as the varsity coach at South Adams. Her record to date at South Adams is 43-110. The varsity assistant and C-team coach will be Kalla Caffee, Ashley Koons is the junior varsity coach, and Tori Bluhm is working as a volunteer assistant.

SA Varsity Volleyball
15    Blackford    T    7:30
18    Canterbury    T    7:30
20    N.Miami Inv.    T    9:00
22    Jay County    H    7:30
23    Eastbrook    H    7:30
25    Bellmont    T    7:45
30    Parkway    H    7:30
1    Norwell    T    7:45
6    S. Wells    T    7:30
8    Bluffton    H    7:30
10    Wabsh Tourney    T    9:00
12    Blackhawk    T    7:15
13    Leo    H    7:30
15    Heritage T    7:30
20    Garrett    H    7:30
22    Winchester    T    7:30
27    Woodlan    H    7:30
29    Adams Central    T    7:00
4    ACAC Tourney    Herit.    6:00
6    ACAC Tourney    Herit.    6:00
10    Bishop Luers    T    7:30
11    Union City    H    7:30
17    FW South    T    7:30
20    Sectional    H    6:00
22    Sectional    H    11:00
22    Sectional    H    4:00
TBA    Regional    TBA    TBA

SA Reserve Volleyball
15    Blackford    T    6:00
18    Canterbury    T    6:00
22    Jay County    H    6:00
23    Eastbrook    H    6:00
25    Bellmont    T    6:15
30    Parkway    H    6:00
1    Norwell    T    6:15
6    S. Wells    T    6:00
8    Bluffton    H    6:00
12    Blackhawk    T    6:00
13    Leo    H    6:00
15    Heritage    T    6:00
17    Tri-High Tourney    T    9:00
20    Garrett    H    6:00
22    Winchester    T    6:00
27    Woodlan    H    6:00
29    Adams Central    T    6:00
10    Bishop Luers    T    6:00
11    Union City    H    6:00
17    FW South Side    T    6:00

SA Frosh Volleyball
22    Jay County    H    5:00
25    Bellmont    T    5:00
1    Norwell    T    6:15
13    Leo    H    5:00
15    Heritage    T    5:00
29    Adams Central    T    5:00
10    Bishop Luers    T    5:00