TEAM PLAYERS — Front row, from left: Megan Hanrahan, Erin Kwiatkowski. Middle row: Katrina Kerkendall, Kristin Baker, Leah Ratterman and Heidi Ploetz. Back row: Jessica Wiede, Jillian Willson, Kayla Kessler, Brittany Boies, Tainne Dallas, Jenna Schunke and Coach Jonathan Chaddock. Photo submitted by Chaddock.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity volleyball team finished the first half of the season 7-3 and 6-0 in ECIC Division III.
The Lady Griffins varsity volleyball team finished the first half of the season by sweeping ECIC division opponents East Aurora, Cheektowaga, Amherst, Pioneer, Maryvale and Depew. The Lady Griffs’ losses came in some very competitive non-league action versus Olean, West Seneca West and Immaculata Academy, according to coach Jonathan Chaddock.
“The Lady Griffs are led by the very strong and steady play of Kristin Baker,” Chaddock noted. “Kristin is a junior setter. She leads the team in assists and service points. Kristin is the focal point of our offense. [She] is a very smart and savvy volleyball player. She is the equivalent to a good quarterback on a football team. She makes everything click for us.”
Senior Tainne Dallas leads the team in digs and kills. She has filled the role of a right-side hitter and, according to Chaddock, “plays with a tremendous amount of consistency. She has worked hard through the years, to become a very valuable part of our program.”
Senior Erin Kwiatkowski plays the position of libero, or defensive specialist. She plays the back row only, and is responsible for passing the ball to the setter.
“Erin plays very tenaciously and can keep many balls alive that otherwise would be dead on the floor. Erin also is an equally strong server,” Chaddock said, adding that she is second in service points and first in team aces.
Senior Jillian Willson and juniors Kayla Kessler and Jessica Wiede are playing the position of middle blocker and attack. Willson is the only returning middle hitter from last year and is leading the team in blocks.
“She has worked hard to improve her hitting percentage and has proved to be a menacing presence to opposing hitters,” Chaddock said.“Kayla has stepped up to become a very consistent attacker and blocker, as well.”
Senior Brittany Boies and juniors Jenna Schunke and Leah Ratterman are filling the roles of left outside attack and hitter. Boies, a returning player from last year’s team, has been making steady progress, according to the coach.
“She is increasing the number of attacks per game, and her consistency has improved. Jenna Schunke has had some of the most powerful attacks the Lady Griffs have seen in years. She also is very important presence in passing, in the back row,” he added.
Rounding out the team are seniors Katrina Kerkendall, Heidi Ploetz and junior Megan Hanrahan. Kerkendall and Ploetz have provided this year’s team
“with some very consistent and strong serving,” according to the coach.
Both serve in the regular line-up, behind the service line. Hanrahan performs as a defensive specialist, in the back row and “has been a very consistent and steady performer passing the ball, this year,” Chaddock noted.
The Lady Griffs will begin the second half of their season in their quest to win the ECIC Division III Championship.