Cedar Crest Falcons
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1
Head Coach: Monica Sheaffer, 4th season
Key Returning Players: Seniors – Danny Peelen (Sr., Opposite Hitter); Nick Bensing (Sr., Outside Hitter); Aaron Walters (Jr., Middle Blocker); Tate Tadajweski (So., Outside Hitter); Jack Woglemuth (So., Libero)
Key Losses: Judah Wise (Liberty University)
Outlook: Last season, the Falcons finished with a 10-8 record. Any time finishing above .500 in Section 1 of the Lancaster Lebanon League, it is to be celebrated. This season, Crest is hoping to build upon the success last year. It helps that they are returning several key members of last year’s team, including 2022 Section 1 all-star selections Danny Peelen and Jack Woglemuth. If things go to plan, Coach Sheaffer’s bunch will again finish with a winning record.
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2
Head Coach: Kyle Zehner, 1st season
Key Returning Players: Jeff Avila (Sr., Setter/Outside Hitter); Jayson Gonzalez (Sr./Outside Hitter); Xavier Pacheco (Sr., Outside Hitter); Germain Melendez-Rodriguez (Sr./Defensive Specialist)
Key Losses: Alejandro Caraballo; Chris Estrada
Outlook: Coach Zehner takes over the reins of the Cedar Volleyball program after long-time coach Jeff Albright moved into a leadership position. Zehner has served as an assistant within the program and knows the challenge that lies ahead. He has some senior leadership to work with, but with 17 underclassmen on the roster, Zehner also recognizes that incremental and positive development this season could equate to amplified success in future seasons. With that being said, Zehner is also excited for the challenge, as it means that his younger players have a chance to show growth through hard work. The story of success for this team may be found beyond the typical season record . . . or beyond this season altogether.
New Covenant Flames
Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference
Head Coach: Cody Kantner, 1st season
Key Players: Chris Bauman (Outside Hitter); Lucas Seibert (Middle Blocker); Ben Hartman (Setter/Hitter); Sam Balsbaugh (Setter/Hitter); Carson Deveney (Libero)
Outlook: New Covenant did not lose a game last year (nor did they win a game), as 2023 will be their first season with a boys volleyball team. Coach Cody Kantner’s roster features a lot of athleticism, but they will need to use every bit of that to overcome their overall lack of experience. In early season work, the group has shown that they are very determined to close the experience gaps as quickly as possible. As with any new program, the hope is that this inaugural season can set a tone and lay a foundation for what the Flames will be in future years.
Northern Lebanon Vikings
Head Coach: Ben Baird, 2nd season
Key Returning Players: Trevor Peirce (Sr., Setter); Cody Swietionoski (Sr., Outside/Right Side Hitter); Clayton Smoker (Sr., Outside/Right Side Hitter); Garrett Bohn (So., Right Side Hitter); Sam Kolacek (So., Middle Hitter); Ethan Martino (So., Outside Hitter)
Key Losses: Seven seniors graduated
Outlook: Last year was the first season where boys volleyball was an official PIAA sport at Northern Lebanon. In 2023, they hope to build upon the success of last season. Coach Baird points out that the group that he currently has is excited when they get the chance to play volleyball together, but also recognizes that there is much to be done in terms of development. In addition to the veterans that the Vikings are returning to the court, they are also adding junior big man Riley Clinger, as he takes on a new athletic challenge. With Northern Lebanon becoming a volleyball town, the development of the boys program will be interesting to watch.
Mid-Penn Conference – Keystone Division
Head Coach: John McInerney, 1st season
Key Returning Players: Ayden McInerney (Sr., Outside Hitter); Yash Patel (Sr., Setter); Het Patel (Jr., Setter/Defensive Specialist); Cade Palmer (So., Outside Hitter/Defensive Specialist); Luke Vottero (Jr., Middle Blocker); Pavan Patel (So., Middle Blocker)
Key Losses: Logan Smith, Mason Whitney, Jackson Grumbine, Michael Ziegler
Outlook: The 2022 season was very successful for the Cougars, as they went 13-1 in the regular season, winning a share of the Keystone championship. They went on to finish 4th in the District 3 Tournament, earning a berth in the PIAA State Tournament. That squad was very experienced and graduated six senior starters. The lone returning starter from last year is Ayden McInerney, the team’s outside hitter. This year, they also welcome first time head coach John McInerney, who is not a stranger to Palmyra Volleyball, as four of his kids (including Ayden) have donned the orange and black in recent years. Coach McInerney’s challenge will be to rebuild the program that he has watched for many years. With that being said, the rookie coach is confident that the players he has on his roster have a chance to make it back to States.
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