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High School Girls Volleyball: Lake Shore’s expectations on the rise, Frontier to host a 24-team field Saturday

North Collins’ freshman starting outside hitter Jasmine Filkov helped the Eagles beat Ripley on Sept. 10. (File photo by Ron Larson)

Expectations are not only on the rise at Lake Shore, but so is the confidence of this year’s group.

The Eagles should be better for going through a difficult season last year. Bringing back many contributors from that team also should help to create more depth than was there in 2011.

“Last year there was not as much depth with all of the youth and injuries. There are more options to play with this year,” said Lake Shore head coach Brian Dziewa coming off a one-win season in ECIC Division II play. “There is also some camaraderie there. Even though it’s a new season they have that year of playing together, so the confidence looks higher.”

Though Lake Shore should be more well rounded this year, it will still depend heavily on the talent and experience of versatile senor outside Lauren Gotsch, an All-ECIC II selection now in her third year as a varsity starter. “As she goes, we’ll go,” Dziewa noted.

Also returning for the Eagles are senior outside Katie Martynowicz, setter Jolee Johnson and weakside Shelby Gray. Dziewa is looking to junior middles Molly Parker and Renee Richardson to step their games up even further from last season. Also slated to be in the rotation are junior libero Megan Scritchfield, and sophomores Allie Pappas, a defensive specialist, and Olivia Evancho, a setter.

Lake Shore will have an active tournament schedule, as well as for the first time host one. The inaugural Lake Shore Eagles Tournament will feature eight teams and take place Sept. 29. In future years, the Eagles plan to expand the tournament to also include junior varsity teams.

“We figured we’ve got a great facility for it, so if we can get interest from other programs, we’ll do it,” said Dziewa, whose team will also play in tournaments at Frontier, Sweet Home and North Tonawanda.

To accommodate a 24-team field at the Frontier Falcon Invitational on Saturday (Sept. 22), four venues will be used throughout the day starting with pool play at 8:30 a.m.

Besides Frontier High School, matches will be played at Frontier Middle School, Immaculata Academy and Hamburg High School for the tournament’s biggest field yet. Among the locals participating are Frontier, Hamburg, Immaculata and defending state champion Eden, along with last year’s finalists, Mercy of Section V in Rochester and St. Mary’s, the top ranked team in Western New York. Finals are slated to take place 5 p.m. at Frontier High School.

Also locally, North Collins defeated Ripley in a three-game sweep on Monday (Sept. 10). Leading the Eagles were Christine Blidy with 19 assists, while Beth Kibler, Jasmine Filkov, and Nicole Torrey each attained six kills throughout the match. The junior varsity also won its match, 2-1, behind Morgan Mathis’ seven serve run in the third set. Riley Bartels added three kills.

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