High school girls’ volleyball is on the upswing again on the Southside.
Starting with 4A Center Grove and 1A Lutheran, it is not improbable to think about a deep run in the IHSAA playoffs. The Trojans have a boatload of seniors, including one of the nation’s top 1-2 back row punches in setter MJ Hammill and Ashley Eck and plenty of talent and depth up front. Lutheran came within one win of a trip to the 1A title game in Muncie last year.
The Southside appears to be more competitive than in recent years with nine returnees at upstart Franklin Central, more experience at Southport, Beech Grove and Greenwood Christian.
Perry Meridian fields a more balanced team with seniors who are ready to establish their names. After winning 30 games last year, Roncalli has young players on the front line where they are expected to mature quickly. Greenwood has 1-2 punch up front with seniors Joy Maze and Megan Johns but lots of holes to fill.
Two new coaches are on the scene. Davin Testerman at Franklin Central and Tasha Vessely have previous coaching experience and are veteran volleyball officials. Testerman is from the volleyball hotbed in Muncie.
Some teams opened the season Saturday as experienced Franklin Central downed visiting Roncalli 3-1 after dropping the first game, 25-20. The host Flashes prevailed 25-20, 25-22, 25-21. The Flashes were led by Carly Sobieralski, Emily Jarrell, Becca Hunley and Brooklyn Schiffli. Beech Grove upended visiting Ben Davis, 3-0 behind Rachel Davis (11 digs, three kills, two aces) and Ariel Keown, 16 digs. And Greenwood fell at Mt. Vernon.
The outlook (last year’s won-lost record and individual stats from MaxPreps)