Senior staff writer
Southside volleyball teams are reloading this year after a season that found 4A Center Grove and 1A Lutheran just one win from reaching the state finals.
Center Grove (4A No. 7) graduated five seniors and is down to one this season, Lutheran (1A No. 4) lost seven seniors and Roncalli eight, also down to only one senior. Juniors dominate at Greenwood Christian Academy and Roncalli.
New Southside coaches Maggie Harbison at Center Grove and Kathryn Ford at Manual are expecting solid play out of their teams.
Harbison’s Trojans opened last week at Avon (4A No. 3), where she was an assistant before succeeding Dana Daprile Matis, now an assistant at Butler University. Center Grove won the first set 25-23 but dropped the next three.
Most Southside teams have a mixture of some experienced players and a lot of young players who must develop rapidly. The season began last week.
Greenwood Christian Academy is off to a 3-0 start, including a 3-1 win at 4A Greenwood. Lutheran is 2-1 with wins against Beech Grove and Scecina. Perry Meridian (1-1) fell in four sets to 4A No. 20 Franklin. Franklin Central swept Heritage Christian.
Gone from the scene are All-Johnson County players Maddie Smeathers (Ohio State) and Taylor Hammill (Auburn) from Center Grove and Olivia Stilley (Cincinnati State) from Greenwood, plus All-Marion County Whitney Hoover (Wittenberg) from Lutheran and McKenna Lundy (IU Kokomo) from Roncalli.
Among this season’s top players are: 6-3 sophomore Katie Baird at Perry Meridian, junior Katie Giller at Beech Grove, senior Macy Carrabine at Center Grove, Haley Sobieralski at Franklin Central, junior setters Amelia Banister and Lauren Fey at Roncalli, Elise Sombke at Lutheran and Tiana Wright at Southport.
Beech Grove has goal for winning season
Graduation hits defending regional champ Center Grove hard
Height and experience create optimism for Flashes
Youth movement at Greenwood
GCA setting the bar high in 2016
Saints lost Hoover but can still defend sectional crown
New coach and newcomers at Manual
Perry Meridian means business in 2016
Rebels have replace multiple players
Southport looks to build off juniors and freshmen