Western Wayne girls volleyball team setting its sights on a league title

Western Wayne's girls volleyball team is off to a solid start this fall in Lackawanna League action.

The Lady 'Cats opened up their 2018 campaign with an electrifying match against perennial powerhouse Dunmore … a contest that quite literally went down to the very last point before a winner was determined.

“That was an amazing match,” veteran head coach Darren Thorpe said. “I wish it wasn't so early in the season, but we don't have any control over that.

“These are two very good teams who are going to be right in the thick of hunt for a league and district title.”

Dunmore won the match in five sets by a score of 25-12, 17-25, 26-24, 19-25, 13-15. The overall point total for this incredibly competitive contest was an eye-popping 101-100.

To their undying credit, the Lady 'Cats rebounded with a dominant performance in their next match. The local lasses shut out Montrose in its home gym, 3-0 (25-11, 25-14, 25-14).

“We played hard,” said Coach Thorpe. “We still have to clean some things up, but overall I'm pleased with where we are at this point. There's always room for improvement, but we're moving in the right direction.”

Next on the agenda for Western Wayne is another early season test. The Lady 'Cats host Abington Heights Friday night.

Varsity action gets underway at 7 p.m. at the venerable Varden Garden.

Leadership

This year's edition of the Western Wayne girls varsity volleyball team is an intriguing mix of battle-tested veterans and talented youngsters.

There are six seniors on the roster, three of whom play key roles on a consistent basis.

Gianna DeBastiani, Grace Hollister and Caroline Trygar are fixtures in the starting line-up, while Brianna Metschulat, Hayly Beckwith and Marissa Montijo contribute off the bench.

DeBastiani is a multi-sport standout who also excels in track & field. She is one of Western Wayne's outside hitters.

“Gianna is a very good all-round player,” Coach Thorpe said. “She's been playing a lot of AAU the past few years and it really shows.”

Hollister has been a member of the varsity squad for three years. She;s a defensive specialist who has cracked the starting line-up at libero.

“Grace is very strong in the back row,” said Coach Thorpe. “She's one of the best passers we have.”

Trygar is the team's setter. She's also been active on the AAU scene and is quickly developing into a bona fide team leader.

“Caroline is a very smart player,” Coach Thorpe said. “She's a hard worker. She's versatile and coachable. Caroline makes good choices and good decisions.”

On the Court

While the seniors comprise the nucleus of this year's squad, two juniors have emerged as dominant forces.

Rebecca Klemovitch is Western Wayne's middle hitter and one of the best players in the area. She's a returning Lackawanna League All-Star and is already piling up impressive numbers on the court.

Klemovitch registered eight kills, four aces and four blocks versus Dunmore. She added 12 kills in the romp over Montrose.

“I know it's still very early, but for my money, Rebecca has to be in the conversation for MVP,” said Coach Thorpe. “She's tall and athletic. She jumps well and can be absolutely overpowering at the net.”

Sydney Krompasky is another standout junior who's turning heads around the league. While she provides another solid presence up front, it's at the service line where Krompasky truly excels.

Through the first two regular season matches, Sydney has accumulated 33 service points and unleashed nine aces.

“She's our top server,” Coach Thorpe said. “Sydney is a good all-round player, but she can be just dominant serving.”

Looking Ahead

While Abington Heights is usually a threat to win at the league and district levels, the Comets are a bit down this year.

The Clarks Summit girls are off to an uncharacteristic 0-2 start, having suffered losses at the hands of Blue Ridge (3-0) and Susquehanna (3-2).

“We're not taking anything for granted,” said Coach Thorpe. “They're always well-coached and well-prepared. This is the kind of match we have to win, though, if we want to get back up there among the elite teams.”

Western Wayne travels to Forest City next week (Tuesday), then returns home for a match against Lackawanna Trail (Thursday).