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Girls Volleyball ECIC I & II Preview: Williamsville East Looks To Remain The Powerhouse

Williamsville East has been as good as it gets on the girls’ volleyball court for nearly a decade. The Flames have won the last four Class A sectional championships and have reached the state final four the last three years.

East has also won ECIC II the last six years and in seven of the last eight.

That doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.

The Flames have five returning starters this season but several will be in new positions, according to coach Scott Wright. Summer Clark was a first-team all-ECIC II right side hitter last year and will move to setter this year. Nikki Pollokoff is a returning middle who might move to the outside.

It all starts with senior outside hitter Rachel Steffan, a first-team All-Western New York selection last year.

Christie Mack is a returning libero and first-team division all-star last year and Madeline Reid is back at middle hitter for Williamsville East.

ECIC II Contenders

Williamsville South could give their neighborhood rival a fight this season with four ECIC II all-stars returning.

Sophomore middle hitter Amari DeBerry, junior outside hitter Madison Popielski and senior Gabrielle Presutti are returning first-team all-stars for the Billies. Sophomore Haley Marchewka was a second-team choice for Williamsville South.

Hamburg lost some key players to graduation but never count out the Bulldogs on the volleyball court. Senior outside hitter Emma Moscato is back after earning first-team division all-star honors a year ago.

Starpoint welcomes a new coach in Korey Schwab, who was the junior varsity coach last season. The Spartans will be led by seniors Jenna Lang and Haley Lucas and junior Katie Putney.

Red Devil Power

Clarence has won both the ECIC I and Class AA Section VI championships in each of the last four seasons. The Red Devils are locked and loaded again this season.

Leading the returnees will be senior outside hitter Jaide Cummings, a first-team All-WNY selection as a junior. Junior right-side hitter Leah Victor is also back after being named a first-team ECIC I all-star last year.

ECIC I Contenders

Clarence received a big-time scare in the sectional semifinals as rival Williamsville North came to town with an upset on its mind. The Spartans took the first two games from the Red Devils before Clarence was able to rebound.

North has a lot of its players back and is expected to be a contender again this year.

Junior middle Maia Reed returns after being named to the first-team ECIC I squad last year. Senior Bri Brown and junior Maddie Farber are also back for the Spartans.

North isn’t the only ECIC I team looking to bounce back from a five-game semifinal loss from 2017. Orchard Park – which took a match from Clarence in the regular season – went toe-to-toe with a senior-heavy Lancaster team before losing in five. When asked to name the teams to watch this season, Legends coach Becky Edwards was quick to name the Quakers.

OP returns seven players from last year and coach Greg Lardo said “we’re working every day to get better and not waste any time during our time slots.”

Seniors Kate Hennessey (outside hitter) and Hannah Rauh (middle hitter) and juniors Abby Ryan (OH) and Ashley Dogal (middle/opposite hitter) will lead the Quakers this season.

Lancaster lost eight contributors to graduation from last year’s sectional runner-up team. Junior Meg Vona and senior Bri Acquard will anchor the starting lineup this season for the Legends.

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