The Villa Angela-St. Joseph volleyball team is 9-5 on the season, but don’t let a couple of losses on the Vikings’ record fool you.
Veteran coach Mark Royer has a talented squad on his hands that he is confident is learning and getting better with each match.
VASJ’s losses have come against five quality opponents – Gilmour, South, Trinity, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Joseph Academy. Facing that level of competition will certainly prepare the Vikings for the upcoming postseason run, now in Division II.
“We would have liked to beat St. Joseph Academy, that would have really been a feather in our caps, but the girls competed hard and really were right there the entire way and they are learning some of the new things we are implementing so it was good to see,” Royer said. “These girls really work hard and give you everything they have and I know that will pay off down the road.”
VASJ has advanced to the state final four each of the past two seasons in Division IV. This year, the Vikings will be playing much more difficult competition and bigger schools D-II. In order to make another playoff push, VASJ will be relying on a core of very talented players to continue to make an impact.
Senior setter Rachel Smith is an All-Ohio caliber player who Royer calls one of the best to play at VASJ. Junior libero Nikkia Shadey has been playing well this fall. Middle hitter Kiarra Franks is coming off a big effort against St. Joseph Academy. Outside hitter Emily Mastalski is very versatile and can play all over the court and make a difference for the Vikings. Freshmen Rachel Kosorec and Kathleen McGarry, as well as Angie Zamora have been solid in the VASJ rotation this season.
The Vikings head to Mayfield for a tournament on Oct. 3 where Royer is confident the level of competition will only further test his team and prepare them for the second half of the rugged NCL White schedule, including rematches with St. Thomas Aquinas and Trinity.