Brian Bensman takes over as Miami East volleyball coach.
The Lady Vikings return a talented group from last year’s CCC and district champions.
That includes sophomore Jonni Parker, the CCC Player of the Year a year ago.
Also returning are seniors Lindsey Black, Karson Mahaney, Emma Monnin and Kati Runner; juniors Carly Gump, Taylor McCuiston and Jillian Wesco; and sophomore Kyndell Hellyer.
Rounding out the roster are juniors Reagan Morrett, Sidney Pelfrey and Allyssa Westgerdes.
“What a great group of ladies to start off my coaching career,” Bensman said. “The ladies have taken to the hardwood with expectations of another great season. We have moved a couple of players to new positions to create a system that will be most efficient for our team.
“We are focusing on serve receive and ball control to run our style of offense to compete with the tough competition on our schedule.”
Bensman is happy with what he has seen so far.
“We are taking one day at a time and trying to improve our consistency each day,” he said. “Ladies are stepping up and pushing for playing time at each position to keep practice very competitive. Our goals remain the same as in the past few years. Focus on each game, compete for a conference title and prepare ourselves for a deep run in the tournament.”
East’s goal is to defend its CCC title.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Alan Russell returns for his seventh season as coach.
The Vikings were 47-48 overall last year and finished third in the CCC.
Graduating off that team were Matthew Amheiser and Sean Slack.
Returning letterwinners include seniors Ben Marlow, Hunter Sharp and Brandon Mack; juniors Luke Mengos and Justin DeWeese and sophomores Jacob Goins and Jackson Tucker.
“We have a good group of young men coming back this year,” Russell said. “This group will be matched with an influx of several highly-talented new runners to our program. The group, new and returning, has put in more miles during this summer than previous summers. I think we can continue to improve this year and hopefully improve on our finish at the league meet.”
Russell hopes to improve on what has consistently been a third-place finish at the CCC, usually behind National Trail and Covington.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Russell is also the girls coach.
The Lady Vikings were 76-10 a year ago and won the league title.
While East lost Abby Hawkins to graduation, returning letterwinners include senior Sami Sands, juniors Marie Ewing and Lorenza Savini and sophomores Meredith Richters and Lindsey Yingst.
“The girls team enjoyed a high successful season,” Russell said. “We were league champions, district runnerups and narrowly missed qualifying for the state meet. We lost one senior, who in many ways is an an irreplaceable talent and leader on our team.
“However, I believe overall we will be a stronger team this year than we were a year ago. The girls are working hard this summer and have the potential to continue enjoying much success in cross country.”
Russell is hoping the Lady Vikings will win their third CCC title in the last four years.
Terry Henley returns as for his third year as coach.
The Vikings are coming off a 22-1 season, which included winning the CCC and setting 10 school records.
Graduating off that team was Ryan Bergman.
Returning letterwinners include seniors Scot Kirby, Kley Karadak and Devyn Carson and junior Dylan Martinez and Walker Henley.
“We expect to win the CCC, set more records and have a potential run at state,” Henley said.
Bruce Vanover returns for his second season as Miami East girls golf coach.
Returning letterwinners include seniors Kierra Fellers, Megan Pettit and Megan Thompson; junior Maggie Bergman and sophomores Haley Howard, Emily Rowley, Kathleena Braun and Carynne Gross.
“The numbers are increasing for the team,” Vanover said. “This year’s team is looking to participate in several JV matches for the first time in many years. This is due to an increase in the number of girls playing golf this season at East. This year’s girls’ team will have thirteen girls on it. This is due in large part to the addition of five freshmen. Joining the girls’ team will be Maci Krites, Marissa Kearns, Alivia Bevans, Ally Shore, and Alyssa Theodore.”
Vanover believes that his team should be much improved, as this year’s team will be heading into the season as an experienced team, a drastic change from last year, where the girls’ team only returned two golfers from the previous year, but after increasing their numbers to nine golfers, seven who had never played golf prior to last year, the team was able to win the CCC league tournament, as well as finish fifth in the sectional tournament, one place away from qualifying for districts. Based on what last year’s team was able to accomplished, he strongly believes that this year’s team will be able to improve on last year’s success.
This year’s team will look for leadership from Kiera Fellers (2014 CCC tournament medalist), Megan Pettit (2014 district qualifier), Maggie Bergman (2014 CCC tournament medalist), Megan Thompson, and Haley Howard.
“This year’s team is looking to improve on their 12-7 record from last year,” Vanover said. “It would be great to win a few more non-league matches. Coach Vanover thinks that this is a solid goal, because his team will be playing a very strong non-league schedule. The team is also hoping to repeat as CCC Tournament Champions this year, as well as improve on their fifth-place finish in the sectional tournament. The team would really like to qualify for the district tournament this year as a team.
Emalie Carson returns for her 12th season as coach.
Carson has a record of 107-81-14.
Last season the Lady Vikings were 5-11-1 overall and 3-3 in the CCC.
Graduating off that team were Jessica Barlage, Madeline Davis, Renee DeFord, Olivia Edgell, Amy Hahn, Ashley Hahn, Riann Kingrey and Cheyenne Smith.
Returning letterwinners include seniors Stephanie Hammond and Emily Holicki; juniors Katie Bodenmiller, Sage Hunley, Emma Linn and Brynne Snodgrass; and sophomore Haley Demmitt and Hailey Weaver.
“Our main goal this season is to keep everyone healthy,” Carson said. “We were riddled with injuries last season and it made for a long season. Our numbers are somewhat low after graduating 20 in the past two years, which makes staying healthy even more important. This is an extremely young group, but a very talented group. We’ll potentially have four freshman starting and I look for them to be impact players. We also had a junior move back into the district and she is going to add a lot to our midfield.”
Carson hopes to do well in CCC.
“The goal is always to win the league, but our league has improved immensely over the years,” she said. “No one is a guaranteed winner going in. We’re going to take it one game at a time and work for positive results.”