Coach: Mike Ludwig, fourth season
Last Year’s Record: 20-5, 12-1 PAC (District 1-4A quarterfinal, PAC runner-up)
Players to Watch: Emma Ludwig, Sr., OH; Adrianna Derstine, Jr., OH / MH; Grace Rinehimer, Jr., S/RH; Emma Smith, Jr., DS; Logan Black, Sr., RH/OH; Kate Ott, Sr., MH/RH; Jess Ahart, Sr., OH; Alexa Mack, Sr., DS
Season Outlook: The level of expectations around the Bears have heightened over the past several seasons and that should be the same in 2020 after Boyertown advanced to its first league title game and won its first district playoff game in program history last season. The Bears depart two first team all-area selections, but led by all-state selection Emma Ludwig, and all-league and all-district selection Adrianna Derstine, Boyertown will be the favorites in the PAC and have a good shot at making a deep postseason run, maybe making some more program history with a trip to states.
Coach’s Thoughts: “We return a solid nucleolus from last year’s team and will mix in some younger players looking to step up and help the team be successful. … We have a tremendous amount of versatility on the team. Hopefully we can use that versatility to attack opponents’ weaknesses. This team is also littered with players who have a ton of big game experience, which should serve them well during the season.”
Coach: Matthew Kessler, fourth season
Last Year’s Record: 10-9, 6-6 Berks I (District 3-3A first round)
Players to Watch: Aubrey Hunt, Jr., MB/S; Ashley Kriebel, Jr., OH; Bella Morta, Sr., L; Jimmy Lewis, Sr., RS
Season Outlook: A year after just missing the district playoffs, Boone found its way into the District 3 tournament last season. Despite the graduation of three all-league players, the Blazers hope to be back in the postseason once again this year, advancing deeper in the district and Berks County playoffs. They will rely on some youth but also a chemistry that head coach Matt Kessler said sets this team apart.
Coach’s Thoughts: “While young, the team has been playing together for many years. Their familiarity with each other gained over the years and the overall cohesiveness of this team will be its strongest attribute. There is no one position of strength on the team as it is well rounded.”
Coach: Shane Manser, 16th season
Last Year’s Record: 13-7, 9-4 PAC (District 1-4A second round)
Players to Watch: Melinda Eglinton, Jr., MH; Meghan Haftl, Jr., S; Alison Hazlett, Sr., MH; Emma Ginther, Sr., DS; Andria Santangelo, Sr., RS/OH; Mandy Baldwin, So., OH; Kayla Ginther, Fr., OH
Season Outlook: The Warriors extended their district playoff streak to four seasons in 2019, winning at least one playoff game for the third time in four years. There is plenty of reason to believe Methacton will be back again in 2020 despite the graduation of two all-area performers, including first teamer Sydney Zerbe. Juniors Melinda Eglinton, an all-league selection in her first two high school seasons, and Meghan Haftl, another all-league selection, return among others to give Methacton a strong group which should compete for a league title once again after falling in the Final Four last season.
Coach’s Thoughts: “We need to gel as a team early. With such a late start and no summer workouts we have to get into midseason form early. Serve receive will be a focus for improvement from last season.”
Owen J. Roberts
Coach: Amanda Lynch, second season
Last Year’s Record: 3-10 PAC, 3-16
Players to Watch: Jessica Taney, Sr., MH; Abby Mattis, Sr., RH; Hannah Lewiski, Sr., OH; Madison Harvey, Sr., DS; Bridget Kowalski, Jr., Libero; Meghan Touhey, Fr., OH
Season Outlook: Although the Wildcats’ record may have not displayed marked improvement in 2019, coach Amanda Lynch felt her team was competitive in her first year at the helm. The Wildcats depart all-league player Jordyn Chambers, but a strong senior class should help keep OJR in matches this season.
Coach’s Thoughts: “This season looks quite different with the teams we are playing and how we are playing, but I think the Lady Wildcats will hold their own against the PAC teams we will play. … Our offense has a strong group of hitters, but our defense looks a lot better this year as well. … Injuries always play into the Wildcat’s season, but other than keeping the girls healthy they just need to keep their confidence up against the bigger schools.”
Coach: Jessica Highley, second season
Last Year’s Record: 10-10, 7-6 PAC (District 1-4A first round)
Players to Watch: Abby Souder, Sr., Libero; Isabel Clauhs, Sr., OH; Naomi Clauhs, So.; S/RH
Season Outlook: The Vikings fell a peg below their typical standards in 2019 while trying to replace five all-league players, but they found a way into the district tournament to get some inexperienced players some valuable postseason experience. PV is well-equipped to take a leap forward in 2020, returning both of last season’s all-league selections in Isabel and Naomi Clauhs as well as several others from last season. The group will be in the mix for a league title and a deeper run in districts. Highley said a lot of responsibility will fall on her seniors to lead the charge this season, which she expects is exactly what they’ll do.
Coach’s Thoughts: “We have a large senior class this season with a lot of talent, and I think they will work hard to learn and improve even more each day. … Having such strong senior leadership on the court will be helpful this season. We have a great group of girls who all mesh together well on the court which we think will help to have a successful winning season.”
Coach: Jaime Reinhart, fourth season
Last Year’s Record: 7-12, 3-10 PAC
Players to Watch: Sydney Schwanbeck, Jr., S/MH; Sydney Wasdick, Jr., S/OH; Janiya Jones, Sr., MH/OH; Sydney Mowery, Sr., OH/DS
Season Outlook: Even after the loss of seven seniors, Pottsgrove found a way to improve in 2019. After not recording a league victory in its first two seasons of existence, wins over OJR and Phoenixville (twice), were monumental for the Pottsgrove program last year. The Falcons now have plenty of returning experience, including all-league player Sydney Schwanbeck, to try and build off the momentum they created last year, even if the results may not be there in a downsized PAC this season. Pottsgrove’s team activities are currently suspended after a team member tested positive for COVID-19.
Coach’s Thoughts: “Each year, we get a little more experience and we now have our middle school program that is feeding our high school program. … We are just happy to be here. Due to COVID restrictions, we never thought we’d be able to play…we are so grateful for the opportunity.”
Coach: Josh McNulty
Last Year’s Record: 7-6 PAC, 8-10 overall
Players to Watch: Anoushka Patel, Sr.; Allison Plitnick, Jr.; Faith Hudson, Jr.
Season Outlook: The Rams have had to replace large senior classes in their past two seasons after graduating nine players in 2017 and seven in 2018. While Spring-Ford will still have some holes to fill, including the spots of three all-league players, the Rams should be better prepared this season after some young player gained valuable experience a year ago. Some other new faces will have to step up once again in 2020 in order for Spring-Ford to return toward the top of the league.