Volleyball: Final 2013 Super 7

Man, it’s already that time?

The All-Delco package runs tomorrow and it leads off two weeks of All-Delconess in the paper every day. You’ll see a feature on our Player of the Year, capsules for the rest of the first-team All-Delcos, a full list of first and second teams, plus honorable mention, a list of previous Players of the Year and yes, this Super 7.

But all that Super 7 will have is names of schools and records. Here’s a little breakdown of why everyone is stationed where they are. I forgot to post the last Super 7, so I can’t really remember where everyone was back then. That’s why there’s not a “Last week” ranking. Ready?

Madison McCunney, left, and Chelsea Jones are the two biggest reasons for Sun Valley sitting atop the Super 7. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE NEBORAK

Madison McCunney, left, and Chelsea Jones are the two biggest reasons for Sun Valley sitting atop the Super 7.

1. Sun Valley (13-8)

I’ve been doing this since 2010 and have never had a Sun Valley team No. 1 in any sport. First time for everything, right? The Vanguards cemented their status as the county’s top team when they pulled off an incredible 3-2 upset of Strath HavenMadison McCunney and Chelsea Jones were completely unstoppable in that one. Sun Valley ended up falling, 3-1, one round later against West Chester Henderson. Jones is gone, as is Mallorie Estock, but McCunney could make a serious run at 2014 Player of the Year honors if her game continues to blossom as it did this year. The rest of the team is back, including Jocelyn Romesburg and Liz Schnarrs as some of the headliners.

2. Strath Haven (23-3)

So that postseason didn’t exactly go the way the Panthers had planned, but ultimately, they got the nod ahead of Garnet Valley because, well, they played for a championship and beat the Jaguars. Pretty easy choice, actually. The loss to the Vanguards doesn’t change the fact that Strath Haven had a superb year, led by Alice Roberts and Bridget Scott. Those two leave, which is good news for the rest of Delco. Bad news? Every other major contributor is back. Brianna Fisher was the county’s best freshman and fellow freshman Casey Blum is going to be a problem for teams. Bringing back Rachel Vresilovic and Ellie Stief is also a huge boost for the Panthers.

3. Garnet Valley (18-5)

Strath Haven got the title, but the Jaguars made it a round further in the District One tournament, Beating Pennsbury was a nice touch, and while Garnet Valley couldn’t keep pace with Bishop Shanahan, there’s a lot of optimism around this group. Jenna Hostetler will be the best returning player in Delco next year and coach Mark Clark pretty much brings back, oh, everyone. Brianna PlushMaria Nicolaides and Kiley Price is a heck of a nucleus to work with, while Christina Duko‘s emergence as a defensive force means that it’s going to be awfully tough to score points on the Jaguars next year.

4. Cardinal O’Hara (15-7)

OK, so maybe the Lions got an easier road to the state tournament than District One teams did, but there’s still something to be said for making it there. Flip a coin between the Lions and Penncrest. I won’t argue either way. It’s a shame that Bill Collins‘ team was never fully healthy all season. Things could have been different, but such is life. Caitlin Fitz and Meghan Czapka were standouts for O’Hara, while Nicole Poissant also enjoyed a nice year. Sabrina Connolly had a fantastic effort in a season-ending loss to Downingtown East, too.

5. Penncrest (16-6)

Pretty good year for the Lions, who emerged as the Central League’s No. 3 team, albeit thanks in some part to Haverford’s inability to stay healthy. Andrea Hartman was the driving force behind a relatively young team, Jenn Davidson had a really nice senior year and freshman Diana Balta proved that she’s going to be a handful for teams for three more years. Having setters Nikki and Gianna Gargiule around won’t hurt, either. Amanda and Sam Hunt were consistent at the net, too. Unfortunately for the Lions, they just happened to run into the same Bishop Shanahan powerhouse that Garnet Valley had to deal with.

6. Notre Dame (16-6)

Of course the Irish and Agnes Irwin had to go five games to decide a PAISAA winner. Ultimately, though, it was too much Colleen Donnelly for the Owls to handle. The senior was a beast at the net after coming back from a bout with mono to turn in one of the finest seasons in Irish history. Alex Quigley posted the second-most kills in school history, while Meagan Milligan and Cori Cichowicz were two more forces in leading ND to an outright Inter-Ac title.

7. Haverford (11-7)

I really feel for the Fords because the team they were at the end of the season doesn’t accurately reflect how good they really were. Helen Fitzpatrick‘s team was decimated by injuries. Bridget Newman‘s major ankle sprain took a huge toll on Haverford’s play at the net. Katie Lane had to battle through a shoulder injury and Arden Vizzard’s concussion didn’t help, either. With them healthy, the Fords were up 2-0 on Strath Haven at Strath Haven before Lane got hurt. Then? 3-2 Panthers win and the beginning of a rough end to the year that culminated in a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Central Bucks East. It’ll be interesting to see how the Fords handle things next year with all three gone.

Also considered: Agnes Irwin, Archbishop Carroll, Springfield, Ridley.

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