University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

2009 Season Preview

With five seniors returning, including Second-Team All-WVIAC middle hitter Kristin Irwin (Bellefonte, Pa.), the 2009 Pitt-Johnstown Lady Cat volleyball team looks to improve on last year’s solid 21-13 overall record and 9-6 mark in conference play.  After reaching the WVIAC Quarterfinals in both 2007 and 2008, Head Coach Linda Renzi’s (6th season) Lady Cats want to take the next step up the WVIAC ladder in 2009.
     Along with Irwin, who led Pitt-Johnstown in kills with 270 and blocks with 134 a year ago, Coach Renzi will rely on four other seniors to lead this year’s team.  Team captain Abby Gearhart (OH, Elton, Pa.), Nicole Houser (OH, Penn Run, Pa.) and Kelly Miller (OH, Stoystown, Pa.) are back to help anchor the front line, while Kimberly Shubra (DS, Penn Run, Pa.) is expected to replace 2008 Second-Team All-WVIAC selection Katie Shadron (DS, Ligonier, Pa.) on the back line.
     Also returning to the lineup is junior middle hitter Taylor Hrescak (Johnstown, Pa.), who finished second on the team in kills with 261, and junior setter Taylor King (York, Pa.), who ended the 2008 season second in assists with 343.  Junior Kayla Brandle (OH, Johnstown, Pa.) should also be a contributor after averaging nearly one kill per game last season.
     Coach Renzi expects sophomore outside hitters Jessica Heidenthal (Clymer, Pa.) and Samantha Link (Ebensburg, Pa.) to contribute after gaining valuable experience as true freshmen.
     In addition, Coach Renzi has added a handful of freshmen to this year’s squad to provide additional depth and talent.
     The Lady Cats want to make 2009 a special one.  With five seniors and a total of nine returning letter winners, Pitt-Johnstown has the talent and experience to take that next step.