Caseys ready to continue their winning momentum

Caseys ready to continue their winning momentum

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Caseys ready to continue their winning momentum

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It hasn’t taken the Red Bank Catholic Caseys long to establish Shore Conference divisional dominance.

In 2010, the Caseys went 11-1 and won Class B North in their first season of play. They followed with a 13-1 record and another Class B North diadem last year.

“I think we were blessed to have a really good athletic group of girls out for the program right from the start,” third-year coach Pete Bogdan said. “We had some girls who entered the program with some experience. The other girls picked the sport up very quickly.

“The whole group was able to mesh as a team. That was the key to our success in both seasons.”

With several key players returning from last year’s team, which went 22-4 overall, look for the Caseys to again be among the elite clubs in the Shore Conference.

“We look to continue the legacy we’ve established,” Bogdan said. “Our goals are to defend the Class B North title and to compete with the elite teams in the Shore Conference and the state.”

The Caseys return three standouts from last year’s club in senior middle hitter Brooke Foley and senior outside hitters Jacqueline Reilly and Alexis Whelan.

The 5-foot-9 Foley, a team captain this year, played opposite last season.

“She has done a good job of making the transition,” Bogdan said. “She’s controlling the net with her blocking ability and her ability to swing hard from the middle of the court. She’s a real tough server, which gives us an outstanding presence in the back in terms of her ability to attack the ball from the back.”

The 5-foot-7 Reilly has become more consistent.

“She has gotten much more consistent in terms of her ability to attack the ball from the outside,” Bogdan said. “She has a real lethal jump float serve that she developed from last year. She is one of our best defenders as she has amazing quickness and jumping ability. She gets to balls on defense that you don’t expect anyone to get to.”

Whelan is in her second year as a team captain. The 5-foot-7 Whelan was a middle hitter last year.

“We needed a steady, consistent attacker on the outside and she brings that to the table,” Bogdan said. “She is another player who has developed a real tough jump float serve. She is probably our most consistent passer on service receive.”

Junior middle hitters Tara Rempel, sophomore setter-opposite Mary Yachnik and freshman setter Morgan McLoud also hope to make contributions.

The 6-foot Rempel joined team last year for the first time.

“She has shown marked improvement,” Bogdan said. “During the summer, we went to a camp at Penn State and stayed overnight. Her game took off at that camp to the point where she has taken a starting role. She is a dominating blocker who does a great job of hitting the ball down, making it difficult for the other team to defend.

“For a taller girl, she does an excellent job of defending. She is eager to dive on the floor to keep the ball in play.”

The 5-foot-11 Yachnik is tall for a setter.

“She is a lefty, which makes the decision to put her on the right side a natural thing,” Bogdan said. “Her ability to set the ball well made her an easy choice to put her there. She has a very tough serve as well and she gives us everything we need on defense in the back row.”

McLoud played with the poise of a veteran during the preseason.

“I was a little hesitant to go with a freshman as a starter, especially at setter as the setter is like the quarterback of the football team,” Bogdan said. “She has impressed me with her gung ho attitude and her ability to do good things with bad passes. She has played club ball for a number of years. She has fit into the starting lineup very well.”

Bogdan said the team is a pleasure to coach.

“Our upperclassmen always make it a point to reach out to the younger girls to help them and make them a part of the program,” he said. “It has been like that since I have been here.”

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