Tonawanda News — It’s the next generation’s turn to take over.
Last season North Tonawanda coach Jessica Anderson bid farewell to Delaney Laper and Jordan Tylec who, along with Lauren Metzger and Sarah Hansen, were the key cogs of the 2009 team that won the sectional title.
But the Lady Jacks are in good hands as they enter the 2012 season with sophomores Leanna Metzger (OH) and Gabby Hansen (OH) as the team’s leaders.
The younger sisters of Lauren and Sarah, Leanna and Gabby, worked their ways into the starting lineup as freshmen and quickly established themselves as impact players that Anderson could count on and build around.
While the team is on the younger side as a whole, early on they’ve all shown their willingness to work hard and sacrifice their bodies by diving on the floor for balls.
“Hard work wins games,” Hansen said.
Eighth-grader Julie Milbrand, sophomore Kayla Higgins and senior Amber Kudla are all up from JV and should see plenty of quality minutes. Katherine Zgolak, who last played NT volleyball as a seventh grader, returns to the program after playing for the Lady Jacks soccer team.
Optimism is also high in the Lady Jacks camp because the rest of the Niagara Frontier League has experienced a changing of the guard. While Grand Island appears to be the team to beat on paper, for the most part it is somewhat of an open field, where on any given night any team can beat anyone else. Anderson feels that if her team works to its potential there is no reason they can’t secure a spot in the top three.
Sonja Toye, Rachel Malone, Danielle Kenney, Rachel Wieclaw and Ashley Brodfuehrer complete the team. The Lady Jacks open the season on Sept. 7 when they host long time rival Kenmore West.