CLARKS SUMMIT — The Abington Heights boys varsity volleyball team won its first Lackawanna League title last season since making the switch from the Wyoming Valley Conference in 2012.
Despite claiming the league crown with an 11-1 record, Comets fourth-year head coach Jamie Spangler believes this year’s team has some unfinished business.
“I expect us to win the league again,” Spangler said. “We’d like to improve to 12-0 and get past the first round of districts. That’s our main goal. It’s nice to win the league, but we want to move on in the district.”
Abington Heights lost a four set match to Crestwood in the quarterfinals of the District 2/11 subregional championship last season and the Comets have not won a district playoff match since 2011.
The Comets return three starters: senior setter Sean Salmon, senior defensive specialist Rhys Yarns and junior middle hitter Eric Brickel.
Junior outside hitter Kevin Albright, and senior middle hitters Phil Gattorna and Rob McGarry return after seeing a lot of varsity action last year.
Juniors Dan Munley and George Kronick are also expected to see significant varsity time after playing primarily on the junior varsity team last season.
The team lost several key players to graduation, including Jeremy Critchley, Griffin Joyce and Shreyas Chandragiri.
Although several new players will be entering the lineup, Spangler is confident the team’s overall height will help the Comets remain among the top teams in the division.
“We have a lot of size, so I think we’ll definitely be able to hit and block,” he said. “I think the challenge is going to be controlling and passing the ball.”
Spangler expects Mountain View and Western Wayne to provide the toughest competition within Lackawanna League play.
The Comets open Lackawanna League play with a match at Susquehanna at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.