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Now that the club season is over with both AAU and USA volleyball finishing their respective national tournaments over the last few weeks, the attention turns to the high school season. Is this the year that some team other than Notre Dame Academy or Saint Henry District High School wins the 9th region tournament?

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Tough call for this year. Both teams lost some irreplaceable seniors. However, so did a lot of the other teams in the 9th. It’s as wide open as it’s been in recent memory. NDA and SHDHS always reload, but each has a question mark or two.

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Notre Dame Academy's junior varsity team only lost to Assumption high school last year and there appears to be plenty of players on their roster who are eager to get on the court this year. The bigger question for Saint Henry is who is going to step up and replace Bessler at setter this year. I believe that Noll, as a Junior Varsity setter last year, did not play club this year. I wonder if she even plays this year. I hear she may stick with golf as she is a very good golfer. Dixie Heights lost the Metzger girl but has a good group of underclassmen and I think they may contend for the 9th region title. Dixie Heights did take Notre Dame Academy to 5 sets twice last year. Cooper will be rebuilding and will have a tough time replacing Morgan Kelly. Ryle will lean on the Trump girl as she is impressive. Holy Cross has some players but will lack the depth to contend for a 9th region title. This is my way too early prediction for how the 9th region stacks up this year.

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I could see Highlands moving up the 9th Region totem pole at the least. Have they closed the gap with St. Henry, Cooper and Notre Dame any? We'll see. All the current players have come up with the Little Birds volleyball program starting with the senior class led by three-year starting seniors Casey Dunn, Ava Hockney and Audrey Graves. This could be the deepest team Katelyn Sallee has ever had entering her sixth season as head coach. Sophomore outside hitter CC Shick also returns after starting last year. Seniors Rylee Kirschenbaum and Brooke Biltz also return along with junior Laura Winkler and sophomore Nicole Ossege. Sophomores Madison Clore and Sophia Sarakatsannis saw valuable time on varsity as a result of injuries so it could be an exciting fall in Fort Thomas.

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Although St. Henry lost a couple good Seniors, the majority of their roster is back. Two of their best players last season were Freshman. Their Junior, and Sophomore classes are stacked.

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Notre Dame's frosh class is deep and will be a handful even with 4 girls making JV. I don't think NDA is going anywhere in the near future.

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Notre Dame's frosh class is deep and will be a handful even with 4 girls making JV. I don't think NDA is going anywhere in the near future.

 

You are correct-many feel this is one of the strongest classes they have had. A couple girls who went to JV would be starting Varsity at most programs.

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