The 2018 season has the potential to see across-the-board improvement for Back Mountain boys volleyball teams.
A year after they all finished in the bottom third of the Wyoming Valley Conference standings, Lake-Lehman is already guaranteed a better finish than a year ago, Tunkhannock is close to that point and Dallas has reason to believe it will improve as the season progresses.
After going winless a year ago, Lake-Lehman is off to a 2-1 start.
Chris Kukosky worked with an extremely young and inexperienced lineup a year ago in his first season coaching the Black Knights.
“I see more cohesion between all of us this year,” Kukosky said. “We have gotten to know one another and are ready to play this year. With that, we are still a young team and working out the kinks to be able to play smoother and together is a work in progress.
“Our biggest goal this year is to continue improving and developing.”
Lake-Lehman returns seven juniors and four sophomores from a year ago. Three juniors, who are third-year players, return to the starting lineup.
Sam Price and Johnathan Raspen are back as outside hitters/blockers while Josh Company returns as setter.
Tunkhannock went 3-9 a year ago.
The Tigers nearly matched that in their first three matches. After starting 2-0, Tunkhannock went on the road and won the first games from defending District 2 Class 3A champion Delaware Valley, the league’s second-place team last season, before coming up short in a five-game match.
Avery Billings, a 6-foot-8 junior, and Evan Turner, a 6-4 senior who received honorable mention on the coaches’ all-star team last season, lead the Tigers up front.
Dallas is 0-3 after going 2-10 last season.
The Mountaineers had two players each on the boys swimming and boys basketball teams that did well in state competition, delaying their start of spring practice.
“Hopefully, as soon as they get up to speed, we should be able to move up in the standings, get a couple Ws, maybe make a playoff run,” Mountaineers coach Mike Shmakov said.
Seniors Kyle Zern, George Davies and Mike Huntington and junior Caleb Hill and sophomore Logan Evanosky all return to the starting lineup.
Host Berwick defeated Dallas, 25-12, 25-12, 25-13 Wednesday.
Delaware Valley 3
Delaware Valley rallied for a 23-25, 22-25, 25-13, 25-22, 15-13 win in the meeting of 2-0 teams to determine which would tie defending champion Holy Redeemer for the WVC lead.
Avery Billings had 15 kills and 15 blocks for Tunkhannock. Paul Binner had 17 assists, four kills and two aces. Evan Turner had eight kills and six blocks.
Delaware Valley 3
Delaware Valley won the March 28 match, 25-8, 25-19, 25-16.
Hanover Area 0
Tunkhannock swept Hanover Area, 25-13, 25-14, 25-16, March 28.
Paul Binner led the way with 16 assists, four kills, three blocks and three aces.
North Pocono 3
Dallas defeated visiting North Pocono Tuesday in a crossover game to open the WVC season.
Wyoming Area 22
Wyoming Area routed host Lake-Lehman in a WVC Division 2 opener Tuesday.
BOYS TRACK AND FIELD
Erik Bennett won the long jump and triple jump for Tunkhannock when it dropped its WVC Division 1 opener March 28.
GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD
Tunkhannock won the WVC Division 1 opener March 28.
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