As second-year coach Julie Evans was preparing for practice with the Johnstown-Monroe High School girls volleyball team, she was leafing through a book of court alignments.

As second-year coach Julie Evans was preparing for practice with the Johnstown-Monroe High School girls volleyball team, she was leafing through a book of court alignments.

Evans, whose team will open Tuesday at home against MBC-rival Utica, is ready for all of her players to be on the same page, so to speak. Thus far, she has been pleased with the outcome.

"We have a lot of players who are good at numerous positions and are good at all of them," said Evans, whose team finished 7-16 overall a year ago after falling to Centerburg 25-9, 25-11, 25-12 in the second round of the Division III district tournament. "We really don't have anyone who could be called our top player because they all can play well at any given time."

The Johnnies return five letterwinners who were starters at one point or another last season. They include seniors Michelle Fairchild (5-foot-3 utility player), Katie Furr (5-7 outside hitter), Kelsey Grassman (5-7 outside hitter/setter) and Alyssa Lamer (5-4, setter) and junior Kaitlyn Mooney 5-11 middle hitter).

Mooney is the team's tallest player along with senior hitter Chelsea Sager, also 5-11. Sager started as a freshman and sophomore, but did not play last season.

"We're an undersized team, but we're a pretty scrappy team defensively," Evans said. "We find ways to keep the ball in play as much as we can."

Rounding out the roster are juniors Courtney Dingess (5-6 outside hitter) and Emily McDermott (5-5 hitter/setter) and sophomores Hannah Farley (5-5 setter), Brooke Ison (5-5 defender) and Megan Karnes (5-4 defender).

Tuesday's match also is a fundraiser for breast cancer research as part of the Volley for a Cure program.

"The girls wear pink uniforms and play with a pink and white ball to raise money," said Evans, whose team finished 5-9 in the MBC last year for sixth behind champion Centerburg (14-0). "We'll have raffles during the match, the girls made pink bracelets with two volleyballs on them to sell, we're talking about having a 50-50 and proceeds from the concessions go to research. And one of our goals other than winning the match is to beat Utica at raising money because they'll have the same thing when we play over there."

Johnstown will play Wednesday in a non-league match at Granville and Thursday at Centerburg. On Sept. 2, the Johnnies will play host to Northridge in an MBC match.

Northridge returns five letterwinners and four starters from a team that finished 8-13 overall and fifth at 6-8 in the MBC.

Seniors Annie Kiebel (outside hitter/middle hitter), Falon Warner (middle hitter) and Bethany Webb (outside hitter) return to the starting lineup, as does junior setter Ann Sniechowski. Junior Genevieve Hager (outside hitter) is the final letterwinner back.

"These girls really play well together. They just click," said sixth-year coach Christine Demas, whose team will open Tuesday at Danville in an MBC match and will play another league match Thursday at home against Fredericktown. "They also one of the quietest teams I've ever coached. They communicate well on the court, but they do a lot of loud cheers after points. They cheer, just not as loud as teams have in the past."

Junior Jessica Johnson (middle hitter/outside hitter), at 5-9, is the tallest player for the Vikings.

Junior Alysha Smith (defensive specialist/setter) and sophomores Lauren Cornwell (middle hitter), Jessica Simmons (libero) and Dana VanDervort (outside hitter) complete the roster.

"We play some pretty scrappy defense and work on plyometrics to get the most of their natural jumping abilities," said Demas of her team's limited height. "But the big thing is we need to work on defensive positioning and get it down to where we're able to do it with our eyes closed."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Johnstown-Monroe and Northridge golf and boys soccer teams:


Last Monday -- Shot 364 in Richfield Revere Invitational at Portage Country Club to finish behind champion Cleveland St. Ignatius (304). Cody Green shot an 82.

Last Tuesday -- Finished 11th (368) of 12 teams in Warrior-Stallion Invitational at Medallion behind champion Dublin Jerome (289). Green shot an 80.

*Last Thursday -- Defeated Northridge 160-171 at St. Albans. Green shot a 38, followed by Tim Williams with a 40 and Derek Hastings and Cody Peterman with 41s.

Last Friday -- Competed in Utica Invitational

Last Saturday -- Competed in Northridge Invitational

*Tuesday -- At Apple Valley vs. Danville

*Thursday -- At Chapel Hill vs. Fredericktown

*Sept. 4 -- At Clover Valley vs. Centerburg


*Last Thursday -- Lost to Johnstown 160-171. Barry Roth shot a 36, followed by Addie Cortez with a 41, Torey Eckhardt with a 42 and Sam Cox with a 52.

Last Friday -- Competed in Utica Invitational

Last Saturday -- Host team for Northridge Invitational

*Tuesday -- At St. Albans vs. Fredericktown

*Sept. 4 -- At Apple Valley vs. East Knox

*MBC match


Last Saturday -- Played Ready in opener

Tuesday -- Home vs. Columbus Academy

*Sept. 4 -- At Buckeye Valley


Last Tuesday -- Lost to Tree of Life 4-0 in opener

Last Thursday -- Def. Licking Heights 4-3

Tuesday -- At Madison Christian

Sept. 2 -- Home vs. East Knox

*Sept. 4 -- At Caledonia River Valley

*NCSL game