STORY WRITTEN BY TOM UTESCHER, CHESTNUT HILL LOCAL - AUG. 30, 2023
Getting back on the volleyball court at the beginning of last week, the Germantown Academy Patriots are looking to defend the Inter-Ac League championship they won in 2022. Last season, the Pats finished with an overall record of 22-3. GA was a finalist in the Pa. Independent Schools tournament, losing in the championship match to an Academy of Notre Dame team that they'd defeated twice during the Inter-Ac season.
Chuck Dougherty, founder of the TNT Volleyball Club outside of school, returns for his third season as GA head coach. New assistant coach Eli Porr was a head coach at Arcadia University, and before that was an assistant coach at George Mason University (an NCAA Division I school).
The team co-captains for the 2023 campaign are both seniors. Kaitlin Pokorny is an outside hitter, and Angie Wang can serve as a setter or a defensive specialist. Their classmate Ally Della Franzia usually plays left-side hitter, and the other seniors on this year's roster are Rayna Alhadad, Maddalena Donches, and Shae Sawyer-St. Clair.
Three current juniors who were all principal players last season are outside hitter Hadley Evans, defensive specialist Liv Reynolds, and middle hitter Caroline Smith.
A healthy crop of sophomores includes Pokorny's sister, Emily, Alexis Farnsworth, Bridget Flannery, Kat Kou, Abby Traina, and Nicole Ward. New to the varsity program are freshmen Syd Kozel and Delaney Schwartz, as well as Jade West, a sophomore transfer student.
Last Friday, GA engaged in its first scrimmage, playing at Upper Dublin High School against a Cardinals team that had started practice a week earlier than the Patriots. Upper Dublin won, 3-1, with two of its victories coming in 26-24 sets.