Dils leads talented PHS senior net program

PARKERSBURG – Veteran head coach Carl Harnish knows this year’s version of his Big Reds’ volleyball team, which features 10 seniors, could be really good.

Whether or not the red and white will be good enough to win their first Class AAA state title since 2007 remains to be seen.

“We have our goals. We still want to try and win state again, at least get back to the state first and then try to win it,” said Harnish, who is entering his 34th year of coaching.

“We’ve set high goals and our seniors are really working hard. This is one of the hardest working groups I’ve had. We do have a lot of talent.”

That starts with returning first team all-state senior hitter Alexandra Dils, who is joined by fellow captains in seniors Samantha Shingleton (middle hitter), Jordan Lallemont (setter) and Katie Quillen (defensive specialist).

“Musselman didn’t lose very much in the way of players so we are actually trying to catch up to them,” admitted Harnish of the reigning state champion Applemen.

The Big Reds feature a pair of other middle hitters in senior Courtney Ball and 11th-grader Alison Schumacher.

Coach Harnish’s squad also boasts senior hitters Katherine Baughan and Katelyn Bond (DS) along with junior spikers Mackenzie Sims (DS) and Mackenzie Boone.

Even though they are deep, health will be a major issue for the Big Reds this year.

Dils has been dealing with a toe issue, Ball has a tweaked wrist, Boone is coming off knee surgery from last year and sophomore Callie Shaver, a defensive specialist, has been slowed in the early going with a knee problem as well.

Seniors Tiffany Noland, Taylor Walls and Hannah Hill will be expected to help carry the load in the back row.

Also expected to contribute in a key role as an outside hitter for the red and white this year is Harnish’s granddaughter, Shada Harnish.

“We’ve missed the state tournament four times in 33 years (since I’ve been coaching),” said the coach. “We are a little slow up front.

“I’m not going to say we are the fastest up there. The back row we are fine and got a lot of speed and quickness back there. We should be all right.”