JACKSON TWP — Rob Lombardo likes what he sees in the Seneca Valley girls basketball team this season. He’s hoping the results follow suit.
The fourth-year coach graduated four starters from last year’s team, including forward Alex Karika (18 points and nine rebounds per game) and point guard Karlei Fronzaglio.
“Are we going to be able to replace Karlei or Alex with just one girl?” asked Lombardo. “No, but I do believe we can be a better overall team. We should get more scoring from all the players on the floor.”
The Raiders have improved in each of Lombardo’s previous three seasons at Seneca, going from 2-18 to 7-15 to 14-8 last year, which was SV’s first winning season in five years, though the Raiders missed the WPIAL Quad A playoffs with a 5-7 record in Section 3.
“Winning is now expected here,” said Lombardo. “We don’t want to go backward.”
He plans to move forward with nine of his 14 varsity players being either freshmen or sophomores.
The players returning with the most varsity playing experience are forward Abbie Trzeciak (6-foot-0) and guard/forward Katie Brown (5-11), both juniors who are expected to start.
Trzeciak was off to a great start to her sophomore season, scoring in double figures in five of her first eight games, but a concussion limited her playing time for the duration of the season. Brown started in her place and became a solid rebounder.
Paige Montrose, a 5-10 freshman forward, will add even more height to SV’s frontcourt.
Playing point guard could be one of four girls — senior Kaitlyn Eagle, sophomore Meghan Hess and freshmen Lexus Lambert and Christina Dunning.
“All four of them will be handling the ball at some point,” said Lombardo. “(Hess) is our best pure shooter, so she will see a lot of time at shooting guard.
“If we need to be quick, we have five girls who are about 5-6 and can run the floor,” he added. “We also have size and can stick five girls on the court with the shortest one being 5-10. We have a lot of flexibility.”
Guards Hanna Parey, Jane Vandrak and Melissa Carter look to contribute off the bench.