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Volleyball Team Capsules

Tue, Sep 3rd, 2013
Posted in All Sports

Mabel-Canton Cougars

Head Coach: Lonnie Morken

2012 Record: 31-6 (SEC champions, Sub-Section 1A East runner’s-up)

Class Breakdown: 6 seniors, 4 juniors, 2 freshmen, 1 8th grader (13 total)

Seniors: Belle Sand (5’7” OH, reigning SEC POY, All-Conference, All-State HM), Carly McCabe (5’4” S, All-Conference), Lydia Geving (5’8” OH, All-Conference), Christine Lee (5’4” L), Sara Lind (6’0” OH), Kourtney Coyle (5’6” RH).

Other Key Returnees: Sara Vettleson-Trutza (5’9 Jr. OH), Coranda Vickerman (5’6” Fr S), Hannah Nolte (5’8” Jr. MH)

Comments from Coach Morken (relating to the possible impending battle/re-match of M-C and FC for the Sub-Section title): “We’re playing it day-by-day. We got a lot of kids returning. On paper, you would think that us and Fillmore Central are the favorites (in Sub-Section 1A), but everybody keeps forgetting about Goodhue. They’re super-athletic. The last few years they’ve been ravaged with injuries. They have not had a full team the last two years. And Wabasha will be good. They have three very good attackers. We have played them over the summer, are very familiar with them. But you would think, on paper, Fillmore Central and us, based on returning players, and past success (last season). But…we’re still playing it day-by-day, because our setter (Carly McCabe) has been gone all summer (for basic training). So a younger girl, Coranda Vickerman set all summer…and did phenomenal. She’ll be in the mix somewhere. Don’t know if we’ll change positions and Carly will step right back into the setter position when she comes back (imminently). We’ll see. It’s nice to have a little bit of depth and a little bit of competition. We feel that we should be fairly strong. We’re fairly experienced. Size will be an issue, no doubt about it. And then our depth. We have some younger kids coming up, but they’re certainly not gonna be ready at the start of the season.” As for the conference: “We start with LeRoy-Ostrander and Spring Grove, which is great, cause they’re probably the (other) top two teams.”

Fillmore Central Falcons

Head Coach: Denise Case

2012 Record: 26-6 (3rd place in 3-Rivers; lost to M-C 3-2 in Sub-Section semifinals)

Class Breakdown: 2 seniors, 5 juniors, 2 sophomores, 1 freshman (10 total)

Seniors: Taylor Case (5’11” OH, All-Conference, All-State HM), Victoria Peterson (5’7” OH, All-Conference).

Other Key Returnees: Morgan Malley (5’8” Jr. S, All-Conference), Sammi Bakke (5’11” Jr. MH), Leah Scheevel (5’9” Jr. MH), Kaitlynn Aug (5’11” Jr. RH), Sara Schultz (5’5” Jr. DS), Larissa Armstrong (5’6” So. OH).

Comments from Coach Case: “We just lost one player. They are an experienced group…a lot of talent coming back. We’re setting our goals high. We used to say ‘we’re a young team, we’re a young team.’ Now we’re an experienced team. We can’t lean on ‘young team’ anymore. We got a lot of experience, a lot of height, they’ve played together for a long time.” On how last year ended, losing to Mabel-Canton (after leading 2-0, and 9-2 in set three): “It’s kind of hush-hush, we don’t talk about it! We’ve played Mabel this summer. It went both ways. They won one. We won one. Mabel has always been that…head game for us…so to lose it last year like that…it’s still in the back of the mind type thing. Hopefully we can get through that. Just play our game. And not be a head game. Just play an experienced game.”

Chatfield Gophers

Head Coach: Troy Swancutt

2012 Record: 21-10 (Sub-Section 1AA East runner’s-up; lost 3-0 to Caledonia)

Class Breakdown: 3 seniors, 4 juniors, 3 sophomores (10 total)

Seniors: Alex Duxbury (5’6” Libero, All-State, All-Conference), Gabrielle Salisbury (5’7” S), Camille Rasmussen (5’9” OH)

- Other Key Returnees: Brook Irish (5’11” Jr. MH), Maddy Kammer (5’9” Jr. OH), Maddie Talamantes (5’6” Jr. DS), Kirsten Keefe (5’7” Jr OH All-Conference), Sheridan Salisbury (5’9” So. RH/S), Brooke Adler (6’0” So. OH)

- Comments from Coach Swancutt: “Things are looking good. Looks like we’ll pick up where we left off last year. We (have) so many returning starters at key positions, so we’re excited about the season.” On the team’s strengths/weaknesses: “Last year we led the conference in three defense areas. We were third in another one (blocking). Defensive digging we were at the top. Serve percentage we were towards the top. Receiving serve we were towards the top. Where we struggled was our offense, being able to put the ball down. Which is understandable when we had some players that didn’t have a lot of experience hitting the ball. We got some of the same (players back) who got more experience. So we’re hoping we can improve on our offense.” Is he happy not to have to play against Caledonia’s Fruechte and Lange: “Ah, yeah! I mean it’s really fun to play competition, to see good players. They presented a challenge for us. I truly believe that they helped make some of our players better. They (his players) had to discover how to play at that level. And they (his players) are very competitive, which is always a good thing. So when you’re playing competition at that particular level, I think it made everyone in the conference, who met those two throughout the three, four years, it made them better players.” On competition in the conference: “(It) is gonna be very competitive once again. There are always some sleepers. When you get new coaches, you don’t know always what to expect. Obviously the perennial favorites; Fillmore Central has been working very hard. They’re gonna be very good this year. I would pick them to be one of the very top (teams). Caledonia just reloads. (They) have a program in place. Wabasha-Kellogg, they’re gonna have a wonderful team. It’s gonna be another 3-Rivers conference battle.”

Rushford-Peterson Trojans

Head Coach: Nikki Schultz

2012 Record: 22-11 (lost 3-1 to Goodhue in 1A East quarterfinal)

Class Breakdown: 6 seniors, 2 juniors, 1 sophomore, 4 freshmen (13 total)

Seniors: Kendra Crawford (5’6” Libero, All-Conference), Keela Brand (5’5” DS), Kate MacKenzie (5’8” OH), Haley Mueller (5’2” DS), Sierra McNamer (5’9” MH), Leah Liesen (5’6” RH).

Other Key Returnees: Bailey Holien (5’10” Jr. OH), Savannah Skalet (5’4” Fr. S)

Comments from Coach Schultz: “The team looks good. They’re really working together great as a team. They’re communicating which is important. They’re working hard and keeping positive attitudes. They’re strong athletes. I’m very impressed with them. (One of) the girls’ strengths is communication. (One of) our weaknesses is controlling the ball.” As for being a first year coach: “I am excited (for it). There are all kinds of new things out there. I have a lot to learn yet, along with a lot of knowledge to still help the girls out with. I’m excited to be at Rushford.” As for the conference competition: “I would like to see some of the other teams first! I’m not going to jump to any conclusions.”

Kingsland Knights

Head Coach: Jackie Whitacre

2012 Record: 12-17 (lost 3-0 to Wabasha-Kellogg in 1A East quarterfinals)

Class Breakdown: 6 seniors, 4 juniors, 1 sophomore, 1 freshman (12 total)

Seniors: Brianna Musel (5’9” OH), Haley Colton 5’3” RH), Kailynn Hamersma (5’7” MH), Taylor Link (5’5” OH), Rialie Fenske (4’11” DS), Gina Blanchard (5’6” DS)

Other Key Returnees:

Comments from Coach Whitacre: “Practice is going well. The girls have a high level of energy for all the conditioning we are doing. My goal is to win games cause we can handle four or five set matches. Our weakness is height. Our strength is teamwork.” On where Kingsland fits into the conference picture: “(In) pre-season, its tough. Predictions are not easy and with all the changes on teams and coaching staffs. It’s hard to say where we fit in. I like what I see and since I’ve coached these girls as a B-squad, I am comfortable with them as athletes and as young ladies ready to prove themselves at this (the varsity) level.”

Houston Hurricanes

Head Coach: Steve Kinstler

2012 Record: 11-17 (lost to Kingsland 3-0 in Sub-Section 1A play-in)

Class Breakdown: 7 seniors, 7 juniors, 1 sophomore (15 total)

Seniors: Abbey Loken (5’11 OH, All-Conference), Heather Chapel (5’8” OH), Valerie Hibbs (5’4” S), Heather Lundberg (5’8” OH), Kyla Olson (5’4” L/DS), Natalie King (5’9” MH), Brianna Kerrigan (5’4” DS)

Other Key Returnees: Kelly Jerviss (So. OH)

Comments from Coach Kinstler: “We kind of had an up and down season (last year). Had some high points and some low points. The girls really came together late in the season. We got on a roll, defeated Spring Grove in here (Houston gym). That was one of the biggest wins for our program in a number of years. One of the best things I’ve seen going on with our program is that we’ve gained some depth at a lot of positions. We can be four persons deep in our front row. We’ve got some athletes that can play outside, play middle, and play right side. That allows me opportunities to try different pieces of the puzzle. Our numbers look really good, 25 kids in the gym 9 thru 12th grade. (Cause of the numbers out) we’re (the coaches) doing something right! We’ve had a lot of compliments, from officials, on how much fun our girls are having, and they’re still competing (on the non-competitive nights).” Speaking of 4-year starter Abbey Loken: “(She) is just a tremendous force with her arm. She hits the ball 1,000-miles per hour some days (it seems). I don’t know if there is a kid that works harder than her. She currently holds the career (Houston) record in kills and she broke the season record in kills (last year).” As for conference competition: “Spring Grove is gonna be our toughest competition, other than Mabel-Canton.”

Lanesboro Burros

Head Coach: Chris Knutson

2012 Record: 1-17 (lost to Spring Grove 3-1 in Sub-Section 1A play-in game)

Class Breakdown: 4 seniors, 6 juniors, 5 sophomores, 6 freshmen (21 total)

Seniors: Amy Kelly (5’9” RH), Kaia Hongerholt (5’8” OH), Regan Howerton (5’10” RH), Madison Ming (5’9” MH)

Other Key Returnees: Olivia Haug (6’0” Jr. MH), Steph Erickson (5’5” Jr. S)

Comments from Coach Knutson: “We have a great deal of team unity. They are all willing to work together. They go for everything, so there is a lot of…willingness…to try anything. Our strengths, right now, are our passing and our serving. We’re working on our offense. Last year we won one game, so obviously we want to improve in that regard. It was a tough season. And I think we can do that (improve). We can definitely be competitive with the girls that we have. Obviously, Mabel-Canton will be strong (in the conference). We’re just going to play it by ear. We don’t know what we’re gonna do (finish-wise in the conference) coming in. With the season they had last year, we do kind of have to go week-by-week.” As for the 2012 season: “They’ve just sort of forgotten it! They kept a positive attitude all season. I didn’t see a lot of (poor body language). They’re ready. We got a quite a bit to work on, but we’ll get there.”

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