Written by Katie Morford Tuesday, 30 August 2011 16:55
The Marion volleyball team will look to experience for the winning edge this season.
Despite losing setter Chassidy Carlson and outside hitter Raelene Allen to graduation last May, the Warriors have five returning starters from last year’s season, including senior outside hitter Whitney Gordon and middle hitter Briana Hall.
Gordon was named to the first team in the Heart of America league last season and was chosen for the all-tournament team at the Centre and Belle Plaine tournaments.
Hall also was a member of the Belle Plaine all-tournament team.
“Whit should really be a force and we should be able to get her the ball,” said coach Jim Versch. “Both (newcomer) Montana Percell and Briana Hall should be strong at middle block and hitter.”
Other returners include senior outside hitter Annie Whitaker, setter Katey Ehrlich and libero/outside hitter JayDee Schafers.
“Katey Ehrlich really improved throughout the 2010 season and will be a team leader this year,” Versch said.
The Warriors plan to supplement their broad returning base with newbies Kaelyn Thierolf, Julia Hall, Percell and Megan Richmond.
“(Hall) is one of the best freshman setters I’ve seen,” Versch said. “She’s got great hands.”
He said the Warriors will bring strong setters, strong hitters and great floor defense to the table this fall.
But overall, he said, their true strength is in great attitudes and a strong work ethic.
“My expectations for the team are much improved,” Versch said. “We had a strong summer conditioning program and I think the girls are ready.
“We should have some hitters that teams should have trouble stopping. We should also be a stronger defensive team.”
Marion will look to improve on a 15-20 overall season record last year. They went 3-6 in the HOA.
The Warriors are scheduled to kick off their season with a quadrangular at Moundridge Sept. 1.