With the loss of just one player, the Goessel volleyball team will have many familiar faces this season.
Led by 13th-year coach Crysta Guhr, the Bluebirds will look to improve last year’s third-place state finish in Class 1A, Division I.
After sweeping their pool play matches, the Bluebirds lost to top-seeded Centralia in the semifinals, then defeated Kiowa-South Barber in the consolation match, concluding their season with 42 wins and two losses.
Goessel rolled through Wheat State League play with a 9-0 record, earning the regular-season title for the seventh-consecutive year, then following that with a sixth-straight league tournament title.
Four first team, All-Wheat State League selections return to anchor the Bluebirds this season: senior outside hitters Eden Hiebert and Leah Booton, senior middle blocker Brittney Hiebert and junior setter Savanna Wuest.
Senior Kara Burkholder returns as an honorable mention defensive specialist, while junior opposite hitter Cierra Nolte also returns as a letter-winner.
Newcomers to watch include three juniors: middle blocker Stephany Meyer, and defensive specialists Madison Smith and Audessi Unruh.
“The 2017 senior class has compiled an outstanding overall record of 129-3 during their careers thus far and hope to push the win column to 40-plus again this season,” Guhr said.
“(We) will be focused to earn another Wheat State League championship and look forward to non-league competition and tournament play to prepare (us) for another post-season run.”
Goessel opened the season with non-league competition at Haven Tuesday. The Bluebirds will compete at Peabody Sept. 5 at 4 p.m.