After reaching the Class 2A sub-state finals in 2009, Goessel High School volleyball begins the 2010 season with some varsity inexperience after losing four, four-year players at graduation.
Cara Stansen, Karina Harvey, Aspen Frey and Jessie Goertzen are pursuing college careers, leaving the Bluebirds with three players having varsity experience.
Seniors Kendra Flaming and Jessica Van Horn, as well as junior Tia Goertzen, return with varsity experience. Getting an opportunity for varsity playing time will be several players from last year?s junior varsity squad that won 17 matches.
?I think a lot of girls recognize it?s their turn to step up,? said coach Crysta Guhr. ?They?ve been underneath (the 2010) senior class for a long time and they?re enjoying the opportunity to be the ones.?
Moving from the Heart of America League to the Wheat State League, Goessel will face several new teams this fall.
Peabody-Burns and Little River are former HOA schools, but the Bluebirds haven?t had a lot of exposure to the Wheat State member schools coming from the defunct Dwight D. Eisenhower League: Centre, Hope, Solomon, Wakefield, White City and Elyria Christian.
?It will be new, really new,? Guhr said. ?We?re fairly confident we can compete very well. We expect to be at the very top.?
The Bluebirds will try to win the inaugural Wheat State title with a smaller team than usual, but Guhr said having fewer athletes could be advantageous.
?It?s a very small group of girls,? she said. ?There?s only 13 out. But its makes for tough practices because they can?t sit out.?
Goessel was picked to finish second in the Wheat State behind Little River. Those two are followed by Wakefield, Peabody, Centre, White City, Solomon, Hope and Elyria Christian.
Goessel volleyball begins its season Sept. 7 at Elyria Christian.