Goessel returns entire state roster

The Goessel volleyball squad seniors and letter-winners include: front row (from left), Alyssa Booton, Shelbi Stultz, Chelsey Stika, Makayla King, Gentry Thiesen; back row, Erin Brubaker, Olivia Duerksen, Alicen Meysing, Page Hiebert, Anna Wiens.
The Goessel volleyball squad seniors and letter-winners include: front row (from left), Alyssa Booton, Shelbi Stultz, Chelsey Stika, Makayla King, Gentry Thiesen; back row, Erin Brubaker, Olivia Duerksen, Alicen Meysing, Page Hiebert, Anna Wiens.
With the entire roster returning, the Goessel volleyball team is in a position to contend and improve upon last year?s fourth-place finish at the Class 1A, Division I state tournament.

Despite fielding a young team with no seniors last year, the Bluebirds went 34-11, including a perfect 7-0 record in the Wheat State League, securing its fourth consecutive league title.

?We will look to continue our run of championships in the Wheat State League, seeking to earn our fifth in a row,? said coach Crysta Guhr, who is entering her 10th year at the helm.

With nine returning letter-winners, the Bluebirds are primed to defend it.

Leading the charge will be two all-state honorees in juniors Page Hiebert and Alyssa Booton.

Hiebert, an outside hitter, earned first-team state recognition and was named to the all-league first team.

Booton, a setter, earned honorable mention all-state honors and was a first-team all-league selection.

Senior outside hitter Erin Brubaker received recognition from WSL coaches as a first-team pick.

Two additional senior letter-winners join Brubaker on the roster: opposite hitter Gentry Thiesen and defensive specialist Makayla King.

Four more letter-winners return: juniors Alicen Meysing (middle hitter) and Anna Wiens (setter), and sophomores Olivia Duerksen (middle hitter) and Shelbi Stultz (defensive specialist).

Newcomers include freshmen Eden Hiebert (outside hitter), Leah Booton (defensive specialist) and Brittney Hiebert (hitter).

Guhr said the team will face strong opposition this season, but the Bluebirds have their sights set on another state berth.

?Non-league and tournament play will challenge the team with strong opponents in Remington, Olpe, Wabaun??see, Halstead and others,? she said. ?The team hopes to make another strong push in post-season play.?

Goessel was scheduled to open the season Tuesday at Ell-Saline. The Bluebirds will host Centre and Elyria Christian Tuesday at 4 p.m.