The Warriors have a new coach this year: Brady Hud?son, an MHS alum.
After losing six seniors to graduation, the Warriors will rely on a mix of returning and new talent as they seek to improve upon last season?s 19-18 record.
Senior Julia Hall returns to lead the attack at the net.
?(Julia?s) probably our top hitter right now,? Hud?son said. ?She?ll be in the middle, so she can have that spot to kind of place the ball and see the whole court.?
Additional hitters include senior Sam Davies, junior Marshelle Mermis and sophomore Falon Crawford.
The Warriors will rely on freshman Kourtney Hansen to anchor the team as setter. Returning setter, junior Kirsten Hansen, remains sidelined after sustaining a knee injury during basketball season last March.
?Both those Hansen girls are super smart when it comes to playing the game,? Hudson said. ?They know the game very well and they hustle their butts off, and that?s what you need out of a setter is to get to a ball.?
Two athletes are battling for the starting libero position: junior Erika Hess and sophomore Shelby Felvus.
?Erika and Shelby are incredible passers and communicators, mostly, and that?s what a libero really needs to do is communicate with the team,? Hudson said. ?They?re in the back, so they see where the ball?s going, and they need to tell people where to go and what to do. They both do an excellent job of that.?
Hudson said team strengths include enthusiasm, communication, support for fellow teammates and defense.
?They do an awesome job about supporting each other, even when it?s in a drill,? he said.
Strengthening their vertical is a team goals.
?That?s been our point to this entire summer,? Hudson said. ?We have been lifting weights, (and) all of our drills have been focused on getting our legs strengthened, really throwing our whole body up and using not just your legs but really your whole entire body all the way through your hands.?
Hudson said he anticipates Moundridge to be strong in the Heart of America league.
This season, Hudson?s goals involve more than just wins on the court.
?I want to have a winning season again this year, but I think it?s more about growing as a team,? he said. ?I?m about sports building character. I want them to know how to be a team player, how to sacrifice.?
Key to the Warriors? success are its enthusiasm, determination and work ethic.
?(They?re) just excited about coming to practice,? Hudson said. ?It?s really hard to find athletes that want to show up every day. I know it?s still the beginning of the season, but you can just see it in their faces that they?re determined to have a winning season and that they?re here to work hard.?
Marion will kick off the season by hosting a triangular Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.