Pankratz will power Cougar volleyball team this season

With returning letter-winners Leann Pankratz, Bridgette Burns and Carlye Simons, the Centre High School volleyball team looks to recover from the graduation of three starters with a mid-pack finish in the Eisenhower League.

Coach Yvonne Burhoop said Pankratz is the team?s best all-around player, and may be called upon to expand her role beyond the outside-hitter position she anchored a year ago, and into the role of setter.

Burhoop said that Burns has become a leader on the team both in her play and in encouraging younger players.

?Bridgette and Leann are my best passers,? she said.

Simons, meanwhile, is one of the prime candidates to help the team at the setter position.

?In the past she was an outside hitter,? Burhoop said. ?But because of her athletic ability we are working on making her into a setter.?

Shelby Deines, Allison Shields and Amanda Floyd are three players likely to see time in the starting lineup, and Burhoop will be working with third-year assistant Karen Nickel to develop depth by improving the hitting and setting skills of the other six on the roster.

Centre went 13-15 last year, bringing Burhoop?s career record to 443-294 in 27 years with the Cougars.

Burhoop anticipates Sunrise Christian Academy, Wakefield and White City, will be among the toughest teams in the league this fall.