Ending the 2009 season with a semifinals loss at the Sedgwick sub-state, Marion volleyball returns two starters from the 25-11 squad.
With the graduation of three-time all-league performer Julia Zeiner, two-time all-league pick Lindsey Hett and 2009 honorable-mention player Kayley Heerey, senior Chassidy Carlson and junior middle hitter Whitney Gordon will accept bigger roles in 2010.
?Returning setter Chassidy Carlson should be strong,? said coach Jim Versch. ?Whitney Gordon should be a force to deal with in the middle, hitting and blocking.?
Sophomore outside hitter Briana Hall and senior middle hitter Raelene Allen will step in to fill out the front line left vacated by the all-league graduates.
In the back row will be senior setter Emily Hett and sophomore libero JayDee Schafers.
?We should be a good, scrappy team, that blocks well and spikes consistently,? Versch said. ?After losing a large senior bunch last year, I think we will surprise teams with our underclassmen?s improvements.?
Marion starts its first season in the Heart of America League. The HOA reorganized after Goessel, Peabody-Burns and Little River left for the new Wheat State League.
Marion joins Bennington, Berean Academy, Canton-Galva, Ell-Saline, Inman, Moundridge, Remington, Sedgwick and Hutchinson-Trinity in the HOA.
Moundridge won the Class 2A volleyball state championship in 2009 and is a perennial power.
Marion opened its season Aug. 31 at the Smoky Valley Triangular against Hoisington and Smoky Valley in Hoisington.