Experience is definitely on the side of the Centre High School volleyball squad this season.
Three senior letter-winners graduated last spring, but five letter-winners are returning. All are underclassmen and all have played on the varsity since their first year.
Hitters Ellie Miller and Anna Weber and setter Genesis Rudolph are juniors. Miller and Weber lettered in their first year. Weber was named Second Team All- League in 2010.
Hitters Cacey Simons and Bryanna Svoboda are sophomores. They were starters as freshmen. Svoboda was named to the Centre All-Tourney Team in 2010.
Coach Yvonne Burhoop said starting positions have not yet been set, but two freshmen, Shelby Makovec and Brenna Shields, will possibly see varsity playing time.
Other players who will be vying for varsity playing time include Carrie Carlson, Beka Basore, and Makenzie Deines.
Burhoop expects the team to finish in the middle of the pack in the Wheat State League. She sees Little River and Goessel as leading the league, followed by Peabody, Centre, White City, Solomon, Hope, Elyria, and Wakefield.
“Our strength will be in the fact that we have five returning letter- winners,” Burhoop said. “We must stay healthy and develop some of our younger players in the areas of hitting and setting.”
Burhoop is beginning her 30th year as volleyball coach at Centre. She is assisted by Greg Wyatt.
The first match of the season will be at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday at Inman against Canton Galva. The first home games will be Sept. 10 in the Centre Invitational.