Marion High School volleyball coach Jim Versch expects the team will be much improved from the 2010 squad that compiled a 15-20 overall and 3-6 league record.
“We had a strong summer conditioning program, and I think the girls are ready,” he said. “We should have some hitters that teams should have trouble stopping. We should also be a stronger defensive team.”
MHS has five returning starters from the 2010 team. Outside hitters Whitney Gordon and Annie Whitaker are seniors. Gordon was named to the 2010 Heart of America League first team and to the all-tournament teams at Centre and Belle Plaine.
Middle hitter Briana Hall and libero/outside hitter JayDee Schafers are juniors. Hall was named to the all-tournament team at Belle Plaine last year.
Sophomore setter Katey Ehrlich rounds out the returning starters.
They will be joined by junior Montana Percell, sophomores Megan Richmond and Kaelyn Thierolf, and freshman Julia Hall.
Outside hitter Raelene Allen and setter Chassidy Carlson graduated.
Versch expects big things from several players this season.
“Whit (Gordon) should really be a force, and we should be able to get her the ball,” he said.
Briana Hall and Percell will be strong at the middle block/hitter position, he said. Ehrlich improved throughout the 2010 season, and Versch said she will be a team leader this year.
Versch has high expectations for Julia Hall.
“She is one of the best freshman setters I’ve seen, great hands,” he said.
Versch said he likes the team’s setters, hitters, floor defense, attitude, and work ethic.
The season begins 5 p.m. Monday with a C-team event at Halstead. The first varsity meet is the Lindsborg Triangular, starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
The Heart of America League tournament will be Oct. 15 at Sedgwick.