Lone senior Trinity Malm will lead her young team to play their strongest ball every time they get on the court.
Malm and sophomores Jessica Saunders and Dani Klein are returning letter winners and starters.
“Several girls will be competing for spots on the varsity team,” coach Sandy Arnold said. “The younger girls will be vital to our success as they push us in practice daily.”
Junior middle hitter Addie Berens and sophomore hitter Teegan Werth saw action on varsity court
Juniors Maddy Daniels and Kinsey Kleiner, and sophomores Teegan Werth, Kinsey Kleiner, and Tuesday Weisbeck will be vying for spots on the team.
“We will be a very young as well as inexperienced team. We lost four starting seniors from last year’s squad, including our three-year setter,” she said.
“With only three returning varsity players, it will take us some time to fill new positions, jell as a team and be comfortable on the floor,” Arnold said.
Time and experience will be needed for them to be cohesive. The girls are athletic and very competitive and love the game, she said.
Passing and serving will be stressed.
“These two things have to be strong and at a higher level in order for the rest of the game to fall into place” Arnold said. “The start may be a little rocky, but the goal will be to finish strong.”
New Kansas law prohibits having two practices a day. Arnold said it has had an effect on the team.
“We are used to two practices a day and with the new law, we’re restricted to one a day. The girls get fatigued easily,” she said.
Hillsboro has a strong volleyball tradition. The first state title was in 1987. They made appearances in the late 90s and early 2000s.
In 2008, they started a string of seven straight appearances that continue through the 2-14 season — including three consecutive state titles from 2011-2013 and a state runner-up in 2014.