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Class 1A Volleyball Preview

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Class 1A Volleyball Preview

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Kansas Pregame previews the Kansas high school volleyball season in class 1A

  • Centralia, pictured above, after Saturday’s runner-up finish at the Amy Schutter Memorial Tournament in Wabaunsee, will look to win a fourth straight 1A state championship. Otis-Bison, top right, enters the season ranked, but suffered a loss in the championship of Friday's Healy Invite. Little River, pictured bottom right prior to their scrimmage, enters the season ranked fourth. (Centrailia photo: Nick Evans; Little River photo: Brent Garrison; Otis-Bison photo: Everett Royer)
    Centralia, pictured above, after Saturday’s runner-up finish at the Amy Schutter Memorial Tournament in Wabaunsee, will look to win a fourth straight 1A state championship. Otis-Bison, top right, enters the season ranked, but suffered a loss in the championship of Friday's Healy Invite. Little River, pictured bottom right prior to their scrimmage, enters the season ranked fourth. (Centrailia photo: Nick Evans; Little River photo: Brent Garrison; Otis-Bison photo: Everett Royer)

*Kansas high school volleyball coaches, don't see coverage of your team in this preview? Kansas Pregame would like to add your team's preview to this feature. If you did not receive a questionnaire, please email us at kansaspregame@gmail.com and we'll send one your way. Good luck this season!

The 2019 Kansas high school volleyball season kicked off in many parts of the state with a number of tournaments last weekend, while most of the remaining teams start their season on Tuesday.

In class 1A Centralia will try to continue their dominance after going undefeated (47-0) and winning their third straight state championship and 80th straight match. But this year it will be under new leadership following the retirement of legendary coaches Kimbrook and Kim Tennal. Former Chapman girls basketball coach Nick Evans takes over the program.

The KVA’s preseason rankings included Spearville, Moundridge, Little River and Chetopa behind Centralia in the top five. Spearville was last year’s state runner-up while Moundridge defeated Olpe to earn third.

Central-Burden, Rural Vista, Thunder Ridge, Otis-Bison and St. John’s Beloit/Tipton round out the top 10. Otis-Bison and SJBT were also state qualifiers a year ago.

Centralia kicked off their season at Saturday's Amy Schutter Memorial Tournament in Wabaunsee where they finished in second to the home team who are top-ranked in class 2A. The Panthers defeated Oskaloosa, Mission Valley and Rock Creek and lost twice to Wabaunsee, 25-16, 25-13 and 26-24, 25-19.

Ninth ranked Otis-Bison suffered a loss in the championship of Friday's Healy Invitational suffering a loss to Golden Plains 25-18, 16-25, 16-25. The Cougars defeated Western Plains/Healy, Rolla and Syracuse in dominating fashion to earn the trip to the championship match.

 

 

KansasPregame.com reached out to the Kansas high school volleyball coaches to ask for a brief preview of their team. Find their responses below:

Axtell Eagles

Head coach: Pamela Buessing
Seasons as head coach at this school: 17
Record as head coach at this school: 309-274

2018 record: 17-19
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Kori Schmelzle, 5'9", OH, 1st team TVL, Sr.; Kinsey Feldkamp, setter, 5'7", 2nd team TVL, Sr.

Comments about your team: Our team will be very young with only retuning two players with varsity experience.

Blue Valley-Randolph Rams

Head coach: Beth Luhman
Season as head coach at this school: 1st

2018 record: 16-18
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Allie Cassel, Right Side, Sr.; Kolbi Harper, Libero, Sr.; Elsa Speicher, Setter/Outside, Sr.; Brooklynn Zoeller, Outside/Setter, Sr.; Breeanna Young, Right Side, So.

Comments about your team: We have a lot of returners so we will have a great season this year. We are very skilled in all areas. The hitters are very good at each of their positions so we will be tough in those areas. They are gaining confidence in all hitting positions. Our two setters are very good as well. We do have two middle hitters that will give most teams some challenge at the net, Brianna Gough and Madison Marker, both seniors. We will have success in all positions on the team.

Burrton Chargers

Head coach: Kelli Zehr
Season as head coach at this school: 14th

2018 record: 13-21
State tournament qualifier? No, last time was 2015

Returning starters: Alexis Zehr 5'9", S/OH, 43 aces, 74% dig percentage, 158 assists, 233 kills, All-HOPL, Burrton Invitational All-Tournament team, Sr.; Addison Matlack, 5'4", S, 56 aces, 181 assists, Sr.; Kassandra Salgado, 5'6", DS/MB, 112 kills, Sr.; Laryssa Stahl, 5'6", DS, Jr.; Naesha Ducimetiere, 5'7", OH, Jr.; McKinsie Hoopes, 5'4", DS/OH, 99% serving, So.; Maci Dunlavy, 5'8", MB, So.

Comments about your team: We have a good blend of players back this year. I am looking forward to working with this group. They work hard and want to be successful. Continuing to find their drive and will to win is key to helping this team to a winning record. I know they will build on last year’s season and be competitive. Mental toughness is something we are working on to accomplish that goal.

Central Plains Oilers

Head coach: Lisa Crites
Season as head coach at this school: 4th
Record as head coach at this school: 97-21

2018 record: 26-11
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Addison Crites, MB, 5'11", Sr.; Rachel Lamatsch, DS/L, 5'2", Sr.; Lexi Oeser, OH, 5'7", Jr.; Ryenne Cunningham, OPP, 5'9, Jr.; Kassidy Nixon, OH/S, 5'6, So.

Comments about your team: Experience from last season will make us smarter as a team, as well as individually. Our ability to work together and communicate has improved. The team has started the season with effort that has exceed expectations and also with an openness to repeated reps that will ultimately be the deciding factor in our success. 

Centralia Panthers

Head coach: Nick Evans
Season as head coach at this school: 1st

2018 record: 47-0
State tournament qualifier? Yes
State tournament placer? Champions, third straight title

Returning starters: Morgan Kramer, Setter, 5'6", Sr.; Kennedy Becker, OH, 5'10", Sr.; Avery Deters, OH, Libero, 5'6", So.

Comments about your team: Taking over this amazing program has been a lot of fun. Before I started the job I did the smartest thing anyone could do and shadow coach Tennal a few times and lean on him for advice. I have two awesome assistants who coached with Tennal in the past. Then, these kids are incredible. They have done everything we have asked and adjusted to change in a big way. It’s a credit to coach Tennal and their parents as to how they practice and how hard they work. They never give up and you know you always have a chance with these girls.

Cunningham Wildcats

Head coach: Nadine Hope
Seasons as head coach at this school: 4

2018 record: 24-9
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Holly DeWeese, OH, 5’10”, Sr.; Alayna McGuire, S, 5’2”, Jr.; Maddison Panek, OH, 5’10”, Jr.; Morgan Meyers, S/L, 5’7”, Jr.; Alexa Fischer, OH, 5’8”, Jr.

Comments about your team: We definitely have a strong core returning. In addition, we had four transfers and three of them will be on the varsity level. So we are expecting a great season. We are excited to be running a different system this year which is challenging and is bringing a tremendous excitement to the team.

Frankfort Wildcats

Head coach: Vicki Adams
Season as head coach at this school: 21st
Record as head coach at this school: 387-304

2018 record: 32-9
State tournament qualifier? No, 2009 state champions, qualifiers in 2008 and 2010

Returning starters: Kennen Brandt, OH, 5’7”, Sr.; Alli Tommer, RS, 5’8”, Sr.; Olivia Kennedy, RS, 5’8”, Sr.; Grace Dressman, MB, 5’10”, Sr.; Mariah Broxterman, OH/MB, 5’10”, Jr.; Kacia Shirley, S, 5’5”, Jr.; Aubrie Rose, S, 5’5”, Jr.

Comments about your team: We have many returners, but will need some underclassmen to step into some critical roles for us to be competitive in the TVL and throughout the season.

Hanover Wildcats

Head coach: Melissa Holle
Season as head coach at this school: 1st

2018 record: 19-19
State tournament qualifier? Qualifier, 2017; State Runner-up, 2016

Returning starters: Tianna Lohse, OH, Sr.; Emma Bruna, MH, Sr.; Emily Hendrickson, Libero, Sr.; Cadlee Stallbaumer, MH, Sr.; Taeghan Zabokrtsky, OH, Sr.; MaKenna Jueneman, Setter, Sr.

Comments about your team: There are many returners this year. I have a very strong senior class with great skills and leadership. The younger girls we have pulled up this year compliment our senior class very well. I am excited to start playing and see how well these girls do!

Lincoln Leopards

Head coach: Shaylyn Krone
Season as head coach at this school: 1st

2018 record: 18-20
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Carson Walter, Middle Hitter/Setter, 5'10", Sr.; Marissa Winters, Outside Hitter, 5'9", Sr.; Macy Winters, Right Side, 5'9", Sr.; Dawson O'Bannon, Outside Hitter/Setter, 5'7", So.; Tana Hayworth, Middle Hitter, 5'10", So.; Brecken Obermueller, Libero, 5'2", Jr.

Comments about your team: This is a special group of young ladies. They come to practice everyday ready to work hard and improve. Their competitive spirit along with their talent should lead them to a lot of success. It will be a good season, and I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish this year.

Little River Redskins

Head coach: Kim Rolfs
Season as head coach at this school: 3rd

2018 record: 22-15
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Jaylie Bergkamp, Setter, Sr.; Abbie Hudson, Middle, All-League, Sr.; Morgan Konen, Outside Hitter/Middle Hitter, All-League, Sr.; Dani Gadberry, Middle Hitter/Outside Hitter, Sr.; Lily Boughfman, Outside Hitter, All-League, So.; Mekenzie Renken, Right Side Hitter, So.

Comments about your team: [The starters listed above] were the nucleus of our team last year and they all return. We will see three seniors return that contributed as sophomores and sat out most, if not all of their junior years due to injuries. They include Isabelle Eberle (could play any front row position), Mackenze Barta (contributed late at the varsity level during her sophomore campaign), Riley Bruce (she too had some varsity experience her sophomore year). In addition to the large senior class we gained an all around player who moved in. Leah Ayers will be a nice addition to our squad.

As you can see we return a lot of varsity experience. With that experience alone we should see a more consistent team. One of the biggest roles on any volleyball team is the ability to control the ball, whether it be in serve receive or defense. Right now we are focusing on developing that area. With that being said the coaching staff is really looking for kids that can control the ball because if we can do that I believe we have the other pieces put into place. 

Natoma Tigers

Head coach: Dayna Kocinski
Seasons as head coach at this school: 2
Record as head coach at this school: N/A

2018 record: Not enough participants for a team last year.

Returning starters: Alyvia Zeigler, 5'8", Sr.

Comments about your team: This year we have six players. Only one of them, senior Alyvia Zeigler, has high school competition experience. She now has mono, so a junior who runs cross country has agreed to fill in so the girls can play. She has not played volleyball since eighth grade. So we will begin our competition this season on with six girls, none of them having played in a high school match. We have two sophomores, but without a team in 2018, they just practiced last year with three girls. We also have three freshmen. One of the freshmen played football last year, but is playing volleyball so we can have a team. We have nine girls total in the high school.

Otis-Bison Cougars

Head coach: Janelle Maier
Season as head coach at this school: 4th
Record as head coach at this school: 87-40

2018 record: 29-14
State tournament qualifier? 2016, 2017, 2018
State tournament placer?  3rd, 2016; 2nd, 2017

Returning starters: Maddie Wiltse, MH, 6'1", Sr.; Cora Anderson, MH, 6'0", Sr.; Cristen Trapp, OH, 5'9", Sr.; Lauren Maier, OH, 5'11", Jr.

Comments about your team: We are rebuilding a little after losing a few seniors but are looking forward to the new season.

Peabody-Burns Warriors

Head coach: Rachel Winter
Season as head coach at this school: 2nd
Record as head coach at this school: 7-25

2018 record: 7-25
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Mya Winter, MH, 5’9”, So.; Kaete Johnson, S, 5’7”, Jr.; Aubrey Craig, Libero, 5’5”, Sr.; Lexi Schreiber, OH, 5’9”, Sr.; Adriana Newman, OH/MH, 5’8”, Sr.

Comments: We are looking forward to continuing our improvement from last year and building on that momentum. The girls put in a lot of work over the summer and are excited to get the season started right at our home invitational on September 7.

Pike Valley Panthers

Head coach: Cherish Reeves
Season as head coach at this school: 1st

2018 record: 10-21
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Jessica Jensen, 5'10", middle hitter, 3rd team All-NPL, Sr.; McKenna Reeves, 5'4", outside hitter, Sr.; Brianna Sjolander, 5'4", injured and then came in at the end of the season as a key back row player, Sr.; Cassie Strickler, 5'1", back row/outside hitter, Sr.; Kiahlyn Kussman, 5'3", setter, Jr.; Paisley Benne, 5'5", setter, So.

Comments about your team: We only lost one senior from the previous year, and had 13 out for volleyball. Everyone on the team played many minutes on the court last year, either during a varsity or junior varsity game, so they all have experience and know what to expect once out on the court. We have six upcoming freshman and one sophomore that moved to Pike Valley so our numbers are looking good, and we hope to grow and improve our volleyball program these upcoming years.

Rawlins County Buffaloes

Head coach: April Green
Season as head coach at school: 1st, 11 years as assistant

2018 record: 25-12
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Kristin Beckman, OH, Sr.; Brea Lankas, MH, Sr.; Libby Mosley, Opp, Sr.; Kierstyn Domsch, OH, Jr.; Ashlyn Livas, S, So.

South Central Tiberwolves

Head coach: Cindy Snyder
Season as head coach at this school: 14th

2018 record: 31-8
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: Sorel Peterson, Setter, Sr.; Sierra Jellison, Setter/OH, So.; Hadley Lohrding, OH, So.

Comments about your team: We are extremely young and only have 10 players out. We will be led by returning players Peterson, Jellison and Lohrding. All three were strong players from last year’s team. Jellison and Lohrding’s roles will change some this season. Both will be filling two hitting positions. Incoming freshman Kodi Herd will make an impact for us this season. This team is young but very competitive and will continue to grow and improve as the season goes along.

Rural Vista Heat

Head coach: Adam Sobba
Season as head coach at this school: 3rd
Record as head coach at this school: 63-13

2018 record: 35-5
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning letterwinners (asterisk indicates returning starter): *Hannah Reidy, Sr., 2nd Team All-State 2018, 2x 1st team All-League; *Holly Brockmeier, Sr. 3x 1st team All-League; *Kelci Sly, Sr.; Erica Linder, Sr.; *Meghan Brockmeier, Jr.; *Amber Brockmeier, Jr.; Cami Jacobson, Jr.

Comments about your team: Rural Vista will be bringing back a load of talent coming off last season. The Heat finished last season with a record of 35-5, won the Wheat State regular season title, regional title, and fell in the first round of sub-state. Rural Vista will be led by All-State setter Hannah Riedy and three-time All-League outside hitter Holly Brockmeier. The duo has lead Rural Vista in assists and kills each of the last three seasons.

They will be joined by fellow returning starters Meghan Brockmeier, Amber Brockmeier, and Kelci Sly. Meghan is coming off a really solid sophomore season and will be a big factor for the Heat this season. Big contributions will be needed from returning letterwinners Erica Linder and Cami Jacobson, who each got valuable playing time late in the season last year due to injuries. 

This team looks to build off a solid past two seasons and is ready to take the next step.

Southern Cloud Warriors

Head coach: Amy Cool
Season as head coach at this school: 2nd
Record as head coach at this school: 7-16

2018 record: 7-16
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: MaKenna Comstock, 5’7", Sr.; Shealynn McMillan, 5’8", Middle Hitter/setter, Jr.; Hana Cool, 5’7", Middle Hitter/Setter, Jr.; Athina Liby, 5’7", Jr.

Comments about your team: Our strengths consist of consistent serving, motivation to play and a fun group of girls. We graduated our two main setters and some strong hitters so we will have to see who steps up to replace those positions.

St. John's Beloit/Tipton Blujays

Head coach: Marcy Kee
Seasons as head coach at this school: 13
Career record: 360-113, includes time at St. John's and Waconda East

2018 record: 33-10
State tournament qualifier? Yes, 2017, 2018
State tournament placer? 4th, 2017

Returning starters: Lauryn Dubbert, 5'6", OH, Jr.; Caitlin Strong, 5'5", Setter, Sr.; Emily Eilert 5'6", OH, Sr.; Erica Brummer, 5'6", OH, Sr.

Comments about your team: Fundamentally sound, not a lot of height, but lots of determination. Eight seniors, six with varsity experience. Graduated both middle hitters, 5'11" and 6'0", in May 2019.

Sylvan-Lucas Unified Mustangs

Head coach: Linda Haring
Season as head coach at this school: 19th

2018 record: 32-4
State tournament qualifier? No

Returning starters: None, only one returner with significant varsity experience, Kelsey Decker, 5'7", S, Sr.

Comments about your team: Graduated 10 seniors, so we will be rebuilding this year. No returning starters. However, I have a strong group of freshmen and a strong junior hitter on the team, therefore, we look to improve greatly throughout the season.

*Kansas high school volleyball coaches, Kansas Pregame would like to add your team's preview to this feature. If you did not receive a questionnaire, please email us at kansaspregame@gmail.com and we'll send one your way. Good luck this season!

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