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Class 3A Volleyball Preview

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Class 3A Volleyball Preview

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Kansas Pregame previews the Kansas high school volleyball season in class 3A

  • Beloit will look to build on last year's third place finish at state. (Photo by Stephanie Meier)
    Beloit will look to build on last year's third place finish at state. (Photo by Stephanie Meier)

*Kansas high school volleyball coaches, your team not previewed? 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.comand we'll send one your way. Good luck this season!

Silver Lake won its second title in three years last season and is preseason ranked No. 1 to start the 2019 season. Silver Lake topped off a 37-6 season last year with a 25-19, 25-20 win over Burlington in the 3A State Championship. The Eagles did not drop a set at state en route to their title. The Eagles start their season this Saturday, one of the later starts to the volleyball season that kicked off for most teams by Tuesday.

Fresh off a state championship in basketball, Royal Valley is ranked second despite missing the state tournament last season. Beloit and Hesston, who finished third and fourth last season, are preseason ranked third and fourth entering this season.

Belle Plaine (5th), Frontenac (6th), and Nemaha Central (10th) are all state qualifiers from last season, while Holton, West Franklin, and Concordia occupy the 7-9 rankings.

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

Beloit Trojans
 
Head coach: Brandy Paul
Season as head coach at this school: 7th
Record as head coach at this school: 180-57
 
2018 record: 37-6
State tournament qualifier? Yes
State tournament placer? 3rd
 
Returning starters: Jessica Meier S/OPP, So.; Makenize Travis S/OPP, Sr.; Shea Larson OH, Sr. Paige Goddard MB, Sr.; Hanna Pearson MB, Sr.; Trista Boeve OH, Sr.; Jaimie Drum Lib, Sr.; Darby Odle DS
 
Comments about your team: We have a lot of experience returning from last season and are looking forward to the season.
 
Caney Valley Bullpups
 
Head coach: Kirsten Ergenbright
Seasons as head coach at this school: 1st year
 
2018 record: 6-24
State tournament qualifier? No
 
Returning starters: Renee Grant, DS/S, 5.3. Senior; Heaven Mayfield, 5.3, Senior
 
Comments about your team: We have great leadership on the team this year, we have a great work ethic and ready to push hard this season. I look forward to coaching these girls both in volleyball and life skills and helping them develop further on and off the court. 
 
Douglass Bulldogs
 
Head coach: Leanna Braddy
Seasons as head coach at this school: 14th year
Record as head coach at this school: 301-176
 
2018 record: 32-6
State tournament qualifier? No
 
Returning starters: Jaydin Desylva, 5’6”, OH, 88 kills, 16 aces, 63 digs, 13 Blocks/B-Assists, Sr.; McKenlie Kirkhart, 5’6”, S/DS, 6 kills, 10 aces, 74 digs, Jr.; Myra Megli, 5’8”, MB, 19 kills, 14 digs, 22 Blocks/B-Assists, Jr.; Rebecca Alvarez, 5’7”, OH, 22 kills, 3 digs, 6 Block assists, Jr.
 
Comments about your team: Last year we had eight seniors on the team. It is definitely a rebuilding year, but the ladies have been working hard this summer to learn new positions to prepare for the season. Our main goal is to put forth effort and communicate, communicate, communicate, especially since we don’t have a lot of varsity experience. I am excited to see the growth these ladies will show from the start of the season to the end of the season.
 
Halstead Dragons
 
Head coach: Diana Schutte 
Season as head coach at this school: 6th
 
2018 record: 30-9
State tournament qualifier? No
 
Returning starters: Briana Winkle, OH, Sr.; Josie Engel, Libero, 2nd team all league as sophomore, HM as freshman, Jr.; Maddie McClain, MH, HM All league, Jr.; Karenna Gerber, MH, HM All league, Jr.
 
Comments about your team: We graduated six players from last year’s team, including our setters. This year we only have two seniors, the other senior being Kristen Milspaugh who will help us as an Outside Hitter. It’ll be a growing year for us and we may have to shift girls around to new positions to fill some holes. Josie Engel has been our glue as Libero but will be shifting to a setting position this season. It’ll be exciting to see our junior class as upperclassmen and I’m hopeful they will be great leaders.
 
Hesston Swathers
 
Head coach: Jason Peters
Season as head coach at this school: 15th
Record as head coach at this school: 368-181
 
2018 record: 32-10
State tournament qualifier? Yes
State tournament placer? 4th
 
Returning starters: Talby Duerksen, 5-11, Outside Hitter, Sr.; Elise Kaiser, 5-10, Middle/Outside Hitter, Sr.; Celbi Richardson, 5-8, Setter, Sr.; Emily Koehn, 5-4, Defensive Specialist, Sr.; Alex Martin, 5-9, Outside/Middle hitter, Jr.; Harley Ferralez, 5-5, Hitter/Setter, So.
 
Comments about your team: We have high expectations for another strong season, with a good core of players with varsity experience returning. There will be several big holes to fill after graduating six seniors from the 2018 team, and defense will be an area of focus from the start of the season. We have a tough schedule this year, as the Central Kansas League should be very competitive this season and many non-league teams on our schedule are coming off of state appearances or returning top players.
 
Minneapolis Lions
 
Head coach: Julie McCullick
Seasons as head coach at this school: 28th year
Record as head coach at this school: 549-354
 
2018 record: 24-10
State tournament qualifier? No
 
Returning starters: Kersti Nelson, S/RH, 5'6", Sr.; Reagan Smith, S/RH, 5'6", Sr.; Zoie Shupe, OH, 5'6", Sr.; Courtney Forte, MB, 5'9", Jr.
 
Comments about your team: This is a great bunch of girls, they love volleyball, they work hard, and they have great character. We have excellent leadership with our seniors, including the three returning starters and Nichele Borman, who is stepping into the other middle blocker position. We also return loads of experience, with Kersti and Reagan returning for their third season as varsity setters and Courtney also back for a third year as a middle. After starting as a libero last season, Zoie has eagerly jumped in to one of our vacated outside positions. We are very excited for the next couple of months to get underway!
 
Silver Lake Eagles
 
Head coach: Sarah Johnson
Season as head coach at this school: 12th
 
2018 record: 37-6
State tournament qualifier? Yes
State tournament placer? Yes, 3A State Champions 
 
Returning starters: Lexi Cobb, S/OH/RS, All-MEL, 2016, 2017, 2018, All 3A State 2nd team 2016, 2017, 3A state tournament team 2018, 1 st team all 3A state 2018, led us in assists and kills in 2018, Sr.; Daryn Lamprecht, OH/MH, All-MEL 2017, 2018, 3A state tournament team 2018, 2nd team all 3A in 2018, Sr.; Taylin Hoover, OH/RS, played front row in 2018, she’s been working hard in the off season, looking for her to make big impacts this season, Jr.; Ellie Hogle, MB, Letterwinner/returning starter, Honorable mention MEL 2018, Leader in blocks 2018 season, Jr.; Taylor Burkhardt, DS/Libero, top in aces on team in 2018, Sr.; Grace Fitzgerald, S, returning setter/letterwinner, Jr.; Daigen Griffin, OH/RS/S, letterwinner/returning starter, Jr.
 
Comments about your team: We have our core group coming back this season. Will have some new players fighting to earn spots on the court. This should be a well-balanced team with a lot of experience and knowledge returning with some strong senior leadership.
 
Smoky Valley Vikings
 
Head coach: Sharlene Ramsey 
Seasons as head coach at this school: 2nd year
Record as head coach at this school: 15-12
 
2018 record: 15-12
State tournament qualifier? No
 
Returning starters: Abby Rose, MH, 6'0”, So.; Bri Franklin, MH, 6'0”, Jr.; Addie Heitchsmidt, OH, 5'8”, Jr.; McKinley Johnson, S, 5'4”, Jr.
 
Comments about your team: We graduated four seniors and have seven returning letterwinners. This year's team has no seniors but have players who have played together for several years. Bri Franklin is a returning middle hitter who earned second team CKL in 2018 and Abby Rose earned Honorable Mention for the CKL League as a middle hitter. This team is hungry and talented so should be a great season!
 
Wellsville Lady Eagles
 
Head coach: Eric Evans
Season as head coach at this school: 12th
Record as head coach at this school: 314-164
 
2018 record: 24-13
State tournament qualifier? No
 
Returning starters: Madie McCoy, 5'10" OH, Sr.; Jadyn Troutman, 6'0", OH, Jr.; Dana Schnoor, 5'10", MH, Jr.; Kayli Elliott, 5'3", L, Sr.
 
Comments about your team: We hope to compete this season.

 

Look for more volleyball coverage in the days to come. Features were organized based on last year's classifications. Feel free to send any questions to kansaspregame@gmail.com.

*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.comand we'll send one your way. Good luck this season!