Even with letter winners PC volleyball will have different hand to play
PLUM CITY - Many of the cards are the same, bit the deck has been completely reshuffled.
The Plum City High School volleyball team lost quite a few letter winners from last season's regional championship squad which finished 25-14 overall, 6-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. They also return quite a few as well, seven in all.
But the kind of team the Blue Devils will have to defend their title with in 2013 and what rotations they will use will be much different according to veteran head coach Nanette Murray.
"We have a lot of girls with varsity experience but we still have gaps we have to fill," Murray said. "There are a lot of open positions we're still trying to figure out and it will take some time."
That's because PC's graduation losses were quite significant. Gone are all-conference players like Marah Boyer and Heather Von Holtum along with setters like Shelby Kannel and Ashlie Miller, a backrow defender in Amber Unser and also Angie Craighton. The Devils have to find players to hold the line in the middle and find new setters as well. It also means PC will also have to adjust its style of play.
"Without Heather or Marah up front we can't expect to get easy point on tips or blocks," Murray said. "We're have to dig and scrap, play tough and work for what we get from the backrow forward. We have the athletes who can do so, it's just a matter of finding what rotations of players work best together as a team."
Luckily for Plum City's new reality the Blue Devils return much of their backrow, starting with senior letter winner like Lexie Radle, who was out much of last season with an injury. Also back is junior letter winners Jillian Holt and Rhiannon Kernstock and sophomore Cheyanne Catura.
"Lexie pretty much lost a year and she's fought very hard to get into the regular varsity rotation," Murray said.
Holt, along with junior Taylor Chilson and freshman Kailee Broeckert will be vying for the setter role with Kernstock and Radle in the back row. Plum City also benefits from having its wing scoring back led by senior Sarah Gilles who was honorable mention all-conference, senior Elaina Danzinger and sophomore Cheyanne Catura.
Gilles and Catura will try insert themselves into the gap left by Boyer while making-up for Von Holtum's absence will be seniors Cora Hinrichs and Megan Caturia. Another returning senior is Emma Hutter. Other returning juniors are Jazmin Kannel and Megan Dahl.
Murray tabs Elk Mound and Colfax in the top two of the D-SC where Plum City will fit in depends on how much time it takes to get back to the level they finished at last season.
"Right now we have to figure out passing and defense to get back to that level," Murray said. "This year it's going to take more hard work to find unlike last season where we knew where we were at immediately. But we have plenty of time before our first league meet and plenty of potential to do so."