Experience in grade and volleyball skills to aid Prescott's title defense
PRESCOTT – Quite a few letter winners are now gone from last season’s Prescott High School volleyball team, a 26-24 squad who were co-champions of the Middle Border Conference with a 6-1 record.
They include All-MBC players Kayla Lytle along with Lauren Bieter, Kate Kroska, Cassie Murphy, and Emily Bayer. Senior Maddie Brunner opted for cross country this fall.
But those losses are not only equalized by who’s come back but the skills of the players coming ahead.
“While we might not have as much varsity experience we do have a lot of volleyball experience on our squad this year,” PHS head coach Patti Tulip said. “We had a lot of girls from grades 9-12 play junior Olympic volleyball during the offseason and I believe Prescott fans will notice the improvement in skills. It’s experience, just from another viewpoint.”
An overall improvement in skills will certainly make the Cardinals even more formidable than just a preseason MBC favorite thanks to returning letter winners like junior All-MBC middle hitter Anna Weiser, senior outside hitter Kellie McGee and setters junior Annie Pryor and senior and team captain Katy Syverson, who was also an all-conference selection.
Besides Weiser and McGee, Syverson and Pryor will also look to set up hitters like sophomores Lilly Weiser and Gabby Janovec, junior Olivia Rohl and senior letter winner Andrea Lewis.
“It’s nice to have so many hitters we can get the ball to,” Syverson said.
Playing in back besides Syverson and Pryor are juniors Lexi Schommer, Mariah Krings and sophomore Alexis Maxwell.
With more skills and experience, no matter the viewpoint, Tulip figures the Cardinals’ offense should be quicker this fall.
“With Katy we should be able to get more digs and make more plays,” Tulip said. “We more over all team speed so we should have an advantage in our passing and hitting before our opponents can adjust.”
Tulip says Osceola and Baldwin-Woodville will challenge the Cards for the top spot in the league but another challenge PHS will face will come off the floor as well.
“Last year’s team was a very close-knit group and such unity made a big difference,” Tulip said. “So, just as we have to be as close a team on the floor, the same is true off of it as well. If we succeed not only can we win the league again but go deep in the playoffs well.”
Prescott is at Hastings for a non-conference match Thursday. The Redbirds first home match is not until Sept. 17 against River Falls.