Seven varsity players return to the PBHS volleyball 2011-12 squad. Five of the seven were starters, so the outlook is for improvement in the fine-tuning of the team. Also on the list to improve will be the 5-3 league record and the 18-16 finish overall the past season.
Two seniors, Sarah Hofkamp and Tori Schroeder, will anchor the PBHS squad.
Hofkamp was named second team all-league last year and will direct the offensive system once again as the setter. She is the leader of the team and she pushed her teammates every practice for a faster, smoother pace.
Schroeder will have right-side hitting and blocking responsibilities. Her major strength is court awareness on both offense and defense. She will have a variety of roles this season.
Paige Lewis, Rayna Barnes, Brandee Burnett and McKenzie Ensminger represent the junior class for the Lady Warriors.
Lewis is an outside hitter and should provide a scoring threat for the team. She is athletic and her passing and reading ability should help on the defensive side of the net as well.
Barnes, at 5-foot-9, is the middle hitter and blocker and has a good feel for the way the ball will come at the net. She has a great work ethic and she wants to perform better each week.
Burnett will help Schroeder with right side responsibilities. She joins the squad full time this year, having shouldered the libero responsibilities last season. Passing and serving are her strengths.
Ensminger will play at the libero position, plugging gaps in the back-row attack. She will need to be on her toes at all times for the team to have success.
One sophomore, 5-8 Kaycy Gonzalez, will get her share of sets in this year’s offensive scheme. Along with Lewis, she will be relied on for scoring, taking on a focus that will be new to her.
The team is coached by 10-year veteran Darren Schroeder, who will be assisted by first-year coach Kara Gerber.
“We hope that our experience from last year will allow us to be highly competitive on a nightly basis,” coach Schroeder said. “As the season progresses we want to see our ball control improve and that will lead to improvements in all facets of our game. The team has great chemistry so we can identify roles and allow players to play develop in those roles. We will be challenged all season, with strong competition from Goessel and Little River.”