Not many 1A coaches have the luxury of seven returning letter-winners from the previous season.
However, Crysta Guhr is hoping for a promising Goessel High School volleyball season anchored with two returning seniors and four juniors.
The Bluebirds finished this past year season with a record of 18-20, and finished with a 4-7 season in the Heart of America League.
Senior Amy Brubaker returns for the Bluebirds with experience as a successful server and plans to play from the right front as a hitter.
Rinda Duerksen, a powerful front row player, will bring experience as a middle hitter and blocker to the 2008 season.
Junior Karina Harvey plays in the back row as a tenacious libero, going to the floor often for digs and saves.
Jessica Goertzen earned experience last year as a varsity setter and returns for her junior season.
Aspen Frey was a hitter from the left side, played all around in 2007, and will contribute this season again.
Karis Janzen, another junior, was a hard middle hitter who had success in blocking and hopes again to be successful from that position.
Sophomore Kendra Flaming saw a lot of action last year as a left side hitter and is expected to make a significant contribution to the team again in the 2008 season.
The Bluebirds host a number of early season matches, so fans will want to put the home games on their calendars.
Goessel was at home Sept. 2 with Ell Saline, Hope, and Elyria Christian; Tuesday with Canton-Galva, Hutchinson Trinity, and Bennington; Saturday at the Goessel Invitational Tournament; and Sept. 23 with Moundridge and Ell Saline.
Coach Guhr expects Moundridge, Inman, and Hutch Trinity to be contenders for the league title this year, and some of their toughest non-league opponents will be Hutcihnson Central Christian, Olpe, and Halstead.
With the strong core of girls returning for the season coach Guhr is optimistic.
“These girls will be looking to further the successes of last year,” Guhr said. “I think we have a good chance to improve on the 4-7 league record from last year.
“As always, passing is a key to our success. A good hit usually begins with a good pass.”
Guhr has been head coach of the team for four years and is assisted this year by Joe Biggs.