In 2004, the Marion High School volleyball team was comprised of eight seniors. In 2008, there will be none.
However, head coach Jim Versch isn’t worried. His junior class is an experienced varsity bunch in numerous sports.
He said they are a group of consistent hitters, and young, but full of experience.
Six of the seven returning letterwinners on the team are third-year players, and competing against varsity foes is nothing new to most of them.
What will be new is the Warriors’ gymnasium.
The building is as bright and squeaky clean as the players’ shoes.
“It allows us to finally play in a nice atmosphere, and it gives our fans a chance to be proud,” Versch said.
The fans also will be proud of the team’s play if the core group of girls continue to improve as they did during the winter and spring seasons a year ago.
The team returns six juniors, including MCAA second-teamer Julia Zeiner, and MCAA honorable mention player Kaylee Heerey, and will see varsity newcomers Chassidy Carlson, Shelby Percell, and Whitney Gordon, contribute as well.
Junior hitters Kristen Steinborn and Tiffany Christensen, and junior libero Emmali Kelsey all will contribute as well.
Carlson and Percell, both sophomores, take over for junior Lindsay Hett at the setter position.
Versch said Hett did a great job, but she is talented enough to play up front.
“I just can’t give up that hitting ability,” he said of Hett.
Percell and Carlson are both learning the setting position, and how important it is to a team.
Versch calls it the quarterback position, and said whoever is setting needs to be a team leader.
“Things are starting to fall into place,” he said.
The team went through some tough stretches a year ago, but despite an 8-23 record, was 5-6 in league play.
Seven returning letterwinners, the loss of just two starters, and a brand new facility, have Warrior volleyball fans looking forward to the 2008 season.