v Sports in Kansas: 2019 KS High School Volleyball Preview - Sports in Kansas
Warning: include(../includes/bodytag.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/kansass/public_html/ks/news/index.php on line 36

Warning: include(): Failed opening '../includes/bodytag.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/alt/php56/usr/lib/php') in /home/kansass/public_html/ks/news/index.php on line 36

Sports in Kansas: 2019 KS High School Volleyball Preview

Hesston Volleyball is a team to watch for in 3A. (Pam Weaver Photography)
By: Conor Nicholl for Sports in Kansas w/ Chet Kuplen
Aug 28, 2019

Share This Story:

Sports In Kansas is increasing its volleyball coverage this year. A significant thanks to Russ Cobb with the Kansas Volleyball Association (KVA) and the many coaches who returned questionnaires and team information. This year’s season is again stocked with multiple Division I commitments, including Lansing’s Karli Schmidt, Olathe Northwest’s Kaiti Parks and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Caroline Bien (all Kansas commits).

Schmidt is the returning Class 5A Player of the Year. St. Thomas Aquinas, the Class 5A runner-up, is ranked No. 18 nationally by USA Today Sports.

As well, St. James’ Ellie Bolton and Garden City’s Reagan Karlin have both committed to national power Creighton.

In addition, Maize South’s Laurel Jones (Marquette), Blue Valley’s Evelyn Diederich (South Dakota), Blue Valley’s Lindsay Lahr (Missouri State) and Maranatha Academy’s Addison Pelham (Lipscomb) have committed to Division I programs.

Humboldt, Maranatha Academy, Beloit, Hesston, Ellinwood, and Burrton are among those who have at least one returner that has set a school record. Garden Plain’s Natasha Dooley is back after Class 2A Player of the Year and leads a stacked Owl squad that looks to repeat as state titlists. In Class 1A, Otis-Bison’s Maddie Wiltse returns after second team all-state as a sophomore and honorable mention as a junior.

All statistics courtesy of MaxPreps and KVA unless otherwise noted.

Class 6A

Preseason Ranking from KVA

  1. Blue Valley 
  2. Olathe Northwest
  3. Gardner-Edgerton
  4. Lawrence-Free State
  5. Blue Valley West
  6. Mill Valley
  7. Blue Valley North
  8. Shawnee Mission Northwest
  9. Garden City
  10. Washburn Rural

Returning All-State Selections from the KVA

First Team:Reagan Karlin – Garden City – 6’1 Sr. OH, Lindsay Lahr – Blue Valley – 6’1 Sr. MB, Kaiti Parks – Olathe Northwest – 6’2 Sr. MB, Kendra Wait – Gardner Edgerton – 5’10 Jr. S

Second Team:Lily Becker – Olathe Northwest – 5’5 Sr. L Evelyn Diedrich – Blue Valley – 5’7 Sr. OH

Honorable Mentions: Ayden Barlett – Leavenworth – 5’8 Sr. S/OH, Macy DeLeye – Washburn Rural – 6’1 Sr. MH, Courtney Jackson – Olathe Northwest – 5’9 Jr. S, Dejah Miller – Topeka – 5’10 Jr. OH

Team Capsules returned from our questionnaire

GARDEN CITY – Garden City has reached the state tournament the last four years, the previous two with coach Trista Bailey, now in her third fall with the program. GC finished 28-12 for Bailey, who has a 172-119 career record. The Buffs return five starters, plus their libero, including four seniors: outside hitter Reagan Karlin, setter Remi Vargas, libero Kelbi Richter and middle blocker Ashlyn Swan. The key reserves/newcomers include senior opposite Alli Meng. Karlin is one of the state’s top returners and has committed to NCAA Division I Creighton University.

She has earned back-to-back first team all-conference selections and the 2018 WAC Player of the Year award. Karlin was first team all-state the last two seasons, while Vargas was first team all-WAC, and Richter second team. Vargas was third in the state with 10.49 assists per set and 944 total assists. Coach Bailey said the team would like to have a deeper postseason run and have “really worked to strengthen our serve and pass game.”

“Our goals for 2019 are to be fearless,” Bailey said. “We are looking to improve our team culture both on and off the court and find ways to build upon our weaknesses. With the varsity experience we have returning, our team is looking to be in the fight at the end of the season at the State Tournament.”

LAWRENCE – The Lions’ girls’ programs enjoyed a standout ’18-19 school year with state titles in volleyball, swimming and track. Lawrence went 81-9 in sets and captured its first state volleyball title since ’95. Coach Stephanie Scarbrough was a player on the last state title. Lawrence took big graduation losses as nine seniors were on the varsity roster. The Lions also captured the Sunflower League crown and finished 38-2.

BLUE VALLEY – Blue Valley finished 33-9 and fell in three sets to Lawrence in the state championship game. Seniors Lindsay Lahr and Evelyn Diederich led the team with 3.1 and 2.5 kills per set, respectively. Lahr has committed to Missouri State, and Diederich has committed to South Dakota.

OLATHE NORTHWEST – Kaiti Parks headlines an ONW program that won state titles in ’16-17 and has advanced to state the last six seasons. The Ravens finished 28-16 last year. Parks led the team with 327 kills, a .372 hitting percentage and was second with 98 blocks. Senior Renee Oswalt paced the squad with 104 blocks and was third with 221 kills.

GARDNER-EDGERTON – Senior outside Morgan McIntire has committed to Fort Hays. G-E posted a 29-10 record and coach Alex Fitzmorris-Sorn is 73-45 in her fifth year. The Trailblazers reached the state tournament last season and return six starters: junior setter Kendra Wait, McIntire, sophomore outside/middle Jaylyne Bell, sophomore defensive specialists/liberos Erin Michael and Holly Maska, and junior middle hitter Jordan Boone.

Wait, a Creighton commit, was the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year in track, along with first team all-state volleyball. She has been all-Sunflower League first team in ’17-18. McIntire is second team all-Sunflower League, while Bell and Michael were both honorable mention. G-E earned runner-up in the Sunflower. Wait posted G-E with 111 total blocks and 944 assists. Wait also won the 100-meter dash for the second straight season, captured the shot put title, was second in the pole vault and fourth in the 200 dash.

“We have a very talented, focused and skilled group of girls this year who are hungry to return to the state tournament,” Fitzmorris-Sorn said. “I am very excited to see how this group progresses throughout the year!”


Preseason Ranking from KVA

  1. St. Thomas Aquinas
  2. Lansing
  3. St. James Academy 
  4. Topeka-Seaman
  5. Bishop Carroll
  6. Bonner Springs
  7. Andover
  8. Spring Hill
  9. Goddard
  10. Blue Valley Southwest

Returning All-State Selections from the KVA

First Team:Karli Schmidt – Lansing – 6’0 Sr. OH (2018 5A Player of the Year),Caroline Bien – Aquinas – 5’10 Jr. RS/DS, Ellie Bolton – St. James Academy – 5’6 Sr. L,Ella Larkin – Bishop Carroll – 5’9 Jr. S/OH, Caroline Zabroske – St. Thomas Aquinas – 5’11 Sr. MB

Second Team: Riley Daugherty – Bishop Carroll – 5’10 Jr. OH, Laurel Jones – Maize South – 6’1 Jr. S/RS, Asha Regier – Newton – 5’10 Jr. OH,Camryn Turner – Seaman – 5’7 Jr. S/RS

Honorable Mentions:Cassie Cooks – McPherson – 5’9 Sr. OH/MB, Ellie Shank – Valley Center – 5’9 Sr. S/OH

Team Capsules Returned from our Questionnaire 

ST. JAMES ACADEMY – One of the state’s more tradition-laden programs, SJA finished 34-8 and captured the Class 5A state title under Nancy Dorsey. SJA has won the last two 5A titles, as well as ’12, ’13 and ’15 in recent history. Ellie Bolton was first team all-state 5A as the libero, the only defensive player picked first team all-state 5A. Bolton finished with 616 digs, fifth-best in Kansas.

SJA graduated Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year Audrey Klemp (527 kills, .395 hitting). Overall, coach Dorsey has played in the state title game all 12 varsity seasons with nine state titles. SJA was the PrepVolleyball.com National Champions in ’10 and ’13. Stanford All-Americans Jenna Gray and Audriana Fitzmorris both graduated at SJA and have helped the Cardinal to national titles in ’16 and ’18.

Six-foot senior Anna Feldkamp has committed to Loyola of Chicago. She delivered 254 kills, third most on the squad, and hit .326. Senior Ellie Wheeler was second behind Klemp with 282 kills.

LANSING – Karli Schmidt has enjoyed an outstanding career with coach Julie Slater, one of the great coaches in Kansas with more than 960 career victories, second-most in state history – and highest among active coaches. Lansing finished 39-6 and took third in Class 5A. Schmidt was first team all-state the last two years and is the returning Class 5A Player of the Year. Last year, she delivered 337 kills, 3.6 kills per set and kills on 42 percent of swings with a .298 hitting percentage. Three of Lansing’s top-four kill leaders are back along with seniors Sam Moburg and Amelia Vanderwerff. Schmidt has more than 1,100 career kills.

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS – Senior middle blocker Caroline Zabroske and junior right side/defensive specialist Caroline Bien have been first team all-state Class 5A the last two seasons. Aquinas lost 26-24, 20-25, 34-32 in an epic Class 5A state championship match to St. James last year. Aquinas opens the season in a big matchup against Lansing on Aug. 31. Aquinas is ranked No. 18 nationally by USA Today Sports. Zabroske delivered 450 kills.

ANDOVER – Andover finished 35-4 and has advanced to the state tournament back-to-back years. Senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Maggie Creitz is one of the Trojans’ top players.

BISHOP CARROLL – The Golden Eagles went 31-11 and took fourth in 5A after BC lost in the third place match to Lansing. Veteran coach Rita Mernagh returns key juniors Ella Larkin and Rylie Daugherty, and senior Maggie Brandt. Larkin was first team all-state as an outside hitter.

TOPEKA SEAMAN – Coach Tatiana Schafer helped Seaman to a 30-11 record, and carries a 48-31 career mark. Seaman, which last made state in ’14, returns six of seven starters. Four senior starters are back: setter/right side Konlynn Druse, outside/middle Riley Polter, libero Maddie Steiner and defensive specialist Morgyn Chapin. Two juniors – setter/right side Camryn Turner and middle hitter Hailey Minger return – along with sophomore outside hitter Drew Baxter. Druse was second team all-league, and Steiner was honorable mention all-league. Turner was the league’s newcomer of the year, first team all-city and honorable mention all-state. Coach Schafer has set team goals to go the second day of state.

“Keys for the season are to attack and be aggressive,” coach Schafer said. “We need to be better at putting balls away and speeding up our offense will help with that.”

MAIZE SOUTH – Junior setter Laurel Jones paces the Mavericks and could be the top player out of the Wichita area this year. The 6-foot-1 Jones has committed to Marquette and earned AVCTL II MVP as a sophomore. Coach Teri Larson led the Mavericks to a 36-8 record last fall, including 0-3 at the Class 5A state tournament. She is 610-312 in her 25-year career all at either Maize or Maize South. Jones and senior middle hitter McKinley Pruitt are the lone returning starters. Seven players are expected to step into bigger roles, including senior right side Holly Price, and senior outside hitters Carley Sterneker and Erica Fava, and senior libero Riley Kennedy.

GODDARD – Abbie Medbery returns after he has committed to play volleyball at Newman. The Lions return all but one player.

DE SOTO – Coach Lindsay Hothan is in her 10th year as head volleyball coach after a 31-8 record and state appearance last fall. Overall, she has a career 218-84 record. De Soto returns three starters: seniors Taylor Ellis, Kyra Halvorsen and junior Brooke Stonestreet. All three players are outside hitters/defensive specialists. De Soto graduated nine seniors.

“Our goals are to keep our program competitive, as it has been the last several years,” Hothan said. “Our goals will be consistently centered around passing, defense, and playing smart.”

HAYS HIGH – Coach Christin Nunnery went 24-12 with the Indians last year and is 148-85 entering her eighth year as head coach. Hays High has not made state since ’94, though Nunnery has done a nice job of turning the program around. HHS returns three starters with outside hitter/setter Tasiah Nunnery, senior middle hitter Macee Altman, and junior defensive specialist/libero Brooklin Schaffer.

Tasiah Nunnery is one of the state’s top returning players. She has been first team all-WAC all three years and was WAC Player of the Year in ’17. She was also second team all-state in ’17. Tasiah is all-time leader in career kills at Hays High with 1,098. She had 427 kills last year. Overall, Hays High has six seniors. Three girls have played varsity for two or more years. Coach Nunnery would like HHS to “be a better defensive team, because we’ve focused on offense for so long.”

“If we can really become better defensively, we are going to be a much better well rounded team,” Nunnery said.

MAIZE – Allison Ott went 15-23 in her first year coaching the Eagles. Five starters return: junior middle blocker Sydney Lentz, senior middle blocker/right side Sophia Buzard, sophomore middle blocker/right side Abby Godfrey, and junior outside hitters Mallorie Koehn and Baylee Miller. Koehn was first team all-league, and Buzard earned honorable mention all-league.

EMPORIA – Ashley Nehls returns to the high school ranks after seven years coaching in college. Her husband, Brock, was a former standout pitcher at Hays High, Emporia State and the Hays Larks. Brock served assistant coaching stints at Cloud County and Dodge City and was the head coach at William Woods (Mo.) University the last three years before he was announced as a new ESU assistant coach this summer.

Ashley Nehls, who was the head volleyball coach at William Woods the last two seasons, is back in her second stint as Emporia’s head coach. She was the head coach in ’09 when Emporia finished 17-22. Ashley Nehls replaces Kaitlyn Just.

Just led the Spartans to a 63-52 record over three seasons and a fourth-place finish in Class 5A in 2016. Emporia went 15-24 last year and returns four starters: junior setter Macey Adams, junior outside hitter Emily Christensen, and senior outside hitter/middle blockers Payten Redeker and Taylor Sullivan. Three non-seniors are expected to contribute: sophomore outside hitter/right side Gracie Gilpin, sophomore setter Grace Xu and junior middle blocker Abbie Demler. Coach Nehls has significantly focused on the team playing together and for each other.

“We are small, but have power,” she said. “So we will need to be smart with the ball to be successful. We will have several young players, leadership from upperclassmen will be key!”

Grace Xu’s parents are Bing and Jiangping, the longtime head coach and assistant coach, respectively, for the Emporia State volleyball program.

ANDOVER CENTRAL – New coach Stacey Hart-Townsley takes over the Jaguars after a 21-18 record last fall. AC returns three starters: senior setter Holli Dreiling, junior middle hitter Ally Harris, and sophomore setter Ellie Stearns. AC last made state in ’16. Harris was honorable mention all-league.

 “We hope to make use of more out of system balls,” May said. “We need to utilize our offensive weapons more productively and focus on passing to start.”


Preseason Ranking from KVA

  1. Bishop Miege
  2. Andale 
  3. Topeka-Hayden
  4. Louisburg 
  5. Wichita-Trinity Academy 
  6. Independence
  7. Nickerson
  8. Ulysses
  9. Abilene 10. Circle

Returning All-State Selections from the KVA

First Team: Morgan Bruna – Andale – 5’8 Sr. MB/OH, Katelyn Farichild – Andale – 5’9 Jr. OH, Payton Verhulst – Bishop Miege – 6’1 Jr. OH

Second Team: Sydney Hillmer – Hayden – 5’8 Sr. OH/RS, Morgan Stout – Nickerson – 6’1 Sr. MB, Peyton Suther – Chapman – 5’9 Sr. S

Honorable Mentions: Austin Broadie – Trinity Acaemy – 6’0 Jr. OH, Madison Grimes – Andale – 5’1 Sr. L, Winny Harrison – Atchison – 6’0 Sr. MB, Cyra Kelley – Nickerson – 5’8 Sr. OH

Team Capsules Returned from our Questionnaire

BISHOP MIEGE – The Stags finished 26-16 and captured the Class 4A state title with a 25-13, 25-14 victory against Louisburg under coach Kathleen Ludwig. Payton Verhulst, one of the country’s best basketball players, is also a standout in volleyball. A junior this fall, Verhulst easily paced the Stags with 297 kills. Overall, 85 percent of the Stags’ kills came from non-seniors. Junior Erin Garr had 200 kills and hit .317. As well, 88 percent of the team’s blocks were from non-seniors. Verhulst was first team all-state Class 4A.

ANDALE – The Indians finished 34-9 and reached the state tournament in the first season under coach Kaylie Bergkamp, the daughter of GP head coach Gina Clark. Andale was undefeated league champion, KVA 4A Program of the Year and 4A All-Academic Team.

Andale returns five starters: junior outside Katelyn Fairchild, senior middle Morgan Bruna, senior libero/defensive specialists Madison Grimes and Sage Reichenberger and senior setter Jenna Jarmer. Grimes was the state’s top passer at 98.4 percent, according to the KVA.

Senior opposite Chloe Rau, along with two freshmen – middle hitter McKenzie Fairchild and outside/opposite Maddie Schrandt – are expected to step up into key roles. Five juniors are expected to be counted on. Bruna and Fairchild were both first team all-state, first team all-league and KVA All-Academic. Grimes collected third team all-state and first team all-league. Jarmer was honorable mention all-league and KVA all-academic.

TOPEKA HAYDEN – Jesica Farmer-Walter has coached 14 years with Hayden and led the Wildcats to a third-place showing in Class 4A last season. Hayden captured the Class 4A, Division II title in ’16-17. Outside hitter Sydney Hillmer, setter McKinna Ellis, middle blocker Kyra Bauer, left back Alyssa Dinkel and defensive specialist Jayce Regnier are returning starters. Hillmer was all-state, and Farmer-Walter believes Hayden “should have great chance to get back to state.”

WINFIELD – The Vikings have not made state since 2001 and went 8-18 last fall for coach Aubree Vargas (24-54 career mark). However, Winfield returns six starters, including four seniors: setter Emmah Sultz, middle hitter Ali Tate, libero Sydney Russell, and outside hitter Chloe Hoffman. Sultz, Hoffman and Tate were all-league. Coach Vargas believes this year’s team has “more grit and confidence than years prior” and “could do something awesome” this year.

ABILENE – Jade Koch replaces longtime head coach Mike Jantz. He and coach Danita Tanzer both retired. Koch served as the eighth grade coach for 11 years. The Cowgirls have not had a losing season since ’04 and went 24-14 last fall. Abilene’s last league title came in ’16, which is also the Cowgirls’ last state appearance. Senior setter Beth Holmes was honorable mention all-league after she served at a 95 percent clip and was second in the North Central Kansas League with 889 assistants.

Coach Koch labeled Holmes a “role model on and off the court” and leadership in summer league and summer workouts. Senior middle blocker/hitter Chesney Sprinkle delivered 36 blocks and 204 kills. She was second in the league in blocks. Sophomore middle hitter Emma Wildman only played varsity in 64 of a possible 89 sets as a freshman, though was third in the league with 35 blocks. Sophomore Jenna Hayes started on the right side as a freshman and finished with 97 kills and 17 blocks. She is expected to play outside this year. Abilene had a strong summer, including finishing second of 18 teams in its summer league.

WELLINGTON – Wellington finished in third place in Class 4A, Division I in 2017. The Crusaders finished 19-17 last year and have Blake Brewster, in his third year as coach. Returning starters include: senior outside hitter Jennifer Jensen, senior setter Gracie Rausch, junior libero Lexi Clift, and sophomore outside hitter Ali Zeka. Jensen was second team all-league. Jensen and Clift are the most experienced players, and Zeka returns after injury.

CLEARWATER – Kyane May is her first year with the Indians and 16th season overall of coaching. Clearwater finished 16-18 last year. The Indians last reached state in 2015. Clearwater returns starters, all seniors: outside hitters Carlee Lill and Lexi Cash, and setter Nicole Robinson. Senior middle hitter Ivy Berline is a newcomer after first team all-league South Central Border League. May believes the team is “very deep in talent.”

ANDERSON COUNTY – Alaina Fairbanks is in her third year as head coach. AC finished 10-23 last season and returns seven lettermen, including seniors Brooke Schettler and Grace McAdam.


Preseason Ranking from the KVA

  1. Silver Lake
  2. Royal Valley
  3. Beloit
  4. Hesston
  5. Belle Plaine
  6. Frontenac
  7. Holton 
  8. West Franklin
  9. Concordia
  10. Nemaha Central

Returning All-State Selections from the KVA

First Team: Lexi Cobb – Silver Lake – 5’8 Sr. S/OH, Talby Duerkesen – Hesston – 5’11 Sr. OH, Ivy Fink – Royal Valley – 5’9 Jr. – OH, Shae Larson – Beloit – 6’0 Sr. – OH

Second Team: Daryn Lamprecht – Silver Lake – 5’7 Sr. OH

Honorable Mentions: Delaney Barnes – Baxter Springs -6’0 Sr. OH/MB

Team Capsules Returned from Our Questionnaire

SILVER LAKE – Coach Sarah Johnson earned Class 3A Coach of the Year honors after she led the Eagles to a 37-6 record and state title. Silver Lake returns all three of its all-state players. Senior setter/outside hitter Lexi Cobb was a first team selection, senior outside hitter Daryn Lamprecht was second team and then junior libero Clara Caralt was honorable mention but wont be back this season as she was a foreigh exchange student . Cobb and Lamprecht have each committed to play Division I softball. Cobb was also second team all-state in 3A as a sophomore. Last year, she was third in passing at 97.2 percent, according to the KVA.

BELOIT – Coach Brandy Paul has built the Trojans into a consistent winner. Last year, the Trojans finished 37-6 and took third place at state. Beloit went 12-0 in NCAA play and was ’18 Class 3A KVA Program of the Year.

Paul is in her seventh year coaching and holds a 180-57 record. Six players return with varsity experience – and five starters are back: senior setter/opposite Jessica Meier, sophomore setter/opposite Makenzie Travis, senior outside hitter Shea Larson, senior middle blocker Paige Goddard, senior middle blocker Hanna Pearson, senior outside hitter Trista Boeve, senior libero Jaimie Drum and defensive specialist Darby Odle.

Larson holds the school record for kills and was first team all-state. She had 502 kills last season, one of eight Kansas players to exceed 500 kills, according to the KVA.

As well, Meier and Travis – one of the state’s top freshman last year – were first team all-league, and Goddard was honorable mention all-league. Meier and Travis set the school record for combined assists, and Meier had the school mark for service points.

HESSTON – Hesston finished 32-10 in 2018 and returns a bevy of talent for coach Jason Peters (368-161 overall). Peters is in his 15th season as head coach, 18th year overall at Hesston. Senior outside hitter Talby Duerksen (421 kills) was first team all-state for a squad that reached the state tournament.

Senior hitter Elise Kaiser was first team all-league and set the school mark for total digs in a season with 469. Kaiser has committed to Newman for basketball. Senior setter Celbi Richardson earned second team all-league.

As well, senior defensive specialist Emily Koehn, junior middle/outside Alex Martin and sophomore setter/right side Harley Ferralez are key returners. Four seniors are key reserves. Coach Peters said “improving our defense and communication” is a key.

“We have high expectations for this season as we return six players with significant varsity experience,” he said. “Our schedule will be tough, as we play most of our matches on the road, and will play multiple teams that qualified for the state tournament last season.”

SMOKY VALLEY – The Vikings finished 15-23 in ’18 in the first season with coach Sharlene Ramsey. Smoky Valley graduated four seniors and has no seniors this fall. SV returns four starters: junior middle hitter Bri Franklin, junior setter McKinley Johnson, junior outside hitter Addie Heitschmidt and sophomore middle Abby Rose.

Belle Peters, one of the Kansas’ all-time best pole vaulters, and Kerrington Haxton, and Elyse Ramsey are key reserves/newcomers. Franklin was second team all-league, and Rose earned honorable mention all-league. SV was a KSHSAA Academic Achievement Team with a team GPA of at least 3.6, and Ramsey was KVA All-Academic Honorable Mention.

HOLTON – Janelle Noel led the Wildcats with a 29-12 record. She is 280-209 in her 14th year. Holton last reached the state tournament in 2017. Seven starters, all seniors, return: setter Faith Haussler, middle hitter Danika Hickman, middle/right side Paige Crouch, outside Cailin Parks, right side Kinleigh Rhodd, defensive specialist Olivia Yingst and defensive specialist/libero Savanna Booth. Parks was all-Big 7 honorable mention.

HALSTEAD – Halstead finished second in the league tournament and third in the league with a 30-9 record. Coach Diana Schutte has been a head coach 15 years, sixth at Halstead. The Dragons graduated six players, including the setters. Three juniors return with some sort of league honor during their careers: libero Josie Engel and middle hitters Maddie McClain and Karenna Gerber. Senior outside Briana Winkle is also a returning starter.

PHILLIPSBURG – Longtime coach Terra Keeten led the Panthers to a 29-11 record last year and stands at 545-198 in her career entering her 21st season. From ’08-11, Phillipsburg was third, second, fourth and third at state. Seven starters are back, along with the libero. At middle, seniors Jenna Hoover and Meredith Jacobs return as starters. At outside, senior Emily Schneider is back as a starter.

At setter, senior Kristen Wells and junior Meg Keeten return as starters. On the right side, senior Emmie Kenney and junior Kay Pakkebier return. Kenney is a returning starter. Senior libero Kylie Solida also returns. Hoover and Solida were all-league. Freshman Heather Schemper (5-10) is expected to play a key role at outside hitter. Phillipsburg lost to Beloit in sub-state; Beloit went on to take third in state.

“That has given the girls lots of drive in the off season,” Keeten said. “We have experience returning in all positions so we hope to throw some new things into our offense and push ourselves to be better on defense and side-out opportunities. We feel that we have good height returning and should be able to be aggressive on the net.”

EUREKA – Eureka went 21-12 with coach Pam Pitko. She is in her 29th season with a 468-280 record. Eureka last made state in 2010 and has five starters back: senior setter Hailey Broyles, senior outside hitter Emilee Escareno, junior middle hitter Katie Sherman, junior outside hitter Chazni Ptacek and sophomore libero Gracie Walden. Broyles was honorable mention all-league.

“How well we communicate and pass are going to be major factors in how well we can come together which in turn will have a great deal to do with our success as a team,” coach Pitko said.

OSAGE CITY – Chelsi Gardner led Osage City to a 26-12 record and are two-time undefeated league championships. Overall, she is 296-111 in her 10th year of coaching. OC returns six starters: senior outside hitter Britney Wilkins, senior outside/middle hitter Kenna Butterfield, junior middle hitter Sara Davis, senior libero Leslie Hultgren, and senior right side Jordan Sage and sophomore outside hitter Kaylyn Burk.

“It will be tough this year but the girls are ready for it,” Gardner said. “I have a ton of upperclassmen and leadership in this group, we are looking forward to our season.”

RIVERTON – Rebecca Lipasek served as a head coach in Missouri for 26 seasons. She is 64-15 in two years in Kansas. Overall, she carries a record of 641-250-44. The Rams have five starters back: senior outside hitter Camryn Compton, senior middle hitter Zoey Mitchell, senior outside hitter/libero Danielle Weaver, junior setter Emma Berry and senior outside Madison Strup. Compton and Weaver each earned CNC all-league honors. In ’16, Riverton had just five victories before a 36-4 mark in ’17.

“We should have a better blocking presence at the net, and with so many returners back, our defense and ball control should be steady,” Lipasek said. “The key to our success will be in our offensive abilities. Limiting errors while terminating at a higher rate will be our focus throughout 2019.”

MAUR HILL – Maur Hill finished 9-24 and has third-year coach Tim Ruckdeschel. MH’s last state appearance was 1988. MH returns five starters, including sophomore libero Blair Taylor, an all-league player as a freshman. Opposite/setter Malia Dulac was honorable mention as a sophomore.


Preseason Ranking from KVA

  1. Wabaunsee
  2. Smith Center
  3.  Sedgwick
  1. Garden Plain
  2. St. Mary’s-Colgan
  3. Valley Heights
  4. Jefferson County North
  5. Ellinwood
  6. Maranatha Christian
  7. Trego Community

Returning All-State Selections from KVA

First Team: Natasha Dooley – Garden Plain – 5’10 Sr. OH (2018 2A POY), Laurel Barber, Wabaunsee – 5’5 Sr. OH, Bree Frieling, Smith Center – 5’9 Sr. OH/S, Kennedy Horacek, Garden Plain – 5’5 Sr. L, Addi Pelham – Maranatha, Academy – 6’1 Jr. OH, Millie Stockard – St. Mary’s Colgan – 5’7 Jr. OH/S

Second Team: Lakyn Tenbrink – Ellsowrth – 6’0 Sr. MB, Grace Thompson – Sedgwick – 5’4 Sr. L, Sam Vermetten – Valley Heights – 5’9 Sr. OH

Honorable Mentions: Mya Maxwell – Ellinwood – 5’8 Jr. S/OH, Tallon Renstschler – Smith Center – 6’0  Soph., Carrie Roe – Herington – 5’9 Jr. OH

Team Capsules Returned from our Questionnaire 

GARDEN PLAIN – The defending Class 2A champions in volleyball, basketball and track, GP enjoyed a hallmark 2018-19 school year. As well, the Owls form a co-operative agreement with nearby Andale in softball and finished state runner-up in the spring. Coach Gina Clark is one of the state’s top volleyball coaches with a 566-243 career record, including 35-10 last fall. Clark has captured three state titles with the Owls. GP returns six starters, many whom were key players in other sports. Senior outside hitter Natasha Dooley was the 2A Volleyball Player of the Year.

Senior opposites Sydnee Becker and Claire Clark also return, along with junior middle hitter Christia Rose Gorges, senior libero Kennedy Horacek and junior middle hitter Alli Puetz. Horacek led the state in digs with 766 and was first team all-state Class 2A. Puetz earned all-league honorable mention honors.

Four key reserves/newcomers are: senior outside hitter Anna Smith, senior defensive specialist/opposite Lydia Becker, senior middle hitter Tyler Meyer and junior setter Madysen Zoglman. Coach Clark said the team “will be transitioning to new setters.” The goals are to “improve each week” and keys are to “win pass/serve game.”

ALMA-WABAUNSEE – The surprising Class 2A runner-up, the Chargers made a big turnaround under coach Tracy Capoun. Two years ago, the Chargers finished 15-19. Last year, Wabaunsee went 32-12 and upset previously undefeated Colgan in the state semifinals. Wabaunsee hosts its own tournament to open the season and plays Oskaloosa in the opener. The Chargers were 8-0 at home last year. Wabaunsee graduated just two seniors in Abby Oliver (Washburn basketball) and Alyssa Lohmeyer. However, Laurel Barber is back after 216 kills, second-most behind Lohmeyer. Maddy Wertzberger suffered injury at state and was third with 182 kills. Junior Jordan Magette led with 47 aces. Wertzberger was second with 85 blocks. Senior Alexis Hafenstine is one of the top specialists with 5.4 digs per set.

SMITH CENTER – Nick Linn is one of the state’s all-time winningest coaches with an 852-321 mark in 33 years. SC finished 39-6 last year and third in Class 2A. SC returns four starters, three seniors: setter/outside hitter Bree Frieling, middle hitter Lizzy Pfortmiller and outside/right side Kendra Maydew. Sophomore middle hitter Tallon Rentschler is also a returning starter.

As a freshman, Rentschler paced the state with 195 blocks. Frieling was first team all-state, while Rentschler earned honorable mention all-state. Both were first team all-league, and Pfortmiller earned honorable mention all-league.

“Our back row must show up,” Linn said. “If we can dig and pass, we should be fine.”

PITT-COLGAN – Colgan’s dream season stayed perfect until the state semifinals where the Panthers lost to Alma-Wabaunsee, and then eventually took fourth. Colgan plays host to Humboldt in the season opener on Sept. 3. Colgan finished 43-2 after 35-7 two years ago. First team all-state selection Millie Stockard paced the team with 380 kills (4.0 per set) and is a junior this fall. Junior Kaitlin Crossland (2.2 kills, 3.7 digs/set) also returns.

HOXIE – Hoxie finished 23-13 and returns one of the state’s leading defensive players in senior Addi Campbell. She delivered 582 digs (6.85 per set), sixth-best in Kansas. She also passed at 96.9 percent, fourth-best in the state, according to KVA lists.

GOESSEL – Coach Crysta Guhr is in her 15th season as head coach after she spent six years as an assistant. Consistently one of the state’s top volleyball programs, Goessel went 25-13, 8-1 in the Wheat State League last season. Goessel returns four letterwinners: senior outside hitter Elizabeth Alderfer, junior outside hitter Raechel Boese, junior middle blocker Bethany Herrel, and sophomore setter Kaleigh Guhr. Goessel went 172-4 from’14-17 with second, first, third and second place showings at state. The Bluebirds graduated five seniors off last year’s squad and Alderfer is the lone senior this fall.

OSKALOOSA – Oskaloosa finished 22-16 with head coach Shelbie Morgison. The school’s last appearance came in 2011. The Bears return four starters for Morgison, 121-100 entering her seventh year. The starters back are senior middle hitter Jenna Pfau, junior outside hitter Sophia Rockhold, junior libero Reese Curry, and junior setter Regan Curry. Senior Jaycee Johnson is back from injury last year. Pfau and Curry are all-league, and Rockhold is honorable mention all-league. Morgison listed goals as a top-two finish in league and sub-state championship game appearance.

MARANATHA CHRISTIAN ACADEMY - Maranatha went to the state tournament last year with a 30-9 record. Eagles’ head coach Sam Soliday stands 91-52 in her career. Six starters return from a group that has set several school records. Junior outside hitter Addison Pelham, senior setter/defensive specialist Ellie Bergerhofer, senior libero Adelyn Williams, senior outside hitter Aaliyah Buckner, sophomore middle hitter Madison Piva, and senior middle hitter Anita Eckhart. On July 22, Pelham announced her commitment to Division I Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Pelham is among the state’s top returners after first team all-state. She paced Kansas with 588 kills, tops in Kansas, and top-20 in hitting percentage at .353. Coach Soliday said the key will be how well the new setters do.

OSWEGO – Oswego finished 29-13, 10-1 in league with Janna Olson (177-96 in her career). The Indians’ last state appearance came in ’16. Oswego had four returning starters and its libero back: seniors Shanler McNickle and Madison Stephens, senior libero Maya Espeseth, senior middle blocker Abby Long, and junior setter Allie Vail. McNickle was second team all-league.

HUMBOLDT – Coach Terry Meadows led the Cubs to a 24-13 record. He is entering his fourth year as head coach at 72-42. The Cubs, which last made state in ’16, have three starters back: senior setter Alayna Johnson, senior libero Emma Johnson and junior middle hitter Jada Dangerfield.

Alayna Johnson was all-league in ’18 and set two team records with most assists in a match (45) and most assists in a season (817). Emma Johnson set the team mark with most digs in a year with 298. A host of other key players includes three seniors: outsides Veronica Bulk and Kirsten Roush, and defensive specialist Hailey Hammer.

HUTCHINSON TRINITY – Coach Jan Frieb is entering her 28th season with a 490-367 record, including a 20-16 mark last fall. The Celtics last made state in ’07. Five starters, including junior libero Alyssa Harbold, return. Three seniors – setter Maddy Strecker, middle hitter Meg Friday and outside hitter Abby Spitler – are returning starters. Junior middle hitter Becca Hammersmith is also back. Hammersmith, Friday and Strecker each earned all-league honors.

“Very promising team of competitive minded teammates; they like to compete and push through difficult situations,” Frieb said.

SEDGWICK – Coach Karen Stucky led the Cardinals to a 34-4 record in Class 2A last season. Overall, she is 403-197 in her career. Six players with some sort of league recognition are back. Senior libero Grace Thompson was second team all-state and first team all-conference. Senior middle blocker/opposite Hadyn Anderson was honorable mention all-league, along with senior middle blocker/opposite Patsy Zerger, junior outside hitter Taylinn Lacey, and sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Alexa Scarlett. Junior setter Kami Matson was first team all-league. Overall, Sedgwick returns all but one varsity player from last year.

JEFFERSON COUNTY NORTH – JCN last made state with a state runner-up showing in 2013, though went 30-9 last season and has six starters, including its libero, back this year. Coach David Schuler stands 145-52 in five seasons. Senior middle hitter Josie Weishaar, one of the state’s top basketball players, headlines the group. She and senior middle hitter Kynnedi Knudson were both first team all-Northeast Kansas League.

Junior libero Kassidy Robertson was honorable mention all-league. Junior outside hitter Kinsey Schneider, sophomore outside hitter Tera Wistuba, and sophomore right side/setter Adison Manville are all returning starters. Key reserves/newcomers are senior defensive specialist Aubree Cohorst and freshman setter Audrey Bell. Coach Schuler said he believes the team will contend for a league title and state berth. The keys are the development of Bell at setter, “staying aggressive and eliminating our mistakes.”

ELLINWOOD – Ellinwood finished 27-14 and reached state for the first time in 21 years in the first year under coach Greg Maxwell. The Eagles return six starters: junior setter/outside hitter Mya Maxwell, and junior outside hitter/libero Anahi Mendez, junior libero/defensive specialist Jozlyn Brown, junior opposite Hailey Gross, sophomore outside Allison McReynolds, and sophomore middle blocker Brooke McReynolds.

Maxwell was first team all-Central Prairie League and honorable mention all-state. She holds the school’s single season ace record with 80 in 2018 and is third all-time in career assists (1,037) and single season assists (537). She led the team in ’18 in assists and aces and was second in kills and digs. Ellinwood has captured back-to-back league titles.

SOUTHEAST-CHEROKEE – The Lancers finished 23-16 under coach Maya White, who is 186-129 in her ninth season. SE last made state in 2014 and returns two starters: senior outside hitter Katie Bitner and junior middle blocker Railey Robertson.

HOWARD-WEST ELK – Coach Liz Hendricks paced the Patriots to a 13-20 mark in 2018. WE last reached state in 2010, and Hendricks has a career record of 120-138. Five starters return, including junior middle hitter Hayley Helms and senior setter Ashley Cookson. Helms was second team all-league. Senior libero Madi Hines, senior outside hitter Haley Hogan, and junior setter Dakota Wiseman are also back.


Preseason Ranking from KVA

  1. Centralia
  2. Spearville
  3. Moundridge
  4. Little River
  5. Chetopa
  6. Central-Burden
  7. Rural Vista
  8. Thunder Ridge
  9. Otis-Bison
  10. Beloit-St. John’s/Tipton

Returning All-State Selections

First Team: Ehlaina Hartman – Spearville – 5’10 Sr. RS, Jaci Brinker – Valley Falls – 5’9 Sr. OH

Second Team: Alyssa Heskamp – Spearville – 5’5 Jr. L, Hannah Riedy – Rural Vista – 5’9 Sr. S/OH

Honorable Mentions: Kennedy Becker – Centralia – 5’10 Sr. OH, Samantha Blundell – Chetopa – 5’10 Sr. MB, Maddie Wiltse – Otis-Bison – 6’0 Sr. MB

Team Capsules Returned from our Questionnaire

CENTRALIA – Nick Evans takes over for legendary Panther coach Kimbrook Tennal. Centralia posted an undefeated Class 1A season and won the program’s 15th state title. Tennal finished 744-49 with the Panthers, including 47-0 last year. The Panthers graduated Madison Lueger, the 1A Player of the Year and Nebraska track signee.

OTIS-BISON –Otis-Bison has reached the state tournament the last three seasons, including two final fours and a runner-up. O-B returns senior middle hitters Maddie Wiltse and Cora Anderson, along with senior outside hitter Cristen Trapp.

Coach Janelle Maier is 87-40 in her career, 29-14 last season. Key reserves are junior outside hitter Lauren Maier, junior Danica Bartonek, senior setter Lake Vondracek and junior back row Abbi Bahr. Bartonek has moved to setter after being a backrow specialist.

BELOIT-ST. JOHN’S - BSJ has consistently made the state tournament, including a 33-10 mark and state showing last year. Coach Marcy Kee is in her 13th season with the program and has a 360-113 mark. Four starters are back: senior first team all-league setter Caitlin Strong, junior outside hitter Lauren Dubbert and senior outside hitters Emily Eilert and Erica Brummer. Senior defensive specialist Lyddia Eilert and senior middle hitter Bren Peters are key reserves/newcomers. Kee believes the Blujays should be in the top-two of the Northern Plains League.

BEREAN ACADEMY – Kristin Wiebe is in her first year as head coach at BA and returns two starters in what she said is likely to be a rebuilding season.

SOLOMON – Solomon posted a 28-12 mark for coach Micala Anderson (78-34 career record). The Gorillas return three starters: senior setter Lexxi Espada, senior defensive specialist/libero Raegan McMillen, and junior right side/middle hitter Elizabeth Ledet. Solomon graduated six Gorillas who played/started on varsity. However, coach Anderson was pleased with the summer work with 85 percent attendance to all volleyball-related activities.

LOGAN – Robin Van Laeys is 536-351 in her 28th year with the Trojans. Logan finished 16-16 last season after a state tournament appearance in ’15. The Trojans captured the state title in ’14. Four starters return. Camryn Greving was first team all-league, and Harlee Voss was second team all-league. Logan has 13 players out, including three freshmen. Eight to nine players have substantial varsity experience, along with five seniors. Van Laeys would like to finish with a better record than last year and in the top-three of the league. Van Laeys believes the leadership and experience “will certainly be one of our biggest assets.”

“Consistent play, staying healthy and passing the ball with enough efficiency so that we can run a more aggressive offense,” she said of the team’s keys.

RURAL VISTA – The Heat, the co-operative agreement between Hope and White City, has enjoyed great success in volleyball and basketball the last several years. Third-year coach Adam Sobba is 63-13 in his career, including 35-5 last fall. RV captured the Wheat State League and regional crown. RV returns second team all-state setter Hannah Riedy and three-time first team all-league outside hitter Holly Brockmeier. The duo paced RV in assists and kills the last three years. Other returning starters include Meghan Brockmeier, Amber Brockmeier and Kelci Sly. Erica Linder and Cami Jacobson also received valuable playing time because of injuries.

WHEATLAND-GRINNELL – Coach Shannon Foster, who has captured a state title in ’15 and runner-up in ’16 with the Thunderhawks, delivered another impressive season in 2018. W-G graduated at least 63 percent of its assists, kills and digs from ’17, but still returned to the state tournament. W-G finished 31-12 and is 201-56 under Foster, entering her seventh year with the program.

This fall, the Thunderhawks have seven returners, two whom played all six rotations: senior libero Jessi Bernbeck and senior outside hitter Morgan Zimmerman. The other five returners played three rotations: senior middle blocker Jordyn Vincent, senior setters Jessica Heier and Jett Schmidtberger, junior right side Kirsten Schroeder, and sophomore outside Livia Schultz.

Foster’s goals are to return to the state tournament, make it out of pool play and win the league title again. W-G is in a new tournament at Hays High that will test the Thunderhawks early in the season.

BURLINGAME – Brooke Bingham finished 11-20, 3-4 in league play in her first season as the Bearcats’ head coach. Eight players with starting experience return. Megan Griffin was first team all-league, and Daelyn Winters collected second team all-conference. Bingham has a team goal to reach the state tournament; it is believed Burlingame has not reached the state tournament since the early 1980s when they made it in 1983.

BURRTON – Coach Kelli Zehr has coached 13 years at Burrton and 17 seasons overall. The Chargers last made state in ’13 and finished 13-21 last season. Everyone is back except for the libero. Three seniors, outside hitter/setter Alexis Zehr, setter Addison Matlack, and middle blocker/defensive specialist Kassandra Salgado are all back. As well, junior defensive specialist Laryssa Stahl, junior outside hitter Naesha Ducimetiere, sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist McKinsie Hoopes, and middle blocker Maci Dunlavy also return.

Zehr and Matlack tied/hold several school marks. Zehr was all-league as a junior. She tied a 20-year-old school record with 25 serves in a match, and also tied the mark with 19 points in a match. As a sophomore, Zehr was all-state honorable mention, all-league and broke one school mark with 99 percent serving. Last year, Matlack broke the school mark for single season aces with 56. Coach Zehr believes serving will be a strength this year.

“I look to improve on last year’s record as we have done nothing but improve since this class of seniors stepped onto the court in a varsity capacity their freshman year,” coach Zehr said. “These girls have worked in the off-season to make themselves and their teammates better. Overall, we are scrappy and have some solid hitters. I would like to see more consistency.”

MARAIS des CYGNES VALLEY – Melissa Criqui, in her 12th year as coach, helped MdCV to a 19-18 mark last season. Two starters, both seniors return: outside hitter Bayleigh Lacey and Haylee Miles. Criqui believes she has five freshmen that could help the squad. Miles was honorable mention all-league.

CHASE COUNTY – Chase County finished 16-21 with coach LeAnn Hansford. Three starters return, including Makenzie Higgs and Brylee Potter. Both squads were second team all-area.

CENTRAL PLAINS – In addition to its record-breaking girls’ basketball success, CP has enjoyed great seasons in volleyball. Last year, the Oilers finished 26-11 and is 97-21 under fourth-year coach Lisa Crites. Five starters return: senior middle blocker Addison Crites, senior defensive specialist/libero Rachel Lamatsch, junior outside hitter Lexi Oeser, junior opposite Ryenne Cunningham, and sophomore outside/setter Kassidy Nixon. Crites and Lamatsch were all-league.

“We will be competitive and looking to improve all facets of the game with the hope of an extended postseason run,” coach Crites said. “This team in starting the season with effort that has exceeded expectations and also with an openness to repeated reps that will ultimately be the deciding factor in our success.”

LITTLE RIVER – The Redskins finished 22-15 in 2018 for coach Kim Rolfs, who is 243-112 in her career. LR has five starters back this year. LR has significant experience with a high number of seniors. Jaylie Bergkamp is a third-year varsity setter. Abbie Hudson was all-league and a third-year varsity middle. Morgan Konen was all-league and a third-year varsity outside/middle hitter. Dani Gadberry is back at middle/outside. Two sophomores, outside hitter Lily Boughfman and right side Mekenzie Renken, started as freshmen. Boughfman was all-league.

As well, three seniors return that contributed as sophomores and missed all or significant portions of their junior years: Isabelle Eberle, Mackenzie Barta and Riley Bruce. Barta and Bruce played some on varsity as sophomores. Leah Ayers also moved in and is an all-around player. Ayers is the daughter of new Little River football coach Kevin Ayers, one of the state’s top eight-man coaches with three state titles and long runs of success at Jetmore and most recently Sharon Springs.

“We return a lot of varsity experience,” coach Rolfs said. “With that experience alone we should see a more consistent team. One of the biggest roles on any volleyball team is the ability to control the ball, whether it be in serve receive or defense. Right now we are focusing on developing that area. With that being said the coaching staff is really looking for kids that can control the ball because if we can do that I believe we have the other pieces put into place.”   

AXTELL – Axtell has consistently been a state contender with Pam Buessing. The Eagles were state runner-up in ’15 and captured the title in ’16. This year, Axtell has three seniors: Taylor McClellan, Kori Schmelzle and Kinsey Feldkamp. Last year, Axtell went 17-19 after a state appearance in ’17. Overall, coach Buessing is 309-274 entering her 17th season. Feldkamp and Schmelzle are the lone returning starters at setter and outside hitter, respectively. Schmelzle was first team all-league, and Feldkamp earned second team all-league.

KIOWA COUNTY – Coach Randy Fulton led the Mavericks to a 30-9 record last winter. The Mavericks last reached state in ’17. Fulton stands at 820-231 entering his 30th year. Four starters return: senior outside hitter Kelly Rhodes, senior right side hitter Sabrina Thomas, junior right side Sarah Hubert, and sophomore outside hitter Addi Heinson. KC graduated five seniors, and Thomas, also a state champion in the throwing disciplines in track, has earned volleyball recognition. Fulton has stressed the team needs to “play really good defense” and “develop our setters” to be successful.

GOLDEN PLAINS – Ashley Arnberger finished 25-14 in her first year as the Bulldogs’ head coach. Five starters, many whom have starred for GP in basketball and track, return: senior middle hitter Zoey Hillis, senior outside hitter Mabel Lugo, sophomore setter/outside hitter Kassie Miller, junior defensive specialist/libero Brooke Stoll, and junior middle/outside Ashley Stoll. Lugo was second team all-league, and Miller earned honorable mention all-conference.

“Our keys are going to be on the court leadership and grit,” Arnberger said. “Volleyball can be such a roller coaster game that our key is going to be riding the highs and having the grit and on the court leadership to minimize the lows.”

CUNNINGHAM – Veteran Cunningham coach Nadine Hope, who has coached at either the junior high or high school level since 1988, led the Wildcats to a 24-9 record in ’18. Five starters return: senior outside hitter Holly DeWeese, junior setter/libero Morgan Meyers, and junior outside hitter Maddison Panek, junior setter Alayna McGuire, and junior outside hitter Alexa Fischer.

DeWeese was all-league in ’17-18 and all-academic team in ’16-18, while Meyers was all-league in ’18 and all-academic league in ’17-18. Panek was all-league in ’17. McGuire earned honorable mention all-league in ’18 and first team KVA Academic team in ’18.

“I feel like this will be a great season for our ladies,” Hope said. “We gained four solid players since last season and that added to a great group from last season. We are definitely a veteran team, and I feel like the student athletes are coming into the season with a much higher degree of confidence. We are planning to run a different system than we have in the past and that is creating some excitement and enthusiasm within the group.”

FRANKFORT – Coach Vicki Adams went 32-9 last season and is 387-304 in his career. Frankfort last made a state appearance in 2010. Six starters are back: senior opposite Alli Toomer, senior middle blocker Grace Dressman, senior opposite Olivia Kennedy, senior outside hitter Kennen Brandt, junior setter Kacia Shirley, junior outside/middle blocker Mariah Broxterman, and junior setter Aubrie Rose. Brandt collected first team all-league, and Broxterman and Shirley were second team. Frankfort graduated first team all-state Emilee Ebert, a Kansas State basketball signee. Toomer has committed to Graceland for volleyball and basketball.

“We will work daily on serve and serve receive so that we will have the opportunity to use our hitters to the caliber that we can,” coach Adams said. “If you are able to improve in our passing and defense, I feel we will be where we want to be when it comes to post-season.”

OSBORNE – First-year coach Stacy Rietzke takes over the Osborne program after a 15-15 record, 6-4 in league play. Five starters return, led by second team all-league selection Rhyann Brown, a senior left side/middle. In addition, senior left side Felicity Conway, right side/setter Zoe Girard, junior left side/setter Calie Wolters and sophomore middle Ava Stull are returning starters. Osborne finished 6-4 in league play.

“The girls have made the goal of have 0.75 record or better,” Rietzke said. “As a new coach, my goals are to develop a solid base of foundational volleyball skills with all the girls and get them to master a different offense while playing volleyball.”

PAWNEE HEIGHTS – Pawnee Heights finished 23-11 and coach Kayla Josefiak is entering her third year with the Tigers. PH had seven players on the entire team, none whom are seniors. Junior setters/outside hitters Jaden Carlson and Madison Polson lead the group, along with sophomore outside hitters Augusta Hauck, Lizzy Rasmussen, Yeimi Cordero and Nazareth Rios-Valles and freshman McKenna Gales. Carlson, Polson and Hauck are returning starters. Only Carlson is above 5-6 at 5-9.

“Even though they are young, they all have shown great potential this summer and throughout the first week of practice,” Josefiak said.

Warning: include(../includes/module_comments.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/kansass/public_html/ks/news/index.php on line 115

Warning: include(): Failed opening '../includes/module_comments.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/alt/php56/usr/lib/php') in /home/kansass/public_html/ks/news/index.php on line 115

Warning: include(../includes/module_right-col.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/kansass/public_html/ks/news/index.php on line 141

Warning: include(): Failed opening '../includes/module_right-col.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/alt/php56/usr/lib/php') in /home/kansass/public_html/ks/news/index.php on line 141