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IOWA WESTERN

2F Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Daily Nonpareil

Iowa Western Fall Sports Volleyball Coach: Darrin McBroom 2011 Record: 45-8 (5th NJCAA) Returning Starters: Alexa Griffith-Hardy, Zoraida Heredia, Erin Weis, Stephanie Martinez-Ortiz, Cori Ehmen, Dayana Acevedo. Other Returners: Sarah Kemp, Daryna Liutikova. Top Newcomers: Sydney Nelson, Yulia Voronko, Emily Jones. The Word: With six starters returning from the team that finished fifth at the NJCAA tournament, Iowa Western has high hopes for 2012. Acevedo, a libero, and Griffith-Hardy, an outside hitter, are both returning All-Americans. McBroom has set up what he called IWCC’s toughest schedule ever to prepare his team for a run at a seventh straight trip to the national tournament.

Men’s Soccer Coach: Jordan Carver 2011 Record: 18-3-1 (7th NJCAA) Top Returners: Olivier Rolland, Emmanuel Akok, Marcelo Norton, Pedro Vianna Augusto, Kevin Karnga, Renato Do Anjos. Newcomers: Greg Timmer, Romeo Munoz, Will Lukowski, Danny Molina, Alan Rivera, Tarik Benjelloun, Elias Hatungimana. The Word: Coming off the most successful season in Reiver history, one that included a school-record 18 wins, Iowa Western is looking for a third straight berth to the NJCAA tournament, which has expanded from eight to 12 teams this year. A new rule allowing only four international players per team should even out the playing field, Carver said. IWCC enters the regular season ranked seventh in the NJCAA poll.

Women’s Soccer

Courtesy photo/IWCC

Returning All-Americans Dayana Acevedo, left, and Alexa Griffith-Hardy hope to lead Iowa Western to the NJCAA tournament for a seventh consecutive year. The Reivers open the season ranked 10th nationally.

REIVERS UP FOR CHALLENGE No. 10 IWCC to face grueling schedule this fall TONY BOONE TONY.BOONE@NONPAREILONLINE.COM

With six starters returning from the team that won 45 matches and finished fifth at the national tournament, Iowa Western may be a bit underrated by starting the season at No. 10. Fourth-year coach Darrin McBroom doesn’t mind, necessarily. He’s set up a regular-season schedule that will allow the Reivers to earn their ranking on the court.

IWCC has already faced No. 4 San Jacinto (Texas), No. 5 Western Wyoming and No. 6 Western Nebraska. And it’s not even September. Other highly ranked foes await in the near future. McBroom feels the Reivers are ready. “If any team can do it, this team probably can,” he said. “I want to know where we stand as the season goes along and McBroom not have an inflated view of ourselves. We’ll find out, with some really good tests, where we’re at.” Iowa Western has a lot to build around. Libero Dayana Acevedo and outside hitter Alexa Griffith-Hardy were both All-Ameri-

cans a year ago. Zoraida Heredia, Stephanie Martinez-Ortiz and GriffithHardy each posted more than 400 kills. And Cori Ehmen returns at setter. And the Reivers believe they’ve gotten better. “We’ve come together a lot this year,” Griffith-Hardy said. “I think the chemistry last year was really good, but this year’s chemistry is even better. Definitely, skillwise, we’re farther along and more advanced than we were last year.” Middle blocker Erin Weis rounds out IWCC’s list of returning starters. McBroom said he’s also expecting production from newcomers Emily Jones, Sydney Nelson and Yulia Voronko. IWCC/See Page 10F

Coach: Brad Silvey 2011 Record: 14-4 Top Returners: Taylor Samsel, Morgan Olsen, Gina Scalise, Jhani Williams. Newcomers: Kasandra Anderson, Marina Galaz, Michaela Moore, Courtney Acosta, Audrey Moffat, Thais Souza, Juliana Oliveira, Paige Flores, Breann Robarge, Indira Ilic, Danica Hansen, Connor Wittstruck, Ruby Reyna, Melanie Vail, Amanda Stephenson. The Word: Only four players return from the Top 10 team that lost in a shootout in the District C tournament last year. Samsel scored 19 goals last fall while Olsen and Scalise were part of a defense that posted 12 shutouts in 2011. The play of the 16 newcomers will do a lot in determining whether the Reivers, ranked 15th in the NJCAA preseason poll, can make it back to the national tournament after falling short a year ago.

Men’s & Women’s Golf Coach: Tyler Schiffelbein 2011 Finish: Men (11th NJCAA) Top Returners: Men: Simon Payne, Tim Jensen. Women: Mel Buxton. Newcomers: Men: Jimmy Jaskoske, Taylor Hyronimus, Max McGrail, Patrick Murakami, Jose Pelayo, Davis Schaller, Aaron Hart, Garrett Marler. Women: Alyna Vaughan, Jessica Peppler, Christina Salinas, Nicole Stricklan, Alexa Wilson, Ashly Taylor, Taylor Reitz, Joana Yanez, Tasita Garcia. The Word: Schiffelbein expects the men and women to be ranked in the top five in the NJCAA polls after both advanced to the national tournament a year ago. Payne received All-American honorable mention last year while Jensen was on the Region XI second team. Buxton was the Region XI women’s champion by a record 12 strokes.

Men’s & Women’s Cross Country Coach: Emmett Statzer Top Returners: Women: Ariel Andrews, Allison Spath, Kelly Murray. Men: Don Price, Trai Bunch, Robert Bestelehner, Cody Taylor. Newcomers: Women: Jessica Alvarez, Emily Clarkson, Petrene Plummer. Men: Cruz Barrera, Nick Fly, Andre Hosey. The Word: Andrews, Iowa Western’s top runner a year ago, leads a short list of returners with good leadership on what Statzer said will be his deepest women’s team yet. He also said his freshman class of male runners may be his best ever.

First serve with ... Erin Weis Weis is one of six returning starters from the team that went 45-8 and finished fifth at the NJCAA tournament a year ago. The sophomore middle played her prep volleyball at nearby Omaha Central and had 115 kills for the Reivers last season.

The competition is a lot more intense. Your own team is a lot better so you don’t have so much pressure on your shoulders.You can rely on your teammates and trust them more. How tough was that transition to make? It helped that I played club volleyball because that competition is better. If I went straight from high school in OPS (Omaha Public Schools), it would’ve been an intense transition.

How’d you spend your summer? Doing a lot of nothing in Omaha at my house.The last month of summer, I coached a lot of camps with Iowa Western.

What did you learn during your first season of college volleyball? It’s nothing like high school volleyball.

What was your favorite moment from last season? The win against Western Nebraska.

What are your thoughts on this team? Very promising.We look a lot better than we did last year at this time. I feel like

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the talent on the team is better than last year anyway. I think we’ll go really far. I’m very confident we’ll go to nationals at least. How do you feel about the schedule you’ve been handed this year? It’s a lot tougher than last year. Coach is definitely trying to challenge us more. The opening tournament was cake last year because it was just kind of OK teams. This year, it’s like the top five or six teams at nationals. It could be intimidating if you look at it a certain way. We look at it as a challenge.

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ST. ALBERT

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, August 26, 2012 3F

Saintes aspiring to special season St. Albert ready to build on last year’s state appearance EVAN BLAND EVAN.BLAND@NONPAREILONLINE.COM

St. Albert’s volleyball standard just went up. The evidence hangs on the school gymnasium’s southwest wall. A commemorative banner dangles in one corner, while a separate display also honors the program’s first-ever state tournament berth last season. Players have felt the shift too. Fall workouts are tougher and more demanding. If loafing was a bad idea before, it’s a worse one now. “We’ve talked about setting the bar higher,� coach Angie Lantz said. “We know with hard work we can get where we want to go; now it’s about staying for a while.� The Class 2-A No. 5 Saintes, who have fielded varsity teams since the mid-1970s, finally

broke through onto prep volleyball’s biggest stage last fall. A storybook season ended in Cedar Rapids, where they were swept in the 2-A opening match by Lake Mills. Plenty of signs point toward another special chapter in the coming months. Seniors Nevada Meis and Katie Kuck, along with junior Kylie Ferguson, accounted for nearly 80 percent of St. Albert’s kills a season ago. Sophomore setter Matti Munger also returns ready to build on a successful debut. If all goes well, reaching state will only be the beginning this time for a group flush with talent and experience. “The expectation is higher,� Munger said. “We’re expecting SAINTES/See Page 10F

St. Albert Coach: Angie Lantz, 9th year 2011 record: 30-10 (Class 2-A state qualifier) Returning starters: Seniors: Katie Kuck, OH, 5-6; Nevada Meis, M, 6-0; Junior: Kylie Ferguson, OH, 5-10. Sophomore: Matti Munger, S, 5-6. Other key returners: Seniors: Joni Thomas, M, 5-10; Nicole Rollins, RS, 5-8. Sophomores: Kendall Biggs, DS, 5-4; Alli Wettengel, OH, 5-9. The Word: With new success come new expectations. The Saintes return the core of their offense from last season’s state team, with remaining spots up for grabs among experienced reserves. If this isn’t the most skilled St. Albert club coach Angie Lantz has had in years, it certainly appears to be the deepest. Count on another strong season on the hill, with the possibility of some magic in Cedar Rapids.

Schedule August 28, Clarinda, 7 p.m. 30, at Abraham Lincoln triangular (with Tri-Center), 6 p.m. September 1, at Clarinda tournament, 9 a.m. 4, at Underwood, 7 p.m. 8, at Atlantic tournament, 9 a.m. 11, at Omaha Duchesne, 7 p.m. 15, at West Harrison tournament, 8:30 a.m. 17, at Omaha Concordia triangular (with Thomas Jefferson, at Grace University), 6:30 p.m. 20, Wahoo Neumann, 7 p.m. 25, Omaha Mercy, 7 p.m. 29, at Thomas Jefferson tournament, 9 a.m. October 2, at Fremont Bergan, 7 p.m. 4, at Centennial Conference, TBA. 6, at Centennial Conference, TBA. 8, at Boys Town, 7 p.m. 11, Glenwood, 7 p.m.

Staff photo/Erin Duerr

The bulk of St. Albert’s offense this fall will likely come from, left to right, Kylie Ferguson, Nevada Meis and Katie Kuck. The Saintes are shooting for an extended stay at the state tournament after finally breaking through to Cedar Rapids a year ago.

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LEWIS CENTRAL

4F Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Daily Nonpareil

New look, new challenges in sight for Titans L.C. brings mix of experience, young talent EVAN BLAND EVAN.BLAND@NONPAREILONLINE.COM

Lewis Central is starting fresh. A memorable finish could follow later this fall. In many ways, a new era of Titan volleyball is on the horizon. Gone is four-year starting middle and program mainstay Carly DeMarque, along with a number of other longtime contributors. And L.C. will no longer compete in the sport’s top classification after the state expanded to five groupings this season. With the changes has come uncertainty – along with an undeniable sense of optimism. “The overall question is how it will all fit together,” L.C. coach Dennis South said. “This is a new team and that’s the bottom line. It’s going to be real fun and real interesting this year.” Perhaps most intriguing will be the debut of sophomores Abby Bergsten and Reghan Coyle as everyday varsity players. Bergsten (6 feet) and Coyle (5-10) highlight a talented crop of emerging outside hitters that also includes seniors Kayla Jones (5-6) and Morgan Malskeit (5-9). South said the position

looks deeper than he can recall since Lewis Central squads from the mid-1990s. “We haven’t really had somebody to go to outside that we can really put the ball away with,” South said. “We may have three outside hitters this year that can do that. It’s going to be very interesting to see how it plays out.” The Class 4-A No. 13 Titans have the luxury of bringing back starters at every other position from the quick-attack team that landed a Hawkeye Ten Conference title a season ago. Senior setter Amber Huttmann will quarterback the offense for a second time, and 5-10 senior middle Aubrey Norville is the top returning producer in kills and blocks. Fellow upperclassman Morgan Means looks to again anchor libero duties. Adding to the excitement is the guarantee of a different postseason challenge. The Titans had watched their season end at the hands of Abraham Lincoln for four straight years. But while A.L. moves to Class 5-A, L.C. will now battle in 4-A with new potential regional foes like Sioux City Heelan and Harlan Community, who start the season

Lewis Central Coach: Dennis South, 12th year 2011 record: 27-9 (Hawk-10 champs) Returning starters: Seniors: Amber Huttmann, S, 5-5; Aubrey Norville, M, 5-10; Morgan Means, L, 5-6. Other key returners: Seniors: Morgan Malskeit, OH, 5-9; Kayla Jones, 5-6, OH. Junior: Megan Driver, M, 5-10. Sophomores: Reghan Coyle, OH, 59; Abby Bergsten, 6-0, OH. The Word: With an influx of young and talented athletes, getting to know these Titans could be a lot of fun. New everyday players like outside hitters Abby Bergsten and Reghan Coyle will join forces offensively with a trio of returning senior starters in setter Amber Huttmann, middle Aubrey Norville and libero Morgan Means. Whether L.C. can again capture the Hawk-10 – and perhaps more – will be worth watching.

Schedule August 25, at Ames tournament, 9 a.m. 30, at Clarinda, 7 p.m. September 4, Harlan Community, 7 p.m. 11, at Carroll Kuemper, 7 p.m. 15, at Fort Dodge tournament, 9 a.m. 18, Denison-Schleswig, 7 p.m. 22, at Sioux City East tournament, 9 a.m. 25, at Creston, 7 p.m. 29, at Thomas Jefferson tournament, 8:30 a.m. October 2, Shenandoah, 7 p.m. 4, Atlantic, 7 p.m. 9, at Glenwood, 7 p.m. 13, at Sioux City Heelan tournament, 9 a.m. 16, at Red Oak, 7 p.m.

Huttmann

Means

rated first and second, respectively, in the state. The change is inspiring the Titans to talk about how realistic reaching Cedar Rapids could be. “We’re all just meshing well together,” Huttmann said. “Since we have a different way of qualifying for state this year, I think we can do it – especially with the new girls that we have. We have a lot of options this year.” Lewis Central will again draw from a successful JV program that has lost one match in the last four years. Other new contributors include middles Megan Driver and Hannah Shea and defensive specialists McKenzie Pettepier and Hannah Dmyterko. The team’s sixth senior, defensive specialist and former starter Natalie Madsen, will likely spend most of the season on the bench after suffering an ACL tear during the summer. Add everything up, and the Titans expect to be looking down at their opponents more often than not. Huttmann, at 5-5, projects to be their shortest front-row player. “I think we will (surprise some people),” Norville said. “We’ve kind of gotten used to playing with each other already at summer camps and stuff. Everybody’s really coming together, and I think we’ll be a good team.” Last year’s outfit won 15 of its last 16 matches before bowing out in regional play in October. Current Titans will get a good gauge of where they stand when they bring in returning state qualifier Harlan for their Sept. 4 home opener. It may be the beginning of

Staff photo/Erin Duerr

Aubrey Norville is one of three starters back for Lewis Central and the team’s leading returner in kills and blocks. Plenty of changes also await the Titans, including younger personnel and a new postseason classification. a special few months. “I think we’re going to be able to do the same things and hopefully do them better than we did last year,” Norville said. “We’re all positive, we’re all going to help each other along and I think we’ll be fine.”

First serve with … Reghan Coyle Coyle, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, played setter at the junior-varsity level last season. The sophomore is set to provide plenty of offense on the outside for the Titans this fall. What is the biggest challenge about moving from setter to hitter? Probably getting used to not playing all the way around. When you set, you stay in the whole game. So when I get subbed out now, seeing it from the sidelines instead of the court all the time has been different. What is your biggest pet peeve? I hate when people click their pens in class. That’s pretty annoying. What TV show or music are you into right now? I like the show “Awkward” on MTV. It’s basically about these kids in high school and their relationships and stuff like that. I can relate to it a lot. What movie can you watch over and over?

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I just saw “Step Up Revolution.” That’s pretty good. You have some time to go, but what college plans do you have right now? I think it would be awesome to go to Iowa. I like engineering a lot, and it would be nice to play volleyball somewhere too. Right now I’m taking basic engineering classes at school and have three college credits for it. I’m just getting into it.

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Name an athlete you admire from any sport. Probably Jordan Larson on the USA (Olympic volleyball) team. She played at Nebraska, so that’s pretty cool.

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THOMAS JEFFERSON

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, August 26, 2012

5F

For Jackets, heart trumps height T.J. dreaming big together EVAN BLAND EVAN.BLAND@NONPAREILONLINE.COM

The Thomas Jefferson volleyball team is taking a John Lennon-like approach to its upcoming season. With “Dream Together” their slogan, the Jackets hope to prove the former musician right when it comes to the power of a shared vision. If the squad finds success this fall, it will be courtesy of a collective effort. Coach Mike Bond drew the inspiration from a Lennon quote, which says, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.” Where that dream will take the Jackets is up to them. “Our goals are to perform well as a team and always give it your best,” Bond said. “I feel that if we can accomplish those, wins are going to take care of themselves.” Four-year starters Haley Harrill and Carly Williamson will anchor the offense and defensive, respectively. Harrill is back as setter and play-caller while her fellow senior returns to the libero position. Five-foot8 sophomore Rachel O’Neal will also start for the second straight season at middle. The rest of the lineup remains up in the air after graduating last year’s large senior class. That team nearly doubled its win total from 2010, going 12-24 and playing competitively against all comers. Now, Harrill is T.J.’s top returning kill producer with 90. Senior hitter Rachel Havenridge figures to make an impact later this fall when she returns from a knee injury, and bench spark Kennedy Lundberg will also contribute. Other newcomers like Cathryn O’Hara and Libby Havenridge are con-

Staff photo/Erin Duerr

Thomas Jefferson four-year starters Carly Williamson, left, and Haley Harrill lead a feisty group of Jackets out to prove that defense can win matches. The team returns three starters, though many other players will get their first taste of varsity competition. tending for spots as well. “We want to show that we have heart all the time,” Williamson said. “We want to show that any time we’re playing any team, it’s going to be a hard game to play. “We want to prove that height doesn’t really matter; it’s really what’s in your heart.” Defensive, grind-it-out points will again be key for the Jackets to keep pace against taller opponents. The roster is devoid of any 6-footers, with most girls standing below 5-10.

Thomas Jefferson Coach: Mike Bond, 4th year 2011 record: 12-24 Returning starters: Seniors: Haley Harrill, S, 5-5; Carly Williamson, L, 5-1. Sophomore: Rachel O’Neal, M, 5-8. Other key returners: Senior: Rachel Havenridge, OH, 5-8. Junior: Kennedy Lundberg, M, 5-6. The Word: A pair of battle-tested seniors in Haley Harrill and Carly Williamson will lead a Jackets outfit ready to prove that height isn’t everything. Plenty of unknowns remain at the hitter positions, but the Jackets are hoping the extra depth can go a long way. If it can find some consistent weapons on offense, T.J. will remain a tough out in any match.

Schedule August 30, Omaha Duchesne Academy, 7 p.m. September 1, at Omaha North tournament, 9 a.m. 8, at Southeast Polk tournament, 8 a.m. 11, quadrangular (with Abraham Lincoln, Sioux City Heelan, Sioux City East), 5:30 p.m. 13, at Omaha Northwest triangular (with Omaha Benson), 6 p.m. 17, at Omaha Concordia triangular (at Grace University with St. Albert), 6 p.m. 18, triangular (with Abraham Lincoln, Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 6 p.m. 22, at Sidney tournament, 9:30 a.m. 29, Thomas Jefferson tournament, 8 a.m. October 4, Sioux City West quadrangular (with Abraham Lincoln, Sioux City North), 6 p.m. 6, at Walnut tournament, 9 a.m. 11, at Corning triangular (with Red Oak), 6 p.m. 15, at Dakota Valley, 7 p.m. 18, at MRC tournament (at Sioux City North), 4:30 p.m.

But players say where the height is lacking, resolve will shine through. “I’d like to see us come together and work and show that we want to win and show teams we can win,” Harrill said. Despite a relative lack of varsity experience, Thomas Jefferson is enjoying better turnout than in Bond’s first three years back with the program. More than 50 girls came for tryouts, including nearly 30 freshmen. Harrill and

“We want to show that any time we’re playing any team, it’s going to be a hard game to play.” – Carly Williamson Thomas Jefferson senior

Williamson recalled being two of about six newcomers back when they first arrived. The extra depth has created better competition and left Bond with the enviable dilemma of sorting through a bevy of good candidates. In two

weeks of workouts, he had already changed his mind multiple times when girls showed an improvement on the court. T.J. has four home dates set, including its Aug. 30 season opener against Omaha Duchesne Academy. Its annual

First serve with … Rachel Havenridge Havenridge started down the stretch for the Jackets last year, connecting on 14 kills and two blocks. The 5-foot-8 outside hitter will be sidelined to start the season with a knee injury but expects to be back sometime in September. What is more satisfying: a good kill or good block? I like them both, but really a block because it is a little harder for me with the timing. To just kind of stuff the ball back in their faces, it’s like, ‘Yeaaah.’ What is the best life advice you have received? Be the change you wish to see. If you want something different, you have to try and do it yourself. What is the best trash talk you have heard on the court? Towards T.J., probably, ‘Oh my gosh,

look at them. They’re shorties. We can do this.’ I think our average height last year was 5-foot-7, which is really short compared to other teams in the state. What should people know about T.J. volleyball? We definitely try our hardest. We may be short, but no matter what we’re going to outhustle you. We have more heart than a lot of people. When was your welcome-to-varsity moment? My first game last year. It was on a block, and I was like, ‘Holy crap, I didn’t get there as quickly as I should have.’ I realized I needed to go faster or we’re going to get killed out here. Do you have any odd talents? I can bend my thumb back behind my knuckle because I’m double-jointed. It’s awkward because a lot of people can’t do it.

Let’s Go, JACKETS ! TeeJay

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ABRAHAM LINCOLN

6F Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Daily Nonpareil

Versatile Lynx look to extend state run Abraham Lincoln Coach: Yvonne Carson, 7th year 2011 record: 25-22 (Class 4-A state qualifier) Returning starters: Seniors: Lauren Meeker, OH, 5-10; Olivia Leisinger, M, 6-0. Juniors: Delaney Bolton, L, 5-10; Victoria Krohn, OH, 6-0. Sophomore: Samantha Bohnet, S, 5-5. Other key returners: Sophomores: Lauren Colpitts, OH/M, 5-10; Kelsey Johnson, OH, 5-10; Bailee Gofta, DS, 5-2. The Word: A fourth straight trip to the state tournament seems realistic for the Lynx with five starters back and a pool of young talent waiting to step up. The experienced group will get plenty of chances to showcase its talents while playing in eight separate tournaments during the season.

Schedule August 30, triangular (with St. Albert and Tri-Center), 6 p.m. 31, at Beatrice (Neb.) tournament, 4:30 p.m. September 1, at Beatrice (Neb.) tournament, 8:45 a.m. 6, Treynor, 5 p.m. 8, at Southeast Polk tournament, 8 a.m. 11, at Thomas Jefferson quadrangular (with S.C. Heelan and S.C. East), 5:30 p.m. 15, at Red Oak tournament, 9 a.m. 18, at Thomas Jefferson triangular (with Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 4:30 p.m. 22, at Sioux City East tournament, 9 a.m. 27, at Atlantic, 7:15 p.m. 29, at Thomas Jefferson tournament, 8:30 a.m. October 4, at Sioux City West quadrangular (with Sioux City North and Thomas Jefferson), 5:30 p.m. 11, Shenandoah, 7:30 p.m. 13, at Sioux City Heelan tournament, 8 a.m. 18, at MRAC tournament (at Sioux City North), 4:30 p.m.

Staff photo/Erin Duerr

Abraham Lincoln returning starters, from left, Samantha Bohnet, Olivia Leisinger, Delaney Bolton and Lauren Meeker will try to help lead the Lynx to a fourth straight state tournament appearance this fall.

A.L. stresses position flexibility, teamwork EVAN BLAND EVAN.BLAND@NONPAREILONLINE.COM

One by one, the girls laughed at the question. Many didn’t have an answer. What volleyball position are you playing this year? Few roles are ever set in stone at Abraham Lincoln under coach Yvonne Carson. That rule holds especially true this year with a deep, experienced roster lacking a dominant go-to player. “We’re probably the only gym in the state that’s like that because my kids are volleyball players and I expect them to play wherever,” Carson said. “So if the need comes for change, it has to happen.” The Lynx have adjusted their way to three consecutive trips to the state tournament entering this fall. They will begin their season compensating for the absence of junior 6footer Victoria Krohn, who is recovering from a torn ACL. When she returns sometime in the coming weeks, they will adapt again. But some spots are more set than others. Seniors Lauren Meeker and Olivia Leisinger return after leading last year’s team in kills and blocks, respectively. Junior libero Delaney Bolton – who wouldn’t even confirm if she is playing the position again – has been a stabilizing force in the back row. And sophomore setter Samantha Bohnet finished fourth in the state last season with 9.86 assists per set. “I think we’ll probably be a lot more versatile with our attacks because everyone can play everything,” Leisinger said. “We have a lot of weapons. We’ll just mix it up all the time.” That versatility could pay off, for example, if A.L. needs

to sub in a player to reinforce a block on a tough opposing hitter. It also offers relief for a player going through an off night. A little unpredictability could make a big difference in a close match. A pair of 5-10 sophomore hitters may also leave their marks in Lauren Colpitts and Kelsey Johnson. And defenders like senior Jordyn Hyde and sophomore Bailee Gofta have impressed during workouts. Sophomore Hannah Hennings – a Thomas Jefferson transfer – and freshman Deana Roth will jump into the mix as well. Carson said it all adds up to a pretty nice starting point. “This is the strongest team I’ve had going into a season,” Carson said. “They’re at a level where most of my teams usually are by midseason. “This team, for some reason, has really jelled well during the summer and open gyms and camps. It’s above where we normally start, which is nice.” The Lynx will address any deficiencies the way they always do – by playing lots of

volleyball. They will participate in seven regular-season tournaments in addition to the Missouri River Conference event. The schedule begins Aug. 30 with a home triangular against Class 2-A state qualifier St. Albert and Western Iowa Conference champion Tri-Center. Communication has been an emphasis for A.L. in the early going, with players doing drills designed around talking more. Carson hopes that evolves into better court awareness and encouragement. It’s something they can still control if a match isn’t going their way. The big objective, of course, remains a deeper run at state. Finishing their season in Cedar Rapids is all any of the current Lynx have known. But none have ever left with a victory. A.L. believes that could change soon. “Carson always says she’s sick of going to state; she wants more,” Leisinger said. “Definitely our goal is to get past the first round and maybe get a title. That’s what we’re striving for every practice.”

First serve with … Lauren Colpitts The 5-foot-10 outside hitter appeared in eight sets last season off the bench. Colpitts is poised to play a much bigger part during her sophomore season as the Lynx go for a fourth straight state berth. It sounds like many girls are switching spots this year. Why? As a team, we are just known to be players. We should be able to play anywhere – back row, front row – so we’re all really excited about it. Anybody could be thrown into a different position at any time, so we need to know all the positions. A.L. has a lot of height this year. Does that ever make clothes shopping difficult? Jeans are a problem with our thighs and big leg muscles. But that’s pretty much the only problem because we’re all smaller girls. What has been the funniest practice moment so far? I tripped over my foot when we were doing defensive drills. I pretty much fell right on my face. Everyone laughed. You are sisters with 2010 A.L. graduate and player Chelsea Colpitts. What volleyball advice has she given you? She said not to give up on myself and that (Coach Yvonne) Carson is a hard coach. She said, ‘She’ll tell you how it is, but take it in the nicest way possible and just use it as a way to better yourself.’ You have to take it and make yourself better with it.

If you could travel anywhere for a day, where would you go? I really wish I was at the Olympics (in London). I love the sand volleyball and gymnastics, and it would be a really fun experience to be there and watch all the athletes.

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HEARTLAND CHRISTIAN/IOWA DEAF

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, August 26, 2012

7F

Young Eagles ready for varsity task Heartland gets extra boost from newcomers

Heartland Christian Coach: Larry Gray, 1st year 2011 record: 5-4 (no varsity matches) Returning starters: Junior: Payton Riche, S. Other key returners: Senior: Katherine Saaid, M. Juniors: Brooke Williams, M; Riki Faircloth, M. Sophomore: Deborah Fontaine, M. The Word: What a difference a few girls can make.The short-handed Eagles got some much-needed height and experience when sisters and Missouri Valley transfers Molly and Stefanie Cunard led a talented group of newcomers onto the volleyball court in early August. Combined with a few experienced and athletic holdovers, the program’s first look at varsity competition just got a lot more interesting.

EVAN BLAND EVAN.BLAND@NONPAREILONLINE.COM

A few months ago, Heartland Christian wasn’t sure it could field a volleyball team. Now the Eagles are as prepared as ever to play. With its first-ever varsity season in jeopardy because of low numbers, Heartland got some backup. More girls came out for the sport. A few impact athletes transferred in. And players began receiving expert advice from unlikely sources. Payton Riche can hardly believe she’s in the same program. The junior setter is the lone starter back from a group that went 5-4 last year against an assortment of junior-varsity and home-school opponents. “This will be a totally different team than Heartland Christian’s ever seen,” Riche said. “That’s what I’m hoping.” The main reason for optimism from the new Corner Conference member is a sudden influx of experienced volleyball players. Six-foot junior middle Molly Cunard comes on after starting for Missouri Valley last fall. Her sister, sophomore hitter Stefanie Cunard, also joins the fray along with junior Kelsy Drake, who transferred in from Abraham Lincoln. For the first time, participants got instruction from a variety of successful players around the area. The Cunards brought in Northwestern College junior Megan Hutson – a former LoganMagnolia standout and family friend – to spend the first week of practice laying down fundamentals many Eagles didn’t know they didn’t know. Michaela Wheeler, who didn’t go out last year, is among 10 total players taking a chance on volleyball. The junior couldn’t be happier with her decision. “We’ve improved so much,” said Wheeler, who sets and hits. “The girls are getting excited about it and want to play harder. We’re having fun with it.” The coming months will likely prove to be a landmark time in program history. Though Heartland has offered volleyball since it first opened its doors in the early 2000s, recent talent and community support have elevated to a

Schedule

Staff photo/Evan Bland

Heartland Christian’s Payton Riche, left, and Molly Cunard, middle, are among the more experienced Eagles ready to lead the volleyball team in its first varsity season.

First serve with … Molly Cunard The 6-foot junior middle blocker transfers in from Missouri Valley, where she played in every set for the varsity team last fall. She finished fifth on that squad in total kills (102) and fourth in total blocks (35). Her sister, sophomore Stefanie Cunard, also joins the Eagles. How did you end up at Heartland Christian? My dad (Robert Cunard) got a job coaching girls basketball here and we came with him. He’s always wanted to coach us, so we just kind of came with him. Nothing was opening up at our old school, so we came down here. What do you tell your teammates who have never played in a varsity match? I don’t know. I just try to get them to work hard. I think we’re doing pretty good, actually, getting ready for our first varsity games. We’re working hard and improving a lot.

HEARTLAND/See Page 10F

EVAN BLAND EVAN.BLAND@NONPAREILONLINE.COM

The farewell tour is under way at Iowa School for the Deaf. That’s the feeling, at least, for a volleyball program packed with upperclassmen. In what will likely be an all-senior starting lineup, five girls return from last season’s third-place finish in the Great Plains Schools for the Deaf tournament. All that experience sounds good to coach Karen Lechner. “We’re going to surprise some teams, but we just want to play good volleyball,” Lechner said. “It’s going to be fun and we’re going to enjoy it.” In a year with little change, the big question mark is where the Bobcats will find kills in the clutch. That job belonged last year to 6-footer Lauren Wellman, who was ISD’s lone volleyball graduate. The answer, Lechner said, begins with an emphasis on teamwork during August camp. Make accurate serves. Drill passing, so the offense comes easier. Senior middle Cassie Contreras looks to be a difference-maker, as does decorated setter Johanna Scherling. Outside hitters Auna Ferguson, Annette Hough and Gabby Humlicek are also ready for expanded roles as returning starters. Fellow senior Amanda Barrier will step in as a defensive specialist. Among the other final-year players are Marianne Mohr and Alyssa Helm. Sophomore Brianna Vargo is set to be the biggest underclassman contributor –

What is the best-case scenario for this team this year? (Coach Larry) Gray said he wants to finish in the top five in the Corner Conference, and I agree that that is a good goal for us. What should people know about this group of girls? That we’re not going to quit; we’re just going to keep fighting no matter what the score is and finish out every game. What is something Coach Gray always tells you all? He always wants us to hustle and give our best. He always wants us to give the glory to God. What is your favorite movie? I love Disney movies, that’s for sure. But favorite? I love “The Hunger Games.” It was awesome. Do you have a go-to Bible verse? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It’s from Philippians 4:13.

Let’s Go, TROJANS!

Senior-laden ISD looking for more

ISD/See Page 10F

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Iowa School for the Deaf Coach: Karen Lechner, 19th year 2011 Record: 16-6 Returning starters: Seniors: Cassie Contreras, M; Auna Ferguson, OH; Annette Hough, OH/S; Gabby Humlicek, OH/S; Johanna Scherling, S/M. Other key returners: Seniors: Amanda Barrier, DS/OH; Marianne Mohr, DS; Alyssa Helm, DS. Sophomore: Brianna Vargo, DS/S. The Word: Iowa Deaf will have no shortage of upperclassmen this fall. The Bobcats are set to go with a group of all-senior starters, with plenty more coming off the bench. If the veterans can overcome the graduation of 6-foot leader Lauren Wellman, the stage is set for a memorable finale.

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August 27, triangular (with Lewis Central and Thomas Jefferson frosh), 6 p.m. 30, Heartland Christian, 6 p.m. September 6, Underwood JV, 6:30 p.m. 8, at Arkansas Deaf, 9 a.m. 10, Treynor frosh, 6 p.m. 13, at Kansas Deaf, 4 p.m. 17, Nishnabotna JV, 6 p.m. 22, triangular (with Minnesota Deaf and Boys Town JV), 9 a.m. 24, NCL JV, 6 p.m. 29, triangular (with Wisconsin Deaf and Boys Town reserves), 9 a.m. October 1, at Omaha Christian Academy JV, 4 p.m. 6, triangular (with Oklahoma Deaf and Boys Town JV), 9 a.m. 12-13, at GPSD tourney (at Wisconsin Deaf), TBA. 16, Clarinda Academy, 6 p.m.

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VOLLEYBALL

8F Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Daily Nonpareil

Area serving up talented teams A-H-S-T Coach: Gwen Blum, 1st season 2011 record: 7-20 (lost to Woodbine 3-0 in a regional opener) Top returners: Seniors: Ashley Nielsen, Casey Peters, Jessica Helms. Junior: Haley Blum. Sophomore: Danikah Grobe. The Word: A-H-S-T and Walnut are joining forces for activities this year, and the job of meshing the volleyball programs falls to Gwen Blum, who moves over from Walnut to take over the headcoaching duties. “I think it’s a good thing for both schools,” Blum said. “We are really excited and have three coaches on staff to help bring the two programs together and to develop a winning tradition.” Returning from A-H-S-T are seniors Casey Peters, who had 152 kills last year, and Ashley Nielsen, who posted 93. Walnut’s returners are senior Jessica Helms, a second-team all-Rolling Hills Conference selection who had 455 set assists to lead the league last year, and Blum’s daughter, Haley, a first-team all-RHC pick who pounded 163 kills and contributed 209 digs last season. Blum feels the combined team will have more height and talent and should be quicker and more athletic. “The biggest challenge is implementing a new offense and defense,” Blum Peters said. “The WIC is tough and A-H-S-T is usually at the bottom of the conference. One of our goals is to develop a winning mentality.” Blum cites Tri-Center, Treynor, Missouri Valley and Underwood as conference contenders this year, but also wants her team to be in the mix. “We want to break into the upper half of the conference and finish over .500,” she said. “We need to improve in hitting efficiency and serve reception.”

BOYER VALLEY Coach: Larry Neilsen, 6th season 2011 record: 13-12 (lost to Ar-WeVa 3-0 in a regional opener) Top returners: Seniors: Megan Behrendt, Renea Siemer. Junior: Katie Cogdill. Sophomore: Amy Klein. The Word: Boyer Valley returns just two starters and will be looking to regroup this year. Starters back from last year are seniors Megan Behrendt and Renea Siemer, who will need to step into leadership roles this year. “We had a big senior class last year and have lost a lot of experience,” coach Larry Neilsen said. “However, we’ve had a pretty productive summer trying to prepare for this fall.” The Bulldogs will be taller, and Neilsen is hoping to capitalize on this asset on the defensive front, but with the increase in height comes a loss of overall team speed. “We are looking for more stability in being able to run a quicker-style offense,” Neilsen said. Even though the experience level will be lower, Neilsen feels that his team’s depth will allow it to substitute frequently without losing production. Neilsen would like to see Behrendt his squad finish higher than last year’s fourth-place showing in the Western Valley Conference’s South Division. He’s also predicting that IKM-Manning and Ar-We-Va will again be the teams to catch. “Postseason is out of our control and I don’t like to make goals based on that,” he said. “However, I’d like to see us do better on the weekend tournaments. We need to get back to competing to win some of those outings.”

GLENWOOD Coach: Maria Jacobus, 1st season 2011 record: 12-17 (lost to Harlan 3-0 in a regional semifinal) Top returners: Seniors: Emily Blum,

McKenna Henze, Grace Newman, Abby Schultz, Bailey Starner, Montana Crow, Skylor Sullivan, Megan McKern, Maddie VanScoy. Sophomores: Halie Darrow, Courtney Magnussen, Meghan Crouch. Freshman: Lyndie Van Ness. The Word: Glenwood returns eight players who saw extensive action, but did lose strong hitters in Morgan Lucy and Lexi Fisher. The Rams will also be under new leadership in Maria Jacobus, who comes over after a successful 13year run at Clarinda. Glenwood returns all of its talent at the outside hitter position in seniors Grace Newman, Maddie VanScoy, Halie Darrow and Emily Blum, who will be moving into the middle hitter position. Jacobus said the offense will change this fall. “We will be a lot more balanced,” Jacobus said. “We have a lot of girls that can take care of the ball and put it away for us.” Losing the 6Newman foot-2 Lucy makes the Rams a smaller team at the net. “We are getting better week by week, but our defense and serve receive will be important for us,” Jacobus said. “We also need to communicate very well on the floor, and we have been working on that since June.” Jacobus mentioned Harlan as the favorite in the Hawkeye Ten but also talked about Lewis Central and Carroll Kuemper being strong. “Harlan went to state last year and has a lot coming back, including Jess Schaben, who is one of the best hitters in the state, and a great coach in Angie Spangenberg,” she said. The Rams are shooting for a winning season this year and trying to crack the top part of the Hawkeye Ten. “We want to go as deep into regionals as we can, which is one of the first steps to really building a program,” Jacobus said.

LOGAN-MAGNOLIA Coach: Faith Riessen, 1st season 2011 record: 10-19 (lost to Missouri Valley 3-0 in the regional quarterfinals) Top returners: Seniors: Kia Fender, Courtney Oviatt, Emily Dickinson. Junior: Maysen Jones. Sophomore: Kendall Forsen. The Word: Logan-Magnolia is under new leadership in 2012, as Faith Riessen takes over for 10-year head coach Jacob Hedger. The Panthers return four players with starting experience but graduated their top hitter in Shelby Marquardt. Seniors Courtney Oviatt and Emily Dickinson are back to lead the squad, along with junior Maysen Jones, whom Riessen expects big things from this fall. “We are going to have some smaller freshmen and sophomores on the floor, but we have a lot of girls that have worked hard and put time in, adapting to a new coach,” Riessen said. Jones “Maysen is one of those players and should really be a big threat for us.” Riessen said passing and serve receive are always big keys with an inexperienced team. “We have five girls that have played on varsity, so we have others players that will have to adapt to being on the floor in a varsity match,” Riessen said. “We need all six players working together and playing well.” In the Western Valley Conference, IKM-Manning is the favorite and Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto also will be very strong, according to Riessen. “Those are the two that I have definitely been warned about,” Riessen said. “We want to compete in every game and win more than last season, but it will be a work in progress because I am asking them to do something that is much different than what they did last season.”

MISSOURI VALLEY Coach: Tamara Gatrost, 11th season 2011 record: 21-10 (lost to Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto 3-0 in regional semifinal) Top returners: Seniors: Taylor Gardner, Hailey Hellstrom. Junior: Rachelle Housh. Sophomores: Kyra Skelton, Baily Janssen. The Word: After a season in which it won 20 matches and reached the regional semifinals, the 2012 Missouri Valley team won’t be quite as experienced. The Lady Reds lost four key seniors from last season, including setter Courtney Cunard and hitter Carlee McKee. They do, however, return talented hitters in Taylor Gardner and Rachelle Housh, along with a strong passer in Hailey Hellstrom. Coach Tamara Gatrost said her team has some newcomers who have experienced some success in other sports. “These girls have had success working Gardner together in other venues,” Gatrost said. “Hopefully that carries over.” Two other Lady Reds who saw limited time last year as freshmen return in Baily Janssen and Kyra Skelton. Gatrost said the ability of her younger players to step up and mesh together is the biggest key for her team. “They have to be flexible in everything we ask them to do on the floor,” she said. “They have to worry about the team ahead of themselves overall.” Gatrost pegged Tri-Center as the favorite in the Western Iowa Conference, after it won the conference and the conference tournament in 2011. “Underwood and Treynor should be strong as well,” Gatrost said. “We have to continually get better as the season goes on so we can be peaking at the end of the year.”

RIVERSIDE Coach: Mandie Reynolds, 3rd season 2011 record: 9-20 (lost to Stanton 3-0 in the regional quarterfinals) Top returners: Seniors: Rachel Faga, Katherine Bertacini, Dani Turner. Junior: Rachel Novotny. Sophomore: Sheyenne Smith. The Word: The Lady Bulldogs need their younger players to step up this year and contribute to the team success. “The level of experience is not there this year,” coach Mandie Reynolds said. “We will be looking to the younger players to put in some key plays.” Reynolds also noted that senior leadership from Rachel Faga, Katherine Bertacini and Dani Turner will be key to the team’s success. Sophomore Sheyenne Smith, Turner who finished second on the team with 90 kills last season, should bolster the offense, and senior setter Turner, who had 118 assists last year, should also see plenty of action. Junior Rachel Novotny, who added 72 kills last year, should also be a factor. Although Riverside lost a lot of height to graduation, Reynolds feels it can compensate with quicker foot speed and better vertical jumping ability. The Lady Bulldogs will run a two-setter offense and Reynolds acknowledges that their blocking skills need to improve. Reynolds said Tri-Center and Treynor should challenge for conference honors again this year. “We want to finish over .500 and be in the top half of the conference,” Reynolds said. “We hope our hard work ethic will build endurance and we can finish games out. I would also like to see us perform better at the Saturday tournaments.”

File photo

Treynor’s Chaley Rath, left, and Emma Fiene will once again be key to the Cardinals’ volleyball hopes this fall. The squad begins the season ranked No. 9 in Class 2-A.

TREYNOR

TRI-CENTER

Coach: Janet Fiene, 17th season 2011 record: 19-16 (lost to St. Albert 3-1 in a regional opener) Top returners: Seniors: Lexis Rogers, Elli Strohbehn, Chaley Rath, Madison Keysor, Emma Fiene, Paige Volkens. Juniors: Mattie Jacobsen, Gracie Myers, Tracy Purdy. The Word: The Class 2-A No. 9 Cardinals are hoping to ride the wave of momentum from their state championship softball season into the fall. The Cardinals return everyone, including a strong core of six seniors: Lexis Rogers, Elli Strohbehn, Chaley Rath, Madison Keysor, Emma Fiene and Paige Volkens. “One of the key factors for us is having six seniors in a leadership role and wanting to be successful,” coach Janet Fiene said. “These kids are coming off a state softball win and have tasted that success. We are learning to build off that success.” Treynor will boast good athleticism and strength at the net, with junior Gracie Meyers and seniors Rath and Emma Fiene, the E. Fiene coach’s daughter, the top returning hitters. Janet Fiene also points out that with her team’s agility, it has the option of attacking in several different ways. “We are very lucky to be very strong in the attack zone,” Fiene said. “Our expectations as always are to battle for the conference and regularseason titles, and we fell short of that last year,” Fiene continued. “We have great tournaments coming up with bigger schools and we will work on playing as a team.” Tri-Center, Missouri Valley and Underwood are three schools that Fiene feels will challenge them in the conference. “We have the potential to make it to state, and every team hopes for that,” Fiene said.

Coach: Brian Wedemeyer, 13th season 2011 record: 28-4 (lost to St. Albert 3-0 in regional quarterfinals) Top returners: Seniors: Shelby Sullivan, Emily Baatz, Anna Spomer, Malory Christiansen. Sophomore: Morgan Sullivan. The Word: With five starters returning, Brian Wedemeyer is thinking his TriCenter team can make a deep run in the tournament. “We will have experience coming into the season,” Wedemeyer said. “We need to use it to our advantage, and in tight game situations, experience can help keep players calm and know what to do.” The Trojans will need to find a replacement for the defensive specialist and setter they lost, but having the senior leadership of Shelby Sullivan, Malory Christiansen, and Emily Baatz will help. S. Sullivan Wedemeyer feels his team still needed to improve on its chemistry as well as its passing. As defending conference champions, Wedemeyer knows that it will be tough to repeat, but felt his squad can compete very well with Underwood, Treynor and Missouri Valley. In the postseason, Wedemeyer thought his team will be able to make a run, but St. Albert will be tough to get through, as it knocked the Trojans out last season and returns nearly everyone. “It all comes down to who is performing the best at the end of the year,” Wedemeyer said. “If we can be at the top of our game and keep it up there, we can go as far as we want to go.”

UNDERWOOD Coach: Paula Carman, 3rd season 2011 record: 14-14 (lost to Tri-Center 3-2 in a regional opener) Top returners: Seniors: Chelsie Hardesty, Cassie Cooper, Madicen Fanslau,

McKinsey Rodenburg. Juniors: Lea Crouse, Rachel Landen, Regan Landen. The Word: Underwood returns nearly its entire squad this year. “We did lose a great player in Amy Lintner,” coach Paula Carman said. “But with a good squad coming back, we can still perform at a high level.” To help fill the loss of Lintner, Carman will be looking to seniors Chelsie Hardesty, Cassie Cooper, Madicen Fanslau and McKinsey Rodenburg to step up and be leaders on the court. Carman said juniors Allison Waters and Josie Ausdemore will provide an impact with their first opportunities at the varsity level. A strength for the Eagles will be their experience and depth, with the team fielding seven seniors and five juniors. Carman is hoping that her team can overcome its lack of size, and liked Crouse the Eagles’ chances to finish in the top half of the Western Iowa Conference with Missouri Valley, Treynor and Tri-Center. “The big thing I’m looking for is the girls to finish strong in games this year, because we struggled in close games because we didn’t stay focused,” Carman said. “If we can turn some of those losses into wins, then there’s no telling what we can do.”

WEST HARRISON Coach: Kathy Glennie, 1st season 2011 record: 4-27 (lost to Whiting 3-2 in first round of regionals) Top returners: Seniors: Maggie Thomas, Kylee Pospisil, Annemarie Davis, Stephanie Jenson, Marissa Knott. Juniors: Bre Nuzum, Cassidy Pape. The Word: West Harrison is coming off a rough season, but returns nearly everyone and has six seniors in Kathy Glennie’s first year at the helm.

VOLLEYBALL/See Page 12F

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The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, August 26, 2012

9F

Council Bluffs teams off to the races ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Boys coach: Scott Milner, 1st season 2011: Finished ninth at the state-qualifying meet with no individual qualifiers. Top returners: Seniors: Blake Willadsen, Josh Cross. Sophomore: Alex Brewer. Girls coach:Traci Flanagan, 1st season 2011: Tied for fifth at the state-qualifying meet with no individual qualifiers. Top returners: Senior: Ali Heithoff. Juniors: Emma Preston, Olivia Navarrette, Calee Morgal. Sophomores: Maddie Kinnie, Alexa Murphy. The Word: Two new faces will lead the Abraham Lincoln boys and girls. Traci Flanagan and Scott Milner take over the girls and boys teams, respectively, and they got their first taste of competition with Saturday’s Glenwood invite. An assistant coach last season under the now-departed Ron Lakatos, Flanagan has an athletic background, having played basketball at Midland University. She’s highly motivated to start her initial head-coaching venture. “It’s been awesome,” Flanagan said. “We’ve had 12 weeks now of summer training, and they all showed up. I couldn’t really believe it. We have such a great group of girls. Right now we’ve got 23 girls out, one of the biggest numbers we’ve had in a long time.” One individual not yet able to run is senior Ali Heithoff. She suffered an ACL injury during soccer season and won’t be cleared to participate until mid-September. With Heithoff out, Flanagan said junior Emma Preston likely will step up at the top of the pack. She’s out front during most practices. Flanagan has also been impressed with the preseason Preston performances of juniors Olivia Navarrette and Calee Morgal, along with freshmen newcomers Bree Waugh and CiCi Saldana. “I’m real excited for the year, and with how many girls we have out, it’s just awesome,” Flanagan said. “I’m really looking forward to all of this.” An equal sense of anticipation is felt on the boys team. Milner is the first new A.L. boys coach in 48 years. Although the headcoaching responsibilities are new, he’s helped former coach Mick Freeman at times since 2002. So far, he’s pleased with the transition. “It’s gone really well,” he said. “Some of the kids have seen me in the past from helping out with Coach Freeman every once in a while. Not seeing a brand new face helps a little bit with my philosophy coming in, so none of that was a shock to some of the kids.” Milner likes what he sees from seniors Blake Willadsen and Josh Cross and sophomore Alex Brewer. Those three have separated themselves regularly from the rest of the squad in practice. Ideally, the A.L. coach would like to see some of his other participants running closer to the lead. He said seniors Carl Schmackel and Jon Howard, with junior Jared Holcombe and sophomore Nathan Leinen, have the potential to do some good things this fall. The roster isn’t especially deep, with anywhere from eight to 11 participants likely to compete this year. “I’m still kind of in the feeling-out stage,” Milner said. “I’ll have about 11 out, and for a 4-A school, those are pretty low numbers. But the kids I have have been working real hard.”

LEWIS CENTRAL

Coach: Joe Ankenbauer, 33rd season 2011: Boys finished eighth at statequalifying meet with no state qualifiers. Girls finished fourth at state-qualifying meet with no state qualifiers. Top boys returners: Seniors: Jerry Orozco, Parker Smith, Brendan McCart. Sophomores: Nick Ruis, Dillon Kinart. Top girls returners: Seniors: Michaela Ruis, Jessica Clark, Tiffany Lamplot, Nicole Lamplot. Junior: Mallory Allen. The Word: The good news? Joe Ankenbauer has 75 hopefuls out for cross country this fall. The bad news? He must oversee everything and put together the best team possible. “It’s challenging to deal with 75 different people, but I’d certainly rather have that problem than having to deal with five,” Ankenbauer said. Forty of those individuals are boys, and Ankenbauer is hopeful the team he

puts together for the Titans’ Sept. 1 season-opening meet at Abraham Lincoln can improve by season’s end on the eighth-place showing from last year’s state-qualifying meet. Ankenbauer returns nine letterwinners on the boys squad, led by senior Jerry Orozco, who will be the Titans’ No. 1 runner. Orozco will get support from fellow seniors Parker Smith and Brendan McCart, along with newcomer seniors Tyler Wobken and Ryan Waldron, junior Weston Morgan, sophomore Blake Berringer and freshman Weston Morgan. “We had a couple people graduate, and these new people are going to have to fill in some of these spots,” Ankenbauer said. “The people from last year need to improve if we’re going to have a Orozco good season. “So far, everybody seems to be working pretty hard. We’re just anxious for the first meet.” Although 12 letterwinners are back for Ankenbauer on the girls team, he thinks he has a special talent in freshman Kye Madsen, who likely will be the No. 1 runner when the season commences. In addition to Madsen, freshman Nicole Miller and juniors Emily Moore and Shelby Simonin will help push the more experienced runners. Seniors Michaela Ruis, Jessica Clark and Nicole and Tiffany Lamplot return to a team that finished fourth at the state-qualifying meet last season, one spot short of a team berth. “The best thing that can happen for us is if the people on varsity are worried about losing their spot because other people on JV are running fast,” Ankenbauer said. “It just makes everybody that much better.” The preseason conditioning is vital for all runners, and the L.C. coach and his team are ready for competition to begin. “You have no barometer when you watch each other, and we really haven’t done anything to time anybody,” Ankenbauer said. “It’s just too early. It’s hard for me to say where we are with respect to last year at this time. Everybody works hard in practice. We’re anxious to get started because competition is always more exciting than practice.”

ST. ALBERT Coach: Bob Weidman, 11th season 2011: Boys won the Class 1-A state title. Girls didn’t field a full team and no individuals qualified for state. Top boys returners: Seniors: Josh Sindelar, Scott Theulen, Adam Christensen. Junior: Gus Doll. Top girls returners: Senior: Raquel Weis. Sophomore: Krisann Stephany. The Word: Every cross country team in the state hopes for a finish like the one the St. Albert boys enjoyed last fall. The Falcons not only captured their first state title since 1992, but also had every one of their runners finish with his best time of the season. “I didn’t realize on that particular day, but looking back on things, everybody ran a PR that day,” Weidman said. “Seven guys all ran a PR, and whether you win or lose, that’s how you want to finish up a season. It shows you how important it is to have a solid team. It makes it really special when everyone contributes.” Four of Weidman’s seven runners from that championship team are back this season.Threetime state qualifier Josh Sindelar returns, hoping to improve on his fourth-place showSindelar ing at the state meet. He’s joined by fellow returning seniors Scott Theulen and Adam Christensen, along with junior Gus Doll. With that kind of experience returning, expectations are high. The Iowa Association of Track Coaches tabbed the Falcons as the top-ranked team in Class 1-A in its preseason rankings. “I think the expectations are that the guys all know how hard they worked last year, and right now we’re just focusing on doing that same thing,” Weidman said. “They’re working hard and really getting ready for another season.

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“At the same time, they’re trying to bring along a lot of newcomers that we think will have an impact.” Senior Evan Siegrist and sophomore Fred Hug have fit in well with the group. Both have run well during preseason practices. Weidman won’t run a complete girls team this year. Sophomore Krisann Stephany and senior Raquel Weis will comprise the Saintes’ running contingent. Stephany enjoyed a solid freshman campaign, while Weis is back in the sport after not running her junior year. She’s dealt with knee issues during the summer and is trying to get back to a normal running routine. Despite the low numbers, Weidman has a positive outlook. “The practices we’ve had so far have been good,” he said. “We were able to practice in the morning last week before school started, so that helped being able to practice during the cool temperatures. “They’re doing everything I want them to do right now, and we’re all anxious to get the season going.” The season starts with an Aug. 28 trip to the Logan-Magnolia Invite.

THOMAS JEFFERSON Coach: Doug Muehlig, 28th season 2011: Boys finished fifth at the statequalifying meet with no individual qualifiers. Girls finished seventh at the state-qualifying meet with no individual qualifiers. Top boys returners: Juniors: Matt Powders, Brian Collinson, Zach LaCombe, Erich Hilske. Sophomores: Dylan Nightser, Eldon Warner. Top girls returners: Senior: Emily Dickerson. Junior: Traci Witkowski. Sophomores: Cassie Warner, Abby Ross. The Word: Regardless of the prep sport, it’s always difficult to replace experience, and Doug Muehlig must fill the void created by the departure of four seniors from the boys team. Kadin Wright, Gary Blackford, Kyle McGlade and Brad Stokes were all-Missouri River Conference runners a combined nine times in their prep careers. Blackford now runs at Buena Vista and McGlade at Morningside. “Those kind of people are hard to replace talent-wise, and we also had some tremendous leadership from those kids,” Muehlig said. Junior Matt Powders is one of Muehlig’s most seasoned returning runners. He’s described as a great team leader and has a number of top-10 finishes already to his credit. Muehlig is also eager to see how well Brian Collinson runs this season. An all-conference runner twice already, Collinson and fellow juniors Zach LaCombe and Erich Hilske make up most of Dickerson the Yellow Jackets’ experience. Younger, more inexperienced names also have made early impressions. Among them are freshman Parker Raes, sophomores Zach Williamson and Jake Swotek, juniors Colton Jensen and Alex Salak and seniors Corry Valeika and Devin Young. “There really are 13 guys vying for the top seven spots,” Muehlig said. “I said we lost all that talent, but I don’t think the cupboard is bare. It’s kind of looking at how tasty some of these cans of runners are going to be. How spicy are they going to be?” T.J. kicked off the season Saturday in Glenwood, and it will have its hands full with a number of challenging meets

Courtesy photo

St. Albert’s Scott Theulen, second from left, runs at last year’s Class 1-A state cross country meet. The Falcons are the defending 1-A champions and enter the 2012 season atop the 1-A rankings. throughout the fall, including the West Des Moines Valley invite that features some of the best teams in the state. “We’ve had kids step up and help each other out,” Muehlig said. “We’re kind of a blue-collar team. We’re going to have to run as a pack and help each other out. I think we’ll be above average.” On the girls team, T.J. has only one senior, but she’s filled with potential. Emily Dickerson likely will be

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for a good year out of her,” Muehlig said. Junior Kelly Espinoza has performed well in preseason workouts in her first year with the team, along with sophomore Lindsay Blackford. “I’m hoping to get to the middle of the pack with these girls,” Muehlig said. “We’ve got some experience with a few of them, so it’ll be interesting to see. We’ll just see how everything plays out.” – By Patrick Donohue

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

10F Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Daily Nonpareil

Long state trip is Saintes’ goal Varsity awaits Eagles HEARTLAND/From Page 7F

SAINTES/From Page 3F

to get to state again and go farther than we did last year. I think this year we now know what’s at state and we’ll practice harder and be a better team together.” The players’ adopted word – aspire – fits their new goal well. But it also serves as a reminder of the new challenges ahead. Success can potentially become a distraction. And the Saintes won’t be sneaking up on any of their opponents this season. “Come November, we hope to be right back up in Cedar Rapids,” Lantz said. “But it’s keeping everybody grounded. Everybody’s pretty good about it, but there are times where it’s like, ‘What are you willing to do? Are you giving me your best?’” Along with four returning starters, a number of other girls are contending for playing time.

“Our mindset this year is we know we can get to state and we know we can go farther.”

whole new level. No longer, for example, will girls be serving underhand. Larry Gray takes over volleyball duties this year. Also the athletic director and boys basketball coach, he admittedly knew little about Heartland’s latest varsity sport. But after plenty of cram sessions and adviceseeking, he has helped surround the team with other experienced teachers to supplement his play-hard approach. “I know we’re going to be able to at least compete,” Gray said. “I’m a realist, so I don’t think we’re going to go in there and win the Corner Conference. But we’re going to go in there and play. We’ll win our share of games

– Nevada Meis St. Albert senior

Senior middle Joni Thomas and right-side hitter Nicole Rollins will contribute, along with sophomore back-row player Kendall Biggs and hitter Alli Wettengel. Abraham Lincoln junior transfer Josie Thomas is also poised to see the court as a defensive specialist. The best part, Lantz said, is that increased numbers will foster better competition than in recent memory. About 25 girls are out, allowing St. Albert to field a freshman team for the first time in three years. Suddenly, no one’s spot is safe. The Saintes, coming off a 30-10

campaign, won’t get any easy wins to open their schedule. First up is an Aug. 28 home match against Clarinda (21-9 last year), followed two days later by a triangular at Abraham Lincoln against the Class 4-A state-qualifying Lynx (25-22) and reigning Western Iowa Conference champion Tri-Center (28-4). St. Albert’s aspirations will only rise from there. “Our mindset this year is we know we can get to state and we know we can go farther,” Meis said. “We don’t want to be satisfied with just being there. The bar is set higher this year.”

Young Reivers making progress IWCC/From Page 2F With the veterans leading the way, the first-year players have been picking things up quickly. “Every practice, we give our best,” Acevedo said. “We hustle, and we are competing. You’re like a role model, so you have to give your best and serve as an example.”

First serve with … Joni Thomas Thomas helped spark St. Albert off the bench last year, collecting 56 kills and 25 blocks while appearing in about two-thirds of the team’s sets. The 5-foot-10 middle will likely step into a starting spot for her senior season.

again. We definitely have the ability and the possibility and the drive to go back. It’s just that we want to stay this year for more than one game.

What is one of your typical pregame meals? I’m a very picky eater, so I’ll usually eat fruit. Strawberries is what we usually have, and I like garlic bread and stuff.

Who is your most fashionable teammate? Probably Katie Kuck. She wears nice things. She never looks sloppy; she always looks put together.

If you’re so picky, what won’t you eat? I basically won’t eat meat. The only meat I eat is chicken and bacon – and they usually don’t serve that (at team gatherings). Usually it’s spaghetti with sauce, but I like my noodles plain. No butter, no salt. Just cooked. How far can this team go? I think we can go back to state

ISD/From Page 7F mainly in the back row – on the squad with no juniors. “This senior group is always asking for more,” Lechner said. “More work, more advanced stuff, more this, more that. As a coaching staff, we’re not going to be afraid to elevate our game.” Iowa Deaf will get a chance to do that on its own campus after not playing a single home match last season with the Lied Multipurpose Complex under renovation. The Bobcats will compete in their familiar digs on 10 occasions this time, beginning with Monday’s season-opening triangular with the Lewis Central and Thomas Jefferson freshman teams. “This is the year of the senior,” Lechner said. “We’ll play with this team and hope-

What is a myth about playing volleyball? That everybody is tall. With our school, we don’t always have a lot of tall people. I’m one of the taller ones. If you could change one of your volleyball skills, what would it be? Being quicker. When we’re doing approaches and blocking, a setter can get it (to the net) quick. I’m not always there, so I’d like to be quicker.

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fully take it to the top and then we’ll be rebuilding for the next two or three years.” The GPSD tourney is set for Oct. 1213 at Wisconsin Deaf after settling in Council Bluffs last season. The event – which is like a state tournament for those involved – has been won by Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf 10 years running. Iowa Deaf most recently prevailed in 1990. But that playoff isn’t the end-all, be-all for this group, Lechner said. Instead, the idea is to improve every day and relish moments with each other in their final goround together on a volleyball court. “We’re not very tall – our tallest player will be about 5-foot-10,” Lechner said. “But I think we’re going to make up for that with our effort and our motivation and the willingness to say, ‘This is our year.’”

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The Reivers have only one home match between now and their first meeting with Region XI rival Indian Hills on Sept. 19. Tournaments in Colorado and Florida highlight the remaining schedule. “I like the way the schedule was built,” McBroom said. “I want to make sure we’re the best we can be in the postseason by playing these top teams as much as we can.”

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and lose our share of games.” Heartland began its season last week by bringing Woodbine to town. All home matches will be held at the Council Bluffs Boys & Girls Club this year. The Eagles will get to start their maiden varsity voyage in familiar surroundings. After Woodbine, they face West Harrison, Iowa School for the Deaf and Sidney before ever leaving the city limits. With plenty of reinforcements, it sure beats not playing at all. “I don’t think we won a lot of games last year, so I’m hoping to win most of them with our new techniques and everything,” Riche said. “Hopefully we’ll learn from our mistakes because we want more.”

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CROSS COUNTRY

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, August 26, 2012

11F

Area teams return experienced runners A-H-S-T Co-Coaches: Toni Scheffler, Erica Kardell, 1st season 2011: Not enough runners for team score for boys or girls. Top boys returners: None Top girls returners: Seniors: Mikayla Kobs, Maria Aherns. Sophomores: Sophie Kock. The Word: A-H-S-T welcomes new cross country co-coaches Toni Scheffler and Erica Kardell who hope to turn things around this year. The Vikings did not have enough runners to field either a boys or girls team last year. Scheffler, who was a trainer for the Omaha Fire Department for a few years, hopes to combat the inexperience of their teams with a good attitude and hard work. Currently, the Kobs girls have 10 runners looking to compete, including senior returners Mikayla Kobs and Maria Aherns. “The seniors will have a leadership role and will need to help the younger runners,” Scheffler said. “They have sprinting experience and a competitive attitude.” It doesn’t appear that the boys will have enough runners to compete as a team again this year, but interest at the junior high level is high and Scheffler thinks the future looks bright. One member of the boys team, senior James Vogel, has never competed in a cross country meet before, but is looking forward to the opportunity. “I think this will be a diverse group of kids and we hope to fill a girls team and be competitive,” Scheffler said. “I’d like to see the kids in the top half of the runners at meets,” Scheffler said. “We have potential and I hope they will improve throughout the season. I’d love to see a couple kids qualify and go to state.”

BOYER VALLEY Coach: Kent Hall, 16th season 2011: Boys were fourth at districts, girls had no state qualifiers. Top boys returners: Seniors: Mitchell Putnam, Roldolfo Arroyo, Nick Gordon. Juniors: Jake Weber, Joseph Grady. Sophomores: Nathan Ambrose, Joel Heaps, Kyle Behrendt, Nick Gambs, Ian Brown. Top girls returners: Seniors: Shannon Zehner, Whitney Klein. Sophomores: Jennifer Zehner, Cassie McAllister. The Word: The Boyer Valley boys return 10 letterwinners from last year’s squad. Lost to graduation was Brian Steele, their only state qualifier. Their fourth-place district finish was their highest ever.

“I hope we can continue with the progress we made the last couple of years,” coach Kent Hall said. “This is a great group who works very well together, so we will improve as the season proWeber gresses.” Depth will be the strength of the Bulldog program, and Hall is also counting on junior Jake Weber to step it up a notch. “Jake has worked very hard this summer and has the potential to be very successful this year,” he said. The girls team only has six members with four returning letterwinners, so they will be relying on all the girls to contribute and stay healthy. Seniors Shannon Zehner and Whitney Klein and sophomores Jennifer Zehner and Cassie McAllister are back to improve on last year’s times. Sophomore Allison Behrendt and freshman Madison Seuntjens will also be competing. “The girls have been working very hard the first week of practice,” Hall said. “New athletes Allison and Madison will help the team greatly. Hopefully, we will see a few more runners join our program. We lost three seniors last year so that has hurt us, but I see this team only getting better as the season progresses.” Hall is hoping that all of his runners will compete up to their potential and have a successful season.

GLENWOOD Girls coach: Brad Rasmussen, 30th season Boys coach: Todd Peverill, 16th season 2011: No state qualifiers for girls. Boys finished 11th as a team and Jeff Reeve finished 32nd as an indvidual. Top girls returners: Juniors: Morgan Naughton, Mikaela Stanek, Breanna Van Neeteran, Brianna Overhue. Sophomores: Ana Frazee, Lizzy Young. Top boys returners: Senior: Jeff Reeve. Junior: Brady Wheeler. Sophomore: James Fuller. The Word: The Glenwood boys are coming off a fourth state meet appearance and fourth straight Hawkeye Ten team title, and will be looking to repeat those feats in 2012. Senior Jeff Reeve, junior Brady Wheeler and sophomore James Fuller all return after being a part of that team. Coach Todd Peverill is expecting big things out of junior Baker Cambridge and sophomores Daniel and Ryan Leu and Clinton Gray. “We have 45 kids out and return a strong JV, and we have a good freshman class so we should have some depth,” Peverill said. “We only have one

senior, though, so we will have some youth.” Peverill said that his top four are running in a pack within about 20 seconds of each other, and a key will be getting other runners in that pack. “We want to have little difference one through seven,” Peverill said. Shenandoah and Harlan finished right behind Glenwood in the conference meet last season and return the majority of their teams this fall. “They should both be very strong,” Peverill said. The girls return nearly their entire squad from last season and have some solid newcomers in freshmen Phoenix Capps and Natalie Shearer, along with sophomore Wheeler Sarah Homan. Four juniors and two sophomores return with varsity experience and have been leading the charge for the new runners. Coach Brad Rasmussen likes the leadership and chemistry he has seen in practice. “We have some depth this year, which makes coaching a little easier,” Rasmussen said. “I have seen a lot of positive things and don’t have much for concerns so far, either.” Rasmussen mentioned defending state qualifiers Harlan and Shenandoah as good teams with a lot of talent returning. “Creston also has a couple of good runners coming back,” Rasmussen said. “We have a lot of work to do to climb higher.” Rasmussen said his team is striving to make it to state and finish in the top three in the Hawkeye Ten Conference. “We have to keep improving throughout, though,” Rasmussen said.

LOGAN-MAGNOLIA Coach: Jennifer Schulz, 2nd season Top girls returners: Senior: Kendra Holcomb. Juniors: Haley Wishay. Top boys returners: Senior: Ellis Johnson. Junior: Wyatt Schultz. Sophomore: Kurt Rosengren. 2011: No state qualifiers for boys or girls. The Word: After losing just one senior total from its boys and girls teams, Logan-Magnolia could be poised for a big year in 2012. Coach Jennifer Schulz said the Panthers’ experience and team chemistry, along with the hard work she has seen so far, are big positives. “The boys and the girls are practicing together and really pushing each other,” Schulz said. “We just have to keep that work ethic and continue to stay positive.”

Seniors Ellis Johnson and Kendra Holcomb, along with juniors Wyatt Schultz and Haley Wishay, are back, respectively, to lead the boys and girls teams. Schulz is expectHolcomb ing big things from freshmen Victoria Johnson, Justin Thomas, Gage Killpack and Andrew Walski this year as well. “We finished last year strong and hope to continue that this season,” Schulz said. The Panthers are now in Class 1-A and that will change who they will have to battle in the area, according to Schulz. She expects both programs from Riverside to be strong. “It depends on who lost people, but the kids are gunning for a trip to the state meet,” Schulz said. “We are keeping our fingers crossed but still trying to keep that on the back burner for now.”

MISSOURI VALLEY Coach: Scott Cihacek, 15th season Top girls returners: Senior: Paige Pauley, Breezy Weaver. Top boys returners: Seniors: Jacob Pagel. Sophomore: Drew Pauley. 2011: Girls finished 15th as a team at state and Breezy Weaver finished 24th as an individual. No boys state qualifiers. The Word: Despite having two returning state qualifiers, the Missouri Valley girls team will not have enough runners to make a run at a return trip as a squad. Seniors Paige Pauley, a two-time qualifier, and Breezy Weaver, a threetime qualifier, are the only runners this fall but are still shooting for another trip as individuals. Pauley is coming off an injury, however. The boys team finished just out of qualifying for state as well, finishing fourth at the state qualifying meet, and returns seniors Caleb Wilson and Jacob Pagel and sophomore Drew Weaver Pauley. “Those girls will have to do it on their own,” coach Scott Cihacek said. “The boys have some depth but also some youth and they will have to stay motivated and improve as a group.” Pauley and Weaver are practicing

with the boys on a regular basis and Cihacek mentioned they do not lack the competition and drive in that sense. As far as the Western Iowa Conference, Cihacek expects Riverside to be very good again and Tri-Center and Treynor to be improved. He also talked about Harlan and Glenwood being a couple of the better teams in the area. “The girls want to make it back to state and are working hard to get there,” Cihacek said. “The boys want to win the conference but we have a couple of question marks so we’ll keep improving and see what happens.”

RIVERSIDE Coach: Alex Oliver, 2nd season 2011: Boys first at districts, second at regionals, seventh at 1-A state meet. Girls no state qualifiers. Top boys returners: Senior: Ean Patrick. Juniors: Brady Ryun, Brian Gordon. Top girls returners: Seniors: Lexi Cleaveland, Becca Hansen, Alexa Wilber. The Word: Riverside hopes to contend again at the state level, but will have to replace its top two runners. Cade Cleaveland (second in the state) and John Gunderson (sixth) were both lost to graduation, but coach Alex Oliver is optimistic that his team will still perform at a high level. “These guys are a gutsy group and and may surprise some people and be pretty good,” Oliver said. “They are a tighter group, and we will need to score collectively to be successful as a team.” Patrick Senior Ean Patrick, who placed 21st at state last season, returns to try to better his times and lead the team. “I’m looking forward to a strong senior season from Ean,” Oliver said. The Bulldogs have won the Western Iowa Conference meet the last two years and are hoping for a three-peat. Patrick finished third at WIC behind Cleaveland and Gunderson last year, and is hoping for top honors this season. The girls team is looking to improve on last year’s seventh-place WIC finish and has more runners competing for spots, led by seniors Lexi Cleaveland and Becca Hansen, and junior Alexa Wilber. “We have no standout stars to push the other girls, but these girls have more determination on and off the course,” Oliver said. Oliver expects the Griswold girls

and Missouri Valley boys to be at the top of the conference this year, but is hoping both of his squads can improve their times throughout the year.

TREYNOR Coach: Dan Schleisman, 8th season 2011: Boys: Nick Paulsen, 12th at WIC; Brittany Kulesa, sixth at WIC. Top boys returners: Seniors: Patrick Vorthmann, Preston Vorthmann, Kellin Chambers, Garrett Bazzell, Ryan Carley. Juniors: Nick Paulsen, Matt Haijsman. Sophomore: Marc Riley. Top girls returners: Seniors: Brittany Kulesa, Kaitlin Killinger, Bailey Riley. Juniors: Breanna Houser, Emily Kudron. The Word: With 23 girls and 14 boys competing for spots, Treynor will be relying on its depth for a successful season. “These runners have put in a considerable amount of time over the summer to get ready,” coach Dan Schleisman said. “Twelve of them even went to a camp at Iowa Western.” Haijsman Overall, the Cardinals return plenty of experience and will use that knowledge to guide them. Senior Brittany Kulesa, sixth at WIC, and junior Nick Paulsen, 12th at WIC, will both be vying to finish higher at the conference meet this year. Schleisman predicts that the Griswold, Tri-Center, Audubon and Underwood girls will all field competitive teams. For the boys, Schleisman expects Riverside, Tri-Center and Missouri Valley to be tough. He’s hoping that both of his teams can finish in the top three of the conference and wants to see some state qualifiers from both groups.

TRI-CENTER Coach: Dennis Jarrett, 7th season 2011: No boys state qualifiers. Girls finished sixth as a team at state. Top boys returners: Seniors: Alex Johnson, Darrian Irlbeck. Sophomores: Zach Denning, Cody Sindt. Top girls returners: Seniors: Alex Larsen, Taylor Grap. Juniors: Michelle Mumm, Kaylee Grote, Nikki Paulson, Hailey Dollen. The Word: Coach Dennis Jarrett is looking for both of his teams to make a run at state this year.

RUNNING/See Page 12F

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12F Sunday, August 26, 2012

Volleyball teams have high hopes VOLLEYBALL/From Page 8F Maggie Thomas is the leading returning hitter for the Hawkeyes, who also have four other starters back in seniors Kylee Pospisil, AnneMarie Davis, Stephanie Jenson and Marissa Knott. Glennie mentioned Kelsey Deakins and Taylor Niewohner, along with freshmen Kylie Glennie and Alyssa Hatcher, as girls who could crack the lineup as well. “We have several seniors who bring very good leadership,” Glennie said. “They are very good servers as well and need to keep working hard but have confidence in themselves in the same way.” Glennie said the belief that her team can win every night is a key for it having success. “We have to continue to play like a team. Practices have been going well so far,” she said. Thomas Glennie said IKM-Manning is the favorite to win the southern half of the Western Valley Conference, and feels northern teams Woodbury Central and Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto are going to be very good as well. “We want to be .500 for the season and there is no reason that we can’t accomplish that goal,” Glennie said. “It would be nice to be better than that but we are definitely shooting for that.”

WOODBINE Coach: Rita Melby, 5th season 2011 record: 21-14 (lost to Ar-We-Va 3-0 in Class 1A regional quarterfinal) Top returners: Seniors: Brittnay Nelson, Kaitlyn Pulscher, Taylor Barry. Juniors: Bailee Meyer, Lydia Payne, Shelby Behrendt. The Word: The Woodbine volleyball team is in its 5th season under Rita Melby and is looking for some girls to step up this year. “We lost five of our six starters from last season, so we will be lacking experience,” Melby said. “We have some quality upperclassmen and will need them to step up into some big roles this season.” To prepare the younger players, Melby will be looking towards her three returning letter-winning seniors to lead the way with BritPulscher tnay Nelson, Kaitlyn Pulscher, and Taylor Barry. Melby felt her team would be lacking in height this year, but is hoping to overcome that with quickness and good serving skills. In the Western Valley Conference, Melby liked her team’s chance to finishing the top half of the south division with IKM-Manning being the top competition. “I want our team to compete for a chance at a conference title and make some noise in the postseason tournaments,” Melby said. “We need to continue to work towards playing in unison and we can reach any goal we set.” – By Matt Gubbels, DeAnn Fritsch and Spencer Fritsch

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

The Daily Nonpareil

Marathon begins for area runners RUNNING/From Page 11F “We have a good group of guys back this year with some newcomers who can do some things for the team,” Jarrett said. “It helps to have a solid core in order to build on as the season goes on.” He will be looking for good leadership out of seniors Alex Johnson and Darrian Irlbeck. He wants to push the boys on his team to continue to improve. Jarrett has liked what he’s seen from incoming freshmen Dion Coffey and Christopher Jarrett and what they can add to the squad. He did fear the lack of depth might cause issues if injuries start to arise as the season goes on. “If the team can stay healthy, we can do some special things,” Jarrett said. Unsure on how the conference will play out with many teams losing good Grote runners to graduation, Jarrett felt that Missouri Valley would be strong. After a fourth-place finish at last year’s district meet, Dennis Jarrett believes the boys can make some noise and get into the state meet as a team. On the girls’ side, they are looking to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish at state. “We have a lot of returning upperclassmen this year,” Jarrett said. “We did lose two quality seniors to graduation last year, but quite a bit of experience coming back will make us tough to beat.” Jarrett is looking for a bounceback year from senior Alex Larsen, who is coming off a major knee injury. In her freshman and sophomore seasons, she qualified for the individual state meet. Sophomore Erica Roane has also shown some early promise this fall and is expected to make an impact. Jarrett said the experience he has coming back will help fill the void of losing the two seniors. According to Jarrett though, the Western Iowa Conference will be tough, with Audubon and a returning state qualifier in Griswold. “If we continue to perform well throughout the season, then there’s no stopping us from working towards a state title this year,” Jarrett said.

AP

The goal for every cross country runner is to end up here at the state meet in Fort Dodge. the team to work towards improving every day.” Stamp mentioned seniors Sara McKenna and Hannah Shipp, along with juniors Ally Freese and Devon Shelton, as runners who can provide leadership to the incoming freshmen. Stamp said the Eagles’ depth should help them field a quality team and make some noise at the state-qualifying and conference meets. “We can finish in the top half of the conference and compete at the top level,” Stamp said.

UNDERWOOD

WEST HARRISON

Coach: Kate Stamp, 1st season 2011: No boys or girls state qualifiers. Top boys returners: Seniors: Andrew Foutch, Taylor Curtis. Junior: Riley Klein. Sophomores: Drew McDonough, Chance Belt. Top girls returners: Seniors: Sara McKenna, Hannah Shipp. Juniors: Ally Freese, Devon Shelton. Sophomores: Emily Pierson, Erin Shapcott. The Word: Kate Stamp is entering her first season as the Underwood coach and is looking to bring some excitement to the team. “Being in my first year as coach, I want to keep practices interesting and different, and we will be doing other things besides running every day to continue to improve,” Stamp said. “Changing things up from time to time will help keep the team upbeat and ready to compete at meets.” Stamp is excited to see what the boys have to offer, led by seniors Andrew Foutch and Taylor Curtis. “The team has been running all summer and is always working to improve,” Stamp said. “That work ethic will prove to be a good thing to have.” Stamp feels the Eagles will have good depth in the top five or six and will be looking for some newcomers to push them. The girls are returning several runners and Stamp is expecting a solid year. “Having experience and upperclassmen on the team can provide for a good quality for the team,” Stamp said. “They can be leaders and keep pushing Shipp

Coach: Kandi Baxter, 33rd season 2011: No girls or boys state qualifiers. Top girls returners: Senior: Emilee Earlywine. Juniors: Miranda Bertelsen, Heidi Grass. Sophomores: Morgan Shearer, Mikayla Foster. The Word: A multitude of returning talent, along with a key transfer, have the West Harrison girls thinking big. The Hawkeyes return five girls with varsity experience and also received a two-time state qualifier from Sioux Center in junior Danielle Marcoux. “I have not been able to compete with a full team of girls in a while,” coach Kandi Baxter said. “There is a different attitude with this team and Danielle is a big part of that. We feel we can win some meets this year.” Baxter said the team is working together, and encouragement will be important to the Hawkeyes’ success. If Marcoux makes her third trip to state, she would be the first West Harrison runner to qualify since Jessica Clark in 2005. Baxter said she has her thoughts set Foster higher but the Hawkeyes will deal with solid teams like Tri-Center and Woodbine. “We want to do well at conference and participate at state,” Baxter said. “We feel like we could have three runners in the top 10 of every meet. The boys have just two runners this fall in freshman Alex Foster and sophomore Trey LaGoiss.

WOODBINE Coach: Rod Smith, 13th season 2011: Boys: No state qualifiers. Girls: Western Valley Conference champions. Top boys returners: Seniors: Trevor Barnum, Tristan Hatterman. Junior: Drew Radloff. Sophomores: Zeb Schwery, J.C. Probasco. Top girls returners: Seniors: Alyssa Blum, Claire Probasco. Junior: Ellen Cox, Paige Hackman. Sophomore: Megan Maaske. The Word: Woodbine has a solid returning nucleus, with the boys and girls teams each returning five letterwinners. The boys should be a group of well-balanced runners without any standouts. “We don’t have a lead runner to help us point-wise,” coach Rod Smith said. “It’s nice to have a high scorer in meets, but this group runs well together as a pack.” Smith said the group will continue to improve.“The boys motivate each other,” he said. On the girls side, Smith is expecting good things. Shelby Hall, who placed 43rd at state last year, graduated, but Smith feels his team will still be competitive. “We lost Shelby, who was our team leader the last three years,” Smith said. “We are looking to someone else to take that over and that will probably be Megan (Maaske).” As a freshman last year, Maaske was an all-conference selection along with junior Ellen Cox. Freshman Kendra Vogel, last year’s junior high conference champion, should add depth to the squad along with junior newcomer Allison Lee. The girls won the Western Valley Maaske Conference championship last season, and Smith said they have enough talent and experience to make a run at a repeat. “I’d like to see the boys in the top five teams of the conference and the girls in the top three,” Smith said. “The girls have a good chance of qualifying for state, but the boys are a longshot.” – By Matt Gubbels, DeAnn Fritsch and Spencer Fritsch

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2012 Fall Sports Preview