PEABODY-BURNS:   Volleyball to rebuild

Team lost 4 starters from last year

Staff writer

With the loss of four starters from last season, the starting six volleyball crew will look different at Peabody-Burns in 2013. Much of the first couple of weeks of practice will be spent establishing positions and learning rotations.

Helping to set that tone will be a core group of athletes with experience and leadership.

One familiar face is returning second-team all-league 5-6 setter sophomore Katy Benson. Benson will anchor the squad by leading and creating offensive opportunities for attackers. She has a good understanding of the game and is calm under pressure.

Senior Kaycy Gonzalez, a hard outside hitter, returns to the team and will carry a large portion of the attacking load. Gonzalez, 5-8, has done offseason work that should translate into points for the team.

Two other hitters, 5-10 junior Brianna Larsen and 5-5 senior Jordan Gibson will also look to score with strong front presence. Both have experience and should play an integral part in net play. Larsen will have to float between outside and middle this season. Gibson is consistent and has shown great leadership over the summer.

Other positions and roles will be determined after the team has a couple of weeks to find a stride. Cierra Foth served and set one rotation last season. Her strength is serving and she should provide more service points.

Alyssa Brooks could fill a void at libero this year. She may also see time of the right side of the floor. Junior Riley McDowell and sophomores Alex Lewis and Christa Elliott will also compete at the varsity level.

“Serving should be a team strength,” said 12th-year head coach Darren Schroeder. “For us to be competitive this season, passing must be a priority and ball control has to improve.”

Schroeder will be assisted by Julie Wedel, a first year helper and graduate of Peabody-Burns. PBHS finished 17-16 overall with a 6-2 Wheat State League record. The 2012 squad had three third-place tournament finishes in 2013.

 

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