HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: FIVE AREA TEAMS LOOK TO REPEAT CONFERENCE TITLES


Columbus Catholic's Dorci Walker returns for her senior season after earning Cloverbelt Conference East Division Player of the Year honors in 2020 and helping the Dons to a conference championship. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)

By Paul Lecker

Zaleski Sports


Area high school volleyball teams kicked off their 2021 season last week as a number of high-profile invitationals and local quadrangular meets were held.


This week and next will be the start of the conference schedules, and a number of teams will look to repeat success from 2020.


Stevens Point Pacelli (Central Wisconsin Conference South Division), Marshfield Columbus Catholic (Cloverbelt Conference East Division), Stratford (Marawood Conference South Division), Mosinee (Great Northern Conference) and Marshfield (Wisconsin Valley Conference) are all defending conference champions and each have a number of top players returning as they try to make a run at another championship.


Here is a look at the 22 teams in our coverage area:


ABBOTSFORD FALCONS

Coach: Lee Schreiber.

Last year’s record: 1-4.

Requested information on the team was not provided.

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 28 at Wisconsin Rapids Invite, 9 a.m.; Sept. 4 at Marshfield Invite, 9 a.m.; Sept. 7 PRENTICE, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 at Gilman, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14 CHEQUAMEGON, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16 at Colby, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 18 at Clintonville Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 20 AUGUSTA, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21 at Athens, 7 p.m.; Sept. 25 ABBOTFORD INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 RIB LAKE, 7 p.m.; Oct. 2 MARAWOOD CROSSOVER CHALLENGE NO. 1, 10 a.m.; Oct. 5 at Phillips, 7 p.m.; Oct. 9 at Edgar Invitational, 9 a.m.; Oct. 12 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 2 at Marathon, 4 p.m.


AMHERST FALCONS

Coach: Autumn Groshek.

Last year’s record: 7-3, 5-1 Central Wisconsin Conference East Division.

Returning players: Haley Peskie, jr., outside hitter; Alexa Shulfer, sr., outside hitter; Hannah Wall, sr., middle hitter; Talin Maves, sr., setter; Carly Wandtke, sr., libero; Sydney Lehman, sr., middle hitter.

Key newcomer: Sara Breed, jr., all-around.

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 26 AMHERST QUAD, 4:30 p.m.; Aug. 28 at Oshkosh Lourdes Invitational, 8 a.m.; Sept. 2 AMHERST TRIANGULAR, 4:30 p.m.; Sept. 7 at Weyauwega-Fremont, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 9 at Oshkosh Lourdes, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Port Edwards Quad, 11 a.m.; Sept. 14 SHIOCTON, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 18 at Berlin Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 21 at Bonduel, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 23 IOLA-SCANDINAVIA, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 28 at Menominee Indian, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 5 WITTENBERG-BIRNAMWOOD, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 14 at Pacelli, 7:30 p.m.


ASSUMPTION ROYALS

Coach: Jeanette Glaza, fifth year.

Last year’s record: 2-8, 0-5 sixth place Marawood Conference South Division.

Returning players: Kayla Kerkman, sr., outside hitter; Maleia Kolo, jr., outside hitter; Ava Schill, jr., setter/outside hitter; Autumn Moon, so., outside hitter; Jayden Glaza, so., setter; Kendall Duellman, so., libero.

Key newcomers: Madi Abbott, so., outside hitter; Anna Schooley, fr., outside hitter.

From Coach Glaza: “(We want) to grow and be as competitive as possible at playoff time. We are a young team again this year with only one senior, but our younger girls bring with them a passion and competitive volleyball knowledge.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 26 at Iola-Scandinavia Triangular, 5 p.m.; Aug. 31 at Loyal, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 2 w/Adams-Friendship at Amherst, 4 p.m.; Sept. 7 STRATFORD, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 NEILLSVILLE, 7 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Auburndale Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 at Marathon, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16 w/Pacelli at Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 5 p.m.; Sept. 21 at Edgar 7 p.m.; Sept. 28 AUBURNDALE, 7 p.m.; Sept. 30 at Pittsville, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 2 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 1 at Edgar, 10 a.m.; Oct. 5 WAUSAU NEWMAN CATHOLIC, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 2 at Marathon, 4 p.m.; Oct. 14 WILD ROSE, 7 p.m.


ATHENS BLUEJAYS

Coach: Tanille Hartwig.

Last year’s record: 2-4.

Requested information on the team was not provided.

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 at Spencer Invitational, 11:30 a.m.; Aug. 27-28 at Menomonie Sprawl (UW-Stout), 8:30 a.m.; Aug. 31 at Northland Pines Quad, 4 p.m.; Sept. 2 GILMAN, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7 PHILLIPS, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 COLBY, 7 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Merrill Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 at Rib Lake, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21 ABBOTSFORD, 7 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Eau Claire Regis Invitational, 10 a.m.; Sept. 28 at Prentice, 7 p.m.; Oct. 2 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 1 at Abbotsford, 10 a.m.; Oct. 5 at Chequamegon, 7 p.m.; Oct. 9 ATHENS QUAD, 9 a.m.; Oct. 12 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 2 at Marathon, 4 p.m.


AUBURNDALE EAGLES

Coach: Kate Schmutzer, second year.

Last year’s record: 6-5, 4-1 Marawood Conference South Division.

Returning players: Josie Ertl, honorable mention all-Marawood South in 2020; Bri Weiler; Ashlyn Grimm; Nicole Marth; Morgan Raab.

From Coach Schmutzer: “Overall, we are young with only two seniors, Nicole Marth and Morgan Raab, and unfortunately Morgan suffered a preseason injury, so her status is uncertain. The returning players and newcomers have been working hard in the gym. We are expecting to be competitive. However, we will need to stay healthy.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 26 at Wisconsin Rapids, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31 at Wausau West Quad, 4 p.m.; Sept. 7 at Wausau Newman Catholic, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 IOLA-SCANDINAVIA, 7 p.m.; Sept. 11 AUBURNDALE INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 EDGAR, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16 AUBURNDALE QUAD, 5 p.m.; Sept. 21 STRATFORD, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28 at Assumption, 7 p.m.; Oct. 2 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 1 at Abbotsford, 10 a.m.; Oct. 5 MARATHON, 7 p.m.; Oct. 9 at Edgar Invitational, 9 a.m.; Oct. 12 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 2 at Marathon, 4 p.m.


COLBY HORNETS

Coach: Hannah Engevold, first year.

Last year’s record: 6-6, 5-2 tied for second in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Returning players: Kya Viegut, sr., middle/right side hitter; Hayden Willner, jr., outside hitter; Brett Schmitt, sr., libero.

Key newcomers: Fabiola Castillo, sr., defensive specialist; Kaylee Garcia, jr., setter/defensive specialist; Kennedy Bilz, jr., right side/middle hitter; Hilary Feiten, jr., right side hitter; Sophia Fontoira, jr., outside hitter; Hailey Baumann, sr., right side hitter; Savana Thomsen, fr., middle hitter; Sierra Strassburger, jr., defensive specialist; Lydia Decker, so., outside hitter; Jorja Weiland, jr., setter.

From Coach Engevold: “This year we are expecting a younger team. Last year we had nine seniors who filled the roster, but we are looking forward to growing the program, really relying on our defensive skills and net play. This group is coachable and we have great looks for all positions. I have been placed as an interim head coach for this season as our previous coach got a new teaching job. With that being said, this is pretty new but the girls know the expectations I hold for them and what the overall goal for the Colby volleyball program is. I am excited to see what this year brings.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 27-28 at Menomonie Sprawl (UW-Stout), 8 a.m.; Aug. 31 at Edgar, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 at Athens, 7 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Cadott Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 SPENCER, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 16 ABBOTSFORD, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 20 STRATFORD, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 21 at Gilman, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 23 NEILLSVILLE, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Abbotsford Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 at Greenwood, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 30 MARSHFIELD COLUMBUS CATHOLIC, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 5 OWEN-WITHEE, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 7 at Loyal, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 9 at Edgar Invitational, 9 a.m.; Oct. 12 Cloverbelt Conference crossover, TBA; Oct. 14 Cloverbelt Conference Crossover, TBA.


COLUMBUS CATHOLIC DONS

Coach: Kat Egle, ninth year.

Last year’s record: 12-4, 7-0 Cloverbelt Conference East Division champions.

Returning players: Dorci Walker, sr., hitter, 256 kills, 127 digs, 31 service aces, Cloverbelt East Player of the Year in 2020; Jenna Kibbel, jr., hitter, 126 digs, 32 aces, honorable mention all-Cloverbelt East; Courtney Sommer, so., setter/hitter.

Key newcomers: Lily Stratman, jr., setter; Izzy Hoglund, fr., back row.

From Coach Egle: “We have great team chemistry and our team will be strong this year. We are young, but we have Dorci and Jenna that are doing a great job leading the team to be the best that they can be. Our strength will be our team unity and the willingness to work hard each day to get better. We expect great things from Dorci this year. She is a smart player with a phenomenal hit.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 at Loyal Quad, 4 p.m.; Aug. 27-28 at Menomonie Sprawl (UW-Stout), 8 a.m.; Sept. 9 at Stratford, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Auburndale Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 GILMAN, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 16 w/Phillips at Three Lakes, 5:30 p.m.; Sept. 18 at Chippewa Falls McDonell Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 21 at Loyal, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 23 OWEN-WITHEE, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Medford Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 at Neillsville, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 30 at Colby, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 5 GREENWOOD, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 7 at Spencer, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 12 Cloverbelt Conference crossover, TBA; Oct. 14 Cloverbelt Conference Crossover, TBA.


EDGAR WILDCATS

Coach: Evan Krebsbach, second year.

Last year’s record: 5-7, 2-3 fourth place Marawood Conference South Division.

Returning players: Reagan Borchardt, jr., middle blocker, second-team all-Marawood South in 2020; Kendalyn Dahlke, jr., setter/hitter, honorable mention all-Marawood South in 2020; Natalie Krause, jr., libero.

Top newcomers: Lydia Huehnerfuss, sr., defensive specialist; Sasha Huehnerfuss, sr., defensive specialist; Sophia Larson, sr., serving specialist; Kyra Anderson, so., outside hitter; Brooke Imhoff, so., hitter; Emily Murkowski, so, outside hitter.

From Coach Krebsbach: "Our expectations this season are to merely stick together and go farther together. Last season we were babies against a lot of senior-loaded teams and put up really great fights and learned a ton from those defeats. This season, those close losses have give us a lot of confidence to push forward and stronger together. My expectations are to win gold every day in the journey to whereever this season takes us, but focus on the little things and the big things will come as they may."

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 at Spencer Invitational, 1 p.m.; Aug. 31 COLBY, 7 p.m.; Sept. 2 NORTHLAND LUTHERAN, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7 at Marathon, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 at Rib Lake, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14 at Auburnadale, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21 ASSUMPTION, 7 p.m.; Sept. 23 CRANDON, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28 WAUSAU NEWMAN CATHOLIC, 7 p.m.; Oct. 2 MARAWOOD CROSSOVER CHALLENGE NO. 1, 10 a.m.; Oct. 5 at Stratford, 7 p.m.; Oct. 7 at Pittsville, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 9 EDGAR INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.; Oct. 12 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 2 at Marathon, 4 p.m.


GREENWOOD INDIANS

Coach: Jenni Mayenschein, 15th year.

Last year’s record: 2-8, 2-5 fifth place in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Returning players: Alane Artac, sr., outside hitter/libero, all-Cloverbelt Conference East choice in 2020; Mesa Rasmuseen, sr., outside hitter, honorable mention all-Cloverbelt East last year; Loren Ingold, sr., middle blocker; Rylie Gardner, sr., middle blocker; Jasmine Wolf, sr., middle blocker; Kia Abel, sr., outside hitter; Emma Schlough, sr., setter.

Key newcomers: Avery Wuethrich, so., setter; Delaney Kirchner, jr., setter/outside hitter.

From Coach Mayenschein: “We expect to finish in top half of the conference standings, if all things come together. We have some varsity experience, but with the shortened season, it wasn’t enough to truly be varsity experience for all my returners.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 at Elmwood Invitational, 4 p.m.; Aug. 26 GREENWOOD QUAD, 4 p.m.; Aug. 28 at Neillsville Invitational, 9 a.m.; Aug. 31 at Augusta, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 2 GREENWOOD QUAD, 5 p.m.; Sept. 7 GREENWOOD QUAD, 5 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Chippewa Falls McDonell Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 at Owen-Withee, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 16 at Pittsville, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 21 NEILLSVILLE, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 23 at Loyal, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 28 COLBY, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 30 SPENCER, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 5 at Marshfield Columbus Catholic, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 7 GILMAN, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 12 Cloverbelt Conference crossover, TBA; Oct. 14 Cloverbelt Conference Crossover, TBA.


IOLA-SCANDINAVIA THUNDERBIRDS

Coach: Houston Kizewski, first year.

Last year’s record: 8-6, 3-2 Central Wisconsin Conference East Division.

Returning players: Jaelyn Sivertson, jr., outside hitter, 151 kills, 196 digs, first-team all-CWC in 2020; MaKayla Much, sr., outside hitter, 38 kills in 2020; Marin Hoyord, sr., setter/right-side hitter, 217 assists, 31 aces, honorable mention all-CWC last year.

Key newcomers: Myah Heschke, so., middle hitter; Maddie Much, so., right-side hitter; Lilly Fuhs, jr., middle hitter.

From Coach Kizewski: “We are expecting to be a contender for conference. We have great attitudes, are always supporting and respecting each other. They are always willing ot learn and try new things. Our outside hitters should be strong. We have new middles this year who want ot learn and have stepped up their play. I’m looking forward to stepping our blocking.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 at Winneconne Invitational, 5 p.m.; Aug. 26 ASSUMPTION & PORT EDWARDS, 5 p.m.; Aug. 28 at Oshkosh Lourdes Invitational, 8 a.m.; Sept. 2 at Almond-Bancroft Quad, 5 p.m.; Sept. 9 at Auburndale, 7 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Auburndale Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 at Menominee Indian, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 21 WITTENBERG-BIRNAMWOOD, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 23 at Amherst, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 28 WEYAUWEGA-FREMONT, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 30 ST. MARY CATHOLIC, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5 at Shiocton, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 7 at Manawa, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 12 BONDUEL, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 14 ROSHOLT, 7:30 p.m.

LOYAL GREYHOUNDS

Coach: Jaedyn Pieper, second year.

Last year’s record: 2-6, 1-3 sixth place in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Returning players: Mckenna Schley, sr., setter, honorable mention all-Cloverbelt East in 2020, three-year player; Haven Peroshek, sr., outside hitter; Abrial Kubista, sr., middle hitter, three-year player; Zaida Brock, sr., defensive specialist; Aspen Hagen, jr., middle hitter; Anna Lindner, jr., right/outside hitter.

Key newcomers: Alyssia Zvolena, jr., middle/outside hitter; Shalisha Buchanan, jr., outside hitter; Danielle Strey, so., defensive specialist; Mya Rueth, so., defensive specialist.

From Coach Pieper: “My expectation for this year is to build a team that is determined and motivated to strengthen their skills and fundamentals. We have a phenomenal setter (Mckenna Schley) who is a crucial part of our team and I am so glad I get to experience her senior year with her and see what she can achieve. My hitters are all learning new positions and have had many bumps in the road, but continue to work hard. This team is very scrappy and whether a play is pretty or not, they won’t give up until they hear that whistle. We are a young team that has to continue to gel and work together, but I look forward to this season and to see where our seniors can lead us.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 LOYAL QUAD, 4 p.m.; Aug. 31 ASSUMPTION, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 2 w/Prentice at Thorp, 5 p.m.; Sept. 7 STANLEY-BOYD, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Chippewa Falls McDonell Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 at Neillsville, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 16 at Marathon, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21 MARSHFIELD COLUMBUS CATHOLIC, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 23 GREENWOOD, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Abbotsford Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 at Spencer, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 30 OWEN-WITHEE, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 5 at Gilman, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 7 COLBY, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 12 Cloverbelt Conference crossover, TBA; Oct. 14 Cloverbelt Conference Crossover, TBA.



Marshfield's Casey Frankland led the Tigers in kills in 2020 and earned second-team all-Wisconsin Valley Conference honors as the Tigers won the WVC championship. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)

MARSHFIELD TIGERS

Coach: Dawn Sadowska, 31st year.

Last year’s record: 9-4, 9-3 Wisconsin Valley Conference co-champions with D.C. Everest.

Returning players: Casey Frankland, sr., outside hitter, second-team all-WVC last year, led team in kills; Elise Uphoff, jr., libero, honorable mention all-WVC; Rylee Corteen, jr., middle blocker, led team in block kills in 2020; Caitlyn Pernsteiner, jr., middle blocker; Sidney Mattson, sr., hitter; Madilynn Tesmer, sr., hitter; Ashley Barwick, so., defensive specialist; Abby Ongna, so., hitter.

Key newcomers: Grace Taylor, so., hitter; Reinya Balderson, jr., setter; Nora Meissner, jr., setter; Grace Maguire, jr., utility.

From Coach Sadowska: “We have extremely high expectations for this season. We have a very strong returning core of players, including starters in Casey, Rylee, Caitlyn, and Elise, so we expect to win another conference championship and end up in the sectional final in October. Our seniors, Casey, Maddy, and Sidney, have shown great leadership throughout this summer and have kept this group of girls focused on getting better in the weight room and on the court. Our young returning and newcomer players will make great contributions in rounding out our lineup. Our strengths this year will definitely be the fire power we have in all of our offensive positions and the relentless defense from our libero. I’m really excited about what this team has the potential to do.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 Big Rivers/Wisconsin Valley Conference Challenge at Chippewa Falls, 2 p.m.; Aug. 27-28 at Sun Prairie Invitational, 9 a.m.; Aug. 31 STRATFORD, 7 p.m.; Sept. 2 at D.C. Everest, 7 p.m.; Sept. 4 MARSHFIELD INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.; Sept. 9 WAUSAU WEST, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16 at Wisconsin Rapids, 7 p.m.; Sept. 18 Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet No. 1 at Wausau West, 10 a.m.; Sept. 30 WAUSAU EAST, 7 p.m.; Oct. 2 at Lodi Invitational, 9 a.m.; Oct. 7 at Stevens Point, 7 p.m.; Oct. 9 Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet No. 2 at Merrill, 10 a.m.; Oct. 12 at Wausau West, 7 p.m.; Oct. 14 MERRILL, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16 at Lakeland Invitational, 9 a.m.


MOSINEE INDIANS

Coach: Justin Jacobs, 10th year.

Last year’s record: 16-3, 9-0 Great Northern Conference champions for fourth-straight year.

Returning players: Alexis Jonas, jr., setter, co-captain; Abbi Martin, sr., middle blocker, first-team all-Great Northern Conference in 2020, co-captain; Jessica Maurer, sr., outside hitter, second-team all-GNC, co-captain; Jenna Placek, sr., middle blocker, honorable mention all-GNC; Claire Selenske, sr., outside hitter, co-captain; Dannica Shupe, sr., opp.

Key newcomers: Brooke Baumann, sr., outside hitter/opp.; Jessica Brown, sr., defensive specialist; Maline Carattini, jr., opp./middle blocker; Lisa Maurer, fr., defensive specialist/setter; Hailey Shnowske, sr., defensive specialist; Makayla Weisner, so., outside hitter/opp.; Tristan Wicklund, so., defensive specialist/setter; Maggie Woller, fr., middle blocker.

From Coach Jacobs: “We are returning five players who started in the sectional finals last year and will look to them for leadership early on. We’re looking to build on our 44-game win streak in conference and try and win a fifth consecutive GNC Championship. We want to keep improving every day and be playing our best ball come tournament time.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 MOSINEE TRIANGULAR, 3 p.m.; Aug. 27-28 at Memomonie Sprawl (UW-Stout), 8 a.m.; Sept. 2 at Medford, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7 RHINELANDER, 7 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Auburndale Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 at Tomahawk, 7 p.m.; Sept. 18 Great Northern Conference Meet No. 1 at Medford, 10 a.m.; Sept. 21 ANTIGO, 7 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Appleton East Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 at Lakeland, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4 at Wausau West, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5 NORTHLAND PINES, 7 p.m.; Oct. 9 GREAT NORTHERN CONFERENCE MEET NO. 2, 10 a.m.; Oct. 12 MEDFORD, 7 p.m.; Oct. 14 at Marathon, 7 p.m.


NEILLSVILLE WARRIORS

Coach: Tim Voight, fifth year.

Last year’s record: 7-6, 5-2 tied for second in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Returning players: Delaney Rochester, jr., setter; all-Cloverbelt East in 2020; Amelia Trunkel, jr., hitter; Avery McFarlane, jr., middle hitter, all-Cloverbelt East; Maggie Hoeser, sr., hitter/setter; Callee Mohr, jr., libero; Kylie Boyer, sr., hitter; Paris Opelt, so., hitter; Kati Mayer, sr., hitter/setter.

Key newcomer: Paige Voight, so., middle hitter.

From Coach Voight: “Team expectations include quick starts, communication, being aggressive, chemistry, creating blocking challenges for opponents with the goal of being a conference champ.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 at Cadott Triangular, 5 p.m.; Aug. 28 NEILLSVILLE INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.; Sept. 9 at Assumption, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13 at Mondovi Quad, 5 p.m.; Sept. 14 LOYAL, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 18 at Wausau West Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 21 at Greenwood, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 23 at Colby, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 28 MARSHFIELD COLUMBUS CATHOLIC, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 30 at Gilman, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 5 SPENCER, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 7 at Owen-Withee, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 12 Cloverbelt Conference crossover, TBA; Oct. 14 Cloverbelt Conference Crossover, TBA.


PACELLI CARDINALS

Coach: Jackie Struble, sixth year.

Last year’s record: 15-1, 6-0 Central Wisconsin Conference South Division champions.

Returning players: Kylie Struble, sr., libero, first-team all CWC South and All-State, 62 aces, 232 digs in 2020, four-year starter; Grace Auer, jr.; Laine Ilkka, jr.; Claire Sobczak, jr.

Key newcomers: Isabelle Hinaus, so., middle blocker; Casey Vaughn, so., outside hitter.

From Coach Struble: “We lose nearly our entire starting team with six players graduating and one senior returning. This will be a year of development and growth. We are a very inexperienced and young team. We are focused at playing as a team and being better every game. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The team goal is to defend our conference championship. We have a team motto: GRIT – gutsiness, resilience, intensity, teamwork.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 25 at Neenah St. Mary Catholic Quad, 5 p.m.; Aug. 28 at Oshkosh Lourdes Invitational, 8 a.m.; Sept. 8 at Port Edwards, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Auburndale Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 ROSHOLT, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 16 at Wittenberg-Birnamwood Triangular, 5 p.m.; Sept. 18 at Chippewa Falls McDonell Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 21 at Tri-County, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 23 PITTSVILLE, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 2 at Oostburg Invitational, 9 a.m.; Oct. 5 at Almond-Bancroft, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 7 MARATHON, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 12 WILD ROSE, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 14 AMHERST, 7:30 p.m.


PITTSVILLE PANTHERS

Coach: Rob Heller, third year.

Last year’s record: 3-7, 2-4 tied for fifth place in Central Wisconsin Conference South Division.

Returning players: Angel Millard, sr., setter; Vanessa Pelot, so., setter; Madisyn Schooley, sr., middle hitter; Haylee Zawislan, jr., middle hitter; Sara Lacoursiere, sr., outside hitter.

Key newcomers: Reese Grimm, fr., outside hitter; Emma Toltzman, sr., defensive specialist; Haley Delaney, so., defensive specialist; Kaylee Jacobson, fr., defensive specialist; Savanna Frederick, sr., middle/outside hitter; Brynn Friday, fr., middle/outside hitter; Brooke Grossman, fr., utility.

From Coach Heller: “We are a very young varsity squad but we won’t use that as an excuse…our goal is to be competitive with everyone we play. We have a great combination of height, speed and athleticism. As we grow as a team, we will be harder and harder to play.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 28 at Neillsville Tournament, 9 a.m.; Aug. 31 at Nekoosa Quad, 4 p.m.; Sept. 2 at Stratford, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7 at Rosholt, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 9 at Spencer, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 14 TRI-COUNTY, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 16 GREENWOOD, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 18 at New Lisbon Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 23 at Pacelli, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Westfield Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 ALMOND-BANCROFT, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 30 ASSUMPTION, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 5 at Wild Rose, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 7 EDGAR, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 12 PORT EDWARDS, 7:30 p.m.


PORT EDWARDS BLACKHAWKS

Coach: Lisa Miller, 23rd year.

Last year’s record: 4-5, 2-4 tied for fifth place in Central Wisconsin Conference South Division.

Returning players: Taylor Martin, sr., setter, second-team all-CWC South, led team in kills, assists and serving in 2020; Allie Gessert, sr., outside hitter, honorable mention all CWC South, second on team in kills and serving in 2020; Emily Frizzel, jr., outside hitter; Bella Hanten, jr., middle hitter; Kailer Lyp, jr., right side hitter.

Key newcomers: Kat Hamus, sr., middle hitter; Shayla McDonald, sr., middle hitter; Samantha Rasmussen, sr., right side hitter; Emily Callahan, jr., setter; Melanie Sillars, jr., right side hitter; Annie Friday, so., outside hitter; Aliyah Ruiz, so., outside/middle hitter.

From Coach Miller: “Our expectations are high this year, working hard as a team to find success. The returning varsity players bring great leadership to this team and know that giving your all is what we need to do to achieve great things. We have a strong bench this year, which is going to be an advantage for us. After last year, we are just so excited to be playing a regular season.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 26 at Iola-Scandinavia Triangular, 5 p.m.; Aug. 30 at Marion, 7:15 p.m.; Aug. 31 at Nekoosa Quad, 4 p.m.; Sept. 2 at Greenwood Tournament, 5 p.m.; Sept. 7 PACELLI, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 11 PORT EDWARDS QUAD, 11 a.m.; Sept. 13 at Nekoosa, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14 at Almond-Bancroft, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 16 GRESHAM, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 21 WILD ROSE, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 27 NORTHLAND LUTHERAN, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 28 at Rosholt, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 5 TRI-COUNTY, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 12 at Pittsville, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 14 at Bowler, 7:30 p.m.


SPENCER ROCKETS

Coach: Alicia Herman, first year.

Last year’s record: 0-9, 0-6 eight place in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Returning players: Rebecca Mlsna, sr., right-side hitter; Madison Knecht, sr., outside hitter; Mallori Barth, sr., middle hitter; Heavyn Kind, sr., outside hitter; Jorie Meyer, sr., middle hitter; Tamara Blume, sr., right-side hitter; Hayly Smith, so., defensive specialist/right-side hitter.

Key newcomers: Hallie Meyer, fr., setter; Hannah Reckner, so., setter; Alexa Stange, fr., libero.

From Coach Herman: “We are a very experienced team this year with high expectations for ourselves. We hope to utilize our hitters more and to be competitive in the Cloverbelt Conference this year.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 SPENCER INVITATIONAL, 1 p.m.; Aug. 26 at Stanley-Boyd, 7:15 p.m.; Aug. 28 at Marathon Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 2 RIB LAKE, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 9 PITTSVILLE, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Auburndale Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 at Colby, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 21 OWEN-WITHEE, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 23 at Gilman, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Abbotsford Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 LOYAL, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 30 at Greenwood, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 5 at Neillsville, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 7 MARSHFIELD COLUMBUS CATHOLIC, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 12 Cloverbelt Conference crossover, TBA; Oct. 14 Cloverbelt Conference Crossover, TBA.


STEVENS POINT PANTHERS

Coach: Molly Williams, third year.

Last year’s record: 6-9 in 2021 alternate fall season.

Returning players: Montana Zdroik, sr., setter, 300 assists, 45 service aces, committed to play at Lakeland Univeristy; Alli Schrank, jr., libero, 104 digs last season; Maddy Miklesh, sr., outside hitter, libero in 2020; Avery Lilly, sr., outside hitter, 90 digs as defensive specialist last season.

Key newcomers: Madi Laaab, sr., middle hitter; Emma Barton, jr., middle hitter; Megan Stremer, sr., right side hitter, two-year starter in 2018 & 2019, did not play in spring season; Ava Boettcher, sr., defensive specialist; Sam Nickel, jr., defensive specialist.

From Coach Williams: “We have a very tough serving team and serve teams out often. We have a very strategic group that works extremely hard to find open shots. W are a very defensive and we make teams work hard to score points. We hope that being back in the Wisconsin Valley will be a great thing for us, and our team goal is to become conference champs again. We feel not many of our conference teams know much about us and I think we will surprise many teams this year with the success we want to have.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 STEVENS POINT INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.; Aug. 27-28 at Menomonie Sprawl (UW-Stout), 8 a.m.; Sept. 4 at D.C. Everest Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 9 MERRILL, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16 at D.C. Everest, 7 p.m.; Sept. 18 Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet No. 1 at Wausau West, 10 a.m.; Sept. 23 WAUSAU WEST, 7 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Appleton East Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 EAU CLAIRE MEMORIAL, 7 p.m.; Sept. 30 at Wisconsin Rapids, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5 at Chippewa Falls, 7 p.m.; Oct. 7 MARSHFIELD, 7 p.m.; Oct. 9 Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet No. 2 at Merrill, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12 at Merrill, 7 p.m.; Oct. 14 at Wausau East, 7 p.m.


STRATFORD TIGERS

Coach: Brooke Kafka, 11th year.

Last year’s record: 11-3, 6-0 Marawood Conference South Division champions.

Returning players: Megan Wiese, sr., middle hitter; Hailey Chapel, sr., setter; Ally Zuleger, sr., setter.

Key newcomers: Delaney Dennee, sr., outside hitter; Kylee Manecke, sr., defensive specialist; Tessa Berg, jr., middle/outside hitter; Ava Weix, jr., defensive specialist; Allison Lindner, jr., outside hitter.

From Coach Kafka: “As we enter a season after a senior-led team last year, we will focus on small steps towards our big goal. We may look experienced on paper, with a junior and senior filled roster, but the reality is that we have little varsity experience on our team. We will lean on those with experience and build our team physically and mentally each day. We will find strength in our leadership and team comradery.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 28 at Marathon Invitational, 9 a.m.; Aug. 31 at Marshfield, 7 p.m.; Sept. 2 PITTSVILLE, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7 at Assumption, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 at Marshfield Columbus Catholic, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Auburndale Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 14 WAUSAU NEWMAN CATHOLIC, 7 p.m.; Sep.t 20 at Colby, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 21 at Auburndale, 7 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Abbotsford Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 at Marathon, 7 p.m.; Oct. 2 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 1 at Abbotsford, 10 a.m.; Oct. 5 EDGAR, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12 Marawood Crossover Challenge No. 2 at Marathon, 4 p.m.


WILD ROSE WILDCATS

Coach: Jason Kirby.

Last year’s record: 3-5, 3-3 third place in Central Wisconsin Conference South Division.

Requested information on the team was not provided.

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 28 at Omro Invitational, 9 a.m.; Aug. 31 at Manawa, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 2 GRESHAM, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 7 ALMOND-BANCROFT, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 9 WEYAUWEGA-FREMONT, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Port Edwards Quad, 11 a.m.; Sept. 13 at Adams-Friendship, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16 at Marion, 7:15 p.m.; Sept. 21 at Port Edwards, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 23 ROSHOLT, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 28 at Tri-County, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 30 NORTHLAND LUTHERAN, 7:15 p.m.; Oct. 5 PITTSVILLE, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 12 at Pacelli, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 14 at Assumption, 7 p.m.


WISCONSIN RAPIDS RAIDERS

Coach: Valerie Tonn, seventh year.

Last year’s record: 3-8, sixth place in Wisconsin Valley Conference.

Returning players: Hayley Wagner, sr., libero/setter, second-team all-WVC, second in WVC in digs in 2020, fourth-year varsity player; Kylie Ellis, sr., setter; second WVC in service aces; Madeline Hepp, sr., defensive specialist; Natalie Yanke, sr., outside hitter; Raya Broeren, sr., defensive specialist; Tayler Cashman, sr., outside hitter; Aria Firscher, sr.,; Aliyah Jennings, jr., middle hitter; Grace Jahns, jr., middle hitter, sixth in WVC in blocking; Lauren Steinert, jr., outside hitter.

Key newcomer: Destinee Steinhafel, jr., libero/defensive specialist.

From Coach Tonn: “We’re looking forward to competing this season with a full returning roster. We will be missing our tall lefty, Clendenning, from last season, but we have filled her spot with Fischer and she is definitely a force in the front. If we can stay together as a team, we will be in a good position to finish sets and win matches.”

Schedule (HOME IN CAPS): Aug. 24 at Stevens Point Invitational, 9 a.m.; Aug. 26 AUBURNDALE, 7 p.m.; Aug. 28 WISCONSIN RAPIDS INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.; Sept. 2 at Wausau West, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 at Antigo, 7 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Appleton West Invitational, 8:30 a.m.; Sept. 16 MARSHFIELD, 7 p.m.; Sept. 18 Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet No. 1 at Wausau West, 10 a.m.; Sept. 23 at Wausau East, 7 p.m.; Sept. 25 at Monona Grove Invitational, 9 a.m.; Sept. 28 CHIPPEWA FALLS, 7 p.m.; Sept. 30 STEVENS POINT, 7 p.m.; Oct. 7 at Merrill, 7 p.m.; Oct. 9 Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet No. 2 at Merrill, 10 a.m.; Oct. 14 D.C. EVEREST, 7 p.m.

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