Longtime Ashby head volleyball coach Brenda Johnson’s job this season will be to fill the shoes left by graduation – and those shoes are pretty big.
Lost from last year’s team were Andrea Moe, the Arrows’ key setter, team assists leader and captain; Kelly Falk, hitter and captain; and Amanda Johnson, Little Eight All-Conference hitter, captain and the team’s most valuable player on offense.
She is, however, not without options.
Returning to the team are three senior tri-captains in hitter Haley Ness, middle hitter Mackenzie Schmuck and right side hitter Mariah Nelson, all of whom bring valuable talents and experience to the team.
“Ness is a solid all-around player with natural ability,” said Johnson. “She was a team captain last year and was the team’s most valuable defensive player. Haley is an explosive player and will be asked to carry the team in crunch situations. She brings great court awareness to the floor.
In Schmuck, who started at middle hitter in 2009, Johnson sees the ability to shut down opponents’ middles.
Senior outside hitter Gina Mickelson, another returner, is a great floor leader and can play all positions if needed. “We will be looking for Gina to find some holes on the floor. She is a great server,” Johnson noted.
Senior right side hitter Hayley Barry will also give the Arrows great strength in the setting department, and help keep the team organized on the floor.
Senior Megan Rein will do a little of everything for the Ashby squad.
The final senior, Chasity Spenst, is a middle hitter and hard worker, who will fill a much-needed spot on the roster.
A pair of juniors are among the returning letter winners in Kami Bogenrief, libero/right side hitter, and Ashley Ness, middle hitter.
Those players include Meghann Roley, outside hitter; Paige Nelson, outside hitter; Amber Sundal, libero/setter; Bailey Funkhouser, middle hitter; Alexis Ness, middle hitter; Jeannette Evavold, hitter/setter; and Caity Chap, defensive specialist.