The St. Mary’s Knights volleyball team has been eagerly awaiting a return to play this fall.

The St. Mary’s Knights volleyball team has been eagerly awaiting a return to play this fall and they are all excited to start the season. Varsity Coach Jen Walter said she has quite a few returning starters, which she knows will make a huge difference. “They are used to playing with one another and have great chemistry,” she said.

Coaches: Varsity - Jen Walter; B-Squad - Cassie Schwartz; C-Squad - Andrea Rothmeier; Volunteer Coach - George Schwint; Jr. High Coaches - Karri Hoffmann and Rachel Windschitl

Players lost to graduation: Lauren Hoffmann and Madesen Roberts.

Seniors: Trista Ibberson, Leah Miller, Emily Weiss, and Sydney Windschitl.

Players to watch

Coach Walter said:

“Mads (Madison Mathiowetz, junior MH) has really figured out her swing this year and has become a much more versatile player. She is a tremendous blocker and will be tough to get around in the front row.

“Em (Emily Weiss, senior MH) is my other middle hitter and is also a great blocker. She has added in many off-speed and well thought out ways to attack the other team's defense. She'll be a frustration for the other team for sure.

“Bella Hoffmann and Allison Labat (sophomore setters) make up a dynamic duo as setters for us. They both love to run an uptempo offense and push their hitters out of their comfort zone—just enough to help them gain the confidence to try new things. They also can both play defense in the back row and hustle to what some might think are unsettable balls.

“Syd (Sydney Windschitl, senior OH) has been playing varsity for the past three years and is excited to get to play her senior year. She will be playing all around for us. Syd has a very controlled hit and can handle an out of system ball with ease.

“Trista's (Trista Ibberson, senior OH) love for the game of volleyball has fueled her desire to keep working to improve each and every day. She is positive with her teammates and pushes them to work harder. Trista also has a very aggressive swing on the outside and can bring some heat.

“Reagan (Severson, juniotr Libero/RH) is a very versatile player that might be playing several different roles for us this year. She is willing to try and do what is best for the team. She is one of our stronger passers on the team and will be an asset wherever she is needed.

“Leah (Miller, senior DS) is a hard worker and great defender in the back row. She is able to play multiple positions for us and is always positive and smiling. She has put in a lot of time in the offseason lifting weights and practicing and you can tell it has paid off.”

Top teams this year:

Coach Walter hopes the Knights will be towards the top of the pack in the conference.

“We have been close to that Conference Championship several times and of course that is one of our main goals for the season,” Walter said. “We also want to make some more noise in the postseason. Last year we lost a second round home game, to a very good Cleveland team, but it was not the way we wanted our season to end. Because there is not a State tournament this year, our goal will be to playing in the Section Championship in December.”