Evergreen volleyball has won at least a share of the NWOAL title in each of the past three seasons. However, making it four in a row may not be as easy.
“I’m looking forward to another strong season as long as we continue to work hard,” said head coach Kelsey Wulf. “We need to stay focused and reach our team goals.”
To be champions once again, the Vikings must first fill the void left behind by their five departed letter winners – Haili Mossing (NWOAL Player of the Year, first team District 7), Eden Eisel (first team All-NWOAL, District 7), Rachael Noe (second team All-NWOAL, District 7 honorable mention), Kaela Fauble (honorable mention All-NWOAL) and Sydney Northrup (honorable mention All-NWOAL).
However, the Vikings do return six letter winners, two of whom missed all of last season with injuries.
Coming back are Alyssa Noe (first team All-NWOAL, second team District 7), Lindsay Carr, Megan Floyd, Lauren Overfield, Lexie Shipman, and Kori Kreuz. Both Carr and Shipman were forced to sit out last season after having surgery to repair a torn ACL.
“This team is very close, and works extremely well together. We gel well,” said Wulf of her team’s strengths. “We are defense orientated this season. Lots of great communicators on the team.”
The Vikes also add newcomers Lexie Truckor, Bailie Sutter, Hannah Herr, Courtney Krieger, Jamie VanLoocke, and Cecilia Silvestri.
After losing five quality players, there will definitely be some trouble areas for the defending champs.
“We will not be the tallest team in our league, which is why we are focusing a lot on defense,” explained Wulf. “We aren’t going to score off of our blocking. We’ve been plagued with injuries the last three seasons, and this year has been no exception. Staying injury-free will also be a goal of ours. Luckily, we’ve had great athletes step up and fill positions of injured athletes.”
But despite having some flaws, the Vikings’ number one goal is to hold onto the league crown, however difficult that may be to achieve.
“We’ve won the league the last three seasons, and it’s very difficult to stay on top, and this year will be the hardest yet,” said Wulf. “I anticipate us competing for another title, but we will have to work harder than ever before. This year, whoever wins league could have one loss at the end. and that’s because our league is really strong this year. We’ve seen most league teams at some point during summer play, and everyone is noticeably better. It’s going to be tough for whoever wins the league this year.”
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010