Burro volleyball prepared for scoreboard improvement


EPPS/NEWS LEADER Jessie Schreiber attacks as Sydney Taylor (center) and Kaci Ruen set up double block as Lanesboro prepares for Aug. 22 season and home opener against Grand Meadow.
By: 
S. Lee Epps

Interest is strong with 28 high school players on the court. The girls love playing volleyball, says head coach Julie Schreiber, who enters her fourth season of building the volleyball program at Lanesboro.

All components are in place, and the program is on solid ground - except for the win total. The Burros were 6-25 (2-12 SEC) last fall after going 5-26 (1-12) the previous autumn.

Will this be a year for a major step up in scoreboard success? One knowledgeable area coach thinks so, saying "Lanesboro could be very much improved over last season."

Six seniors graduated, including an all-conference middle hitter and the libero. But much of the playing rotation in 2018 does retain eligibility in 2019.

Although only a sophomore, setter Ella Cambern will be directing the 5-1 (one setter) attack for a third straight season.

Junior right side hitter Sydney Taylor will also be starting for the third year and was her teammates' choice for the Most Dedicated award.

The four seniors are all experienced hitters - Payton Benson, Kaylee Peterson, Sophia Simes and Madelyn Haugen.

Sophomore libero Malia Tessum saw significant action last year and was voted the team's Best Defensive Player.

There are seven juniors. In addition to Taylor, look for contributions from Brooke Lambrecht, Madison Ehler, Kendall Stettler, Ashlyn Guenther, Alison Freese and Addy Harvey.

Most numerous are the 10 sophomores. In addition to Cambern and Tessum, there are libero Eleyna Wyant, Alyssa Gehrke, Libby St. Mane, Cassidy Zawislakis, Breanna Covey, Mackenzie Brand, Lydia Betz and Hannah Bothun.

Freshmen could make a difference as well. Jessie Schreiber and Kaci Ruen, both 5-foot-11, can supply always valuable height at the net.  Classmates are Chloe Schnebly, Sarah Eversole and Skyler Check.

Also working out with the high school girls are eighth graders Ellie Anderson and Lynsey Ruen.

The coaches

After coaching in Nebraska, Schreiber guides the Burro program for the fourth season, aided by many-year veteran assistant Dave Rogers.

Lindsay Hanson returns for a second season with the freshmen. Jessi Schnebly will again guide the junior high girls, assisted this year by Mackenzie Hanson.

Outlook

Experience is certainly a plus, and Schreiber would like to employ a more up-tempo attack while improving serve receive. There are some tall middle hitters.

Schreiber also noted that many players put in many hours this summer, including team and individual camps. There was also a school-wide strength and conditioning program.

Outside observers expect Lanesboro to be improved, maybe significantly. But after disappointing recent six and five-win seasons, the Burros need to believe in themselves as well.

Early-season success could be a confidence builder. However, the season opener will be a challenge. Grand Meadow has won three straight SEC West Division championships. The Superlarks graduated four seniors from last year's 24-10 season.

The start

After hosting SEC West champion Grand Meadow tonight (Aug. 22). The Burros hit the road to Lyle for a Tuesday, Aug. 27, SEC match against West Division runner-up Lyle/Pacelli (10-16 last year).

It is back home on Thursday, Aug. 29, against West Division last-place Glenville-Emmons (2-18 last year). Labor Day Saturday (Aug. 31) brings the annual Mabel-Canton Tournament.

The complete schedule will be featured in next week's News Leader.