St. Croix Central volleyball team has promising first week of seasonThe first week of the season showed definite promise for the St. Croix Central volleyball team.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The first week of the season showed definite promise for the St. Croix Central volleyball team.
The Panthers played in two quad meets, at Cumberland last Tuesday and in their home quad last Thursday, and the Panthers were able to win three of the six matches they played.
At Cumberland, the Panthers defeated the host team 15-25, 25-15, 15-9 and Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 25-19, 25-19. They suffered their only loss of the night against Osceola, 25-16, 25-20.
In their home quad, the Panthers began the night facing a powerful Hudson team. The Panthers put up a good fight but lost 25-21, 25-11. Central bounced back with a hard-fought 25-23, 16-25, 17-15 win over Prescott. In the final round the Panthers were edged by Greenwood 25-22, 25-23.
The Panthers are co-coached by Jenna Foley and Laura Lee. Lee said the coaches were pleased with the team’s energy in the first week of matches. The Panthers have one of their tallest teams in many years and the coaches are working to build around that height. The team rotates in defenders so they always have two challenging blockers at the net.
The coaches are looking to get more hitting success from the team. They said seeing Hudson, and how well the Raiders’ tall hitters could deliver their hits, was an excellent example for the Panthers to follow. Hudson ran nearly all of their hitting off quick sets. Lee said the goal is for the Panthers to be running more of their attack off quick sets too.
The Panthers are running out of a 6-2 formation. They have excellent depth at setter, with senior Laura DeSmith and sophomores Haylee Hawke and Sadie Buckel available to set.
There is a good mix of experience on the Panther varsity team, with five seniors, two juniors and five sophomores making the team. The coaches have laid out distinct responsibility roles for the team.
“We put it all on the seniors’ shoulders to guide the rest of the group,” Lee said.
The Panthers play a busy pre-season schedule to get ready for their Dunn-St. Croix Conference season. That continues on Thursday, when they play in a quad meet at Ellsworth. The Panthers will play at home next Tuesday in a dual match against Baldwin-Woodville.