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BEA volleyball is young but has experience on court

By Staff | Aug 28, 2015

The 2015 Blue Earth Area volleyball team is pictured above, front row, from left to right:?Hannah Haugh, Jennifer Scheid, Kris Hanson, Samantha Ripley and Delaney Zierke; Back row, from left to right: Sofie Blair, Samantha Barslou, Kaylor Jacobs, Lindsey Norman, Alissa Norman, Lindsey Jacobs and Maddi Oelke.

It was a young team last year, but now they have a full year under their belt coming into a new season.

The Blue Earth Area volleyball team has been practicing for the past two weeks before school starts and are already getting pumped for their first game.

“We are still a young team but we are getting stronger,”?coach Donna Nawrocki says.

And, the fact that most of the players are returning from last season with a lot of court time will definitely help as they jump into their new season.

“We have four sophomores, six juniors and two seniors,” Nawrocki explains. “Four of those juniors and three sophomores are returning from last year.”

This experience and time on the court together will only help the team work toward a strong season.

The varsity team includes 12 girls: Maddie Oelke, Lindsey Jacobs, Kaylor Jacobs, Lindsey Norman, Alissa Norman, Samantha Barslou, Sofie Blair, Samantha Ripley, Delaney Zierke, Kris Hanson, Jennifer Scheid and Hannah Haugh.

And, they are all ready to show the other Big South Conference teams what they’ve got.

“This team has gotten play time and are stronger from having more time on the court with each other,”?Nawrocki says.

She can already tell there has been improvement from the end of last season to the start of practice this fall, which started Aug. 17.

“There has been definite growth,”?Nawrocki says. “But this is a new season and we are looking forward.”

Much of that growth has come from the girls’ dedication and work put in during the off season.

“A?lot of them have put a lot of time in since last season,”?the Buc coach said. “Whether it be lifting, to working on their agility or just having more contact with the ball.”

The maroon and gold had a chance to put some of that off-season work to the test before their first game. The girls participated in a scrimmage featuring teams from the East Division of the Big South Conference.

“We played teams we normally would play anyway,”?Nawrocki says. “And, it looks like we will be competitive with our side of the conference this season.”

Last season the St. Peter Saints were the BSC champions and were one of the bigger competitions for the Bucs’ young team.

However, this year the Saints are starting without two of their girls who were six feet or taller.

“They lost two of their powerhouses from last season,” the maroon and gold coach says.

She adds that there does not seem to be any other teams that will be overpowering in the Bucs’ division of the conference.

“I think the teams will be pretty equal this year,” Nawrocki says.

Since the Buccaneers have had a little experience with their division of the BSC with their recent scrimmage, they will find a good balance starting out the regular season with two non-conference games. And, their first game will be played on the home court.

“We start out against Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial on Sept. 1,” Nawrocki says. “And, that will be a home game.”

The Bucs will play again on Sept. 3 against Le Sueur-Henderson which will be away.

“Those are both non-conference and it kind of gets our schedules going,” Nawrocki says. “We usually start out against LCWM.”

As for the girls, the coach is excited to see how things play out this season.

“We are a pretty balanced team offensively and defensively,” she says. “That’s always a good component to have.”

She adds that the time on the court last year is definitely going to carry over and help the team out this year.

“They are getting more confidence,” she adds. “They’re feeling better on the court and they are already really driven girls. I’m looking forward to having a fun and exciting season and to get on the court.”