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Seven seniors lead the way for WP volleyball PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 21:06

Wauneta-Palisade returning letter winners are (clockwise from bottom middle) Brianna Einspahr, Nicole Strand, Leiauna Alberts, Lesley Stehno, Sydnee Harchelroad and Hannah Nordhausen. (Diane Stamm | The Wauneta Breeze)

 

By Diane Stamm

The Wauneta Breeze

 

With seven seniors and four returning starters, the Wauneta-Palisade Lady Bronco volleyball team enters the 2014 season hoping to improve on last season’s 18-7 record.

Seniors Sydnee Harchelroad and Brianna Einspahr were named to the RPAC West Division All-Conference team last season.

Fellow senior Lesley Towery was named to the second team list despite missing much of the season with a knee injury.

Senior Leiauna Alberts also started as setter for the Broncos last season and classmates Nicole Strand and Hannah Nordhausen finished 2013 as letter winners. Kian Jones gives the team seven seniors.

The Broncos have four juniors, two sophomores and nine freshmen on the roster.

Coach Michelle Harchelroad says practices are a work in progress with such a disparity in experience.

“There is just such a difference in skill level that practices have been hard so I have had to split a lot of things up so we can have effective practices,” Coach Harchelroad said.

Leading up to the start of practices Aug. 18, the team spent time on the court this season at the YMCA League in McCook, team camps in Kearney and North Platte and a two-day clinic at the school, plus working in the weight room.

The seniors are showing good leadership, according to Coach Harchelroad, and “each one brings a little different approach to how they lead.”

Aside from leading, Coach Harchelroad says she looks for Strand and Nordhausen to step up, as well as juniors Ellie Lee and Cameo Rector.

Coach Harchelroad says she hopes the team will play at a level that is “state worthy,” part of which will hinge on great defense from her team, an area which has caused trouble in the past.

The team has been working towards daily practice goals to better prepare for games.

“We want to be able to walk off the court after a game and say we played as well as we possibly could,” Coach Harchelroad said.

Much of that will land on the shoulders of the returning letter winners.

“I hope that with the experience that Leiauna got last year that the mental toughness will be there. She has a lot of potential and I really am expecting that from her. Brianna is so important in the back row, but I feel the team relies on her too much sometimes,” Coach Harchelroad said, adding, “Lesley and Sydnee really need to have great seasons. They work very well together and have a lot to bring to the game.  They are fun to watch working together, they love the game and it shows.”

The Broncos’ schedule begins at 2013 state qualifier Wallace Thursday, Sept. 4 and the regular season ends with the Wildcats in Wauneta Oct. 28.

After hosting Sioux County Friday, Sept. 5, the Broncos will remain at home with a triangular against two Kansas schools, Rawlins County and St. Francis, Thursday, Sept. 11.

WP’s schedule also includes playing at always tough Southwest, hosting C1 Chase County and D1 Dundy County-Stratton, tournaments at Paxton, Brady and Axtell plus the RPAC tournament.

“I really don’t know what to expect from the other teams this season,” said Coach Harchelroad. “I hope we have some great competition early so I can really see our weaknesses.  I don’t like to look too far ahead because anything can happen but I will say I am excited to take the court and see where we match up against the teams in our class this season.”