Volleyball: Mixing in some fresh facesIn high school sports, it’s not difficult to turn the page from one year to the next.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
In high school sports, it’s not difficult to turn the page from one year to the next.
With so much turnover in players, teams are often breaking in new lineups each year.
The Rosemount volleyball team should have no trouble leaving last year’s 8-20 record in the past. After all, the Irish return just four starters from last season.
Mixing those four starters with a strong underclass group, Rosemount volleyball coach Kristin Helgeson believes she has the type of squad that won’t need to put a disappointing record behind them.
The hope is for an improved record the Irish will be proud to remember.
“It looks good,” Helgeson said. “It should be a good combination of older leadership and young talent.”
Seniors Hannah Buecksler, Sharon Flom, Jordan Hinkle, and Paige Peterson are back this season.
Peterson returns as the team’s leading hitter, coming off a junior season in which she accumulated 280 kills and All-Lake Conference honors.
Helgeson’s hope is Peterson’s presence will allow the younger hitters to develop.
“She’s in her fourth year as a starter, and she should definitely take some pressure off the other hitters,” Helgeson said. “Teams will key on her and it will open things up for the other strong hitters that we have.”
But while other teams will likely key on Peterson, Helgeson believes there are talented hitters among the underclassmen who will provide Rosemount with other offensive threats.
“It’s a matter of figuring it out,” Helgeson said. “We have a lot of very talented hitters who will work into their roles. It’s not a matter of trying to find someone else to go with Paige. We already have the hitters, it’s a matter of who shakes into what spots.”
Flom is a defensive specialist. She had 227 digs last season and might be joined on defense by Jordan Hinkle, who was mainly a hitter last season.
With the two experienced players leading the way, Rosemount should put a strong defensive unit on the court.
Flom also led the team with 31 service aces last season.
Hannah Buecksler led the team with 529 set assists last year and should also figure into the lineup.
Improving the final record will always be difficult for the Irish while they play in the Lake Conference.
Even the addition of Chanhassen High School — and splitting perennial power Chaska — won’t make a significant difference as Chaska will likely keep its top group together.
“I see us being a lot better than last year,” Helgeson said. “I think this team can make a legitimate run at a higher finish in the conference.”