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Four returners will lead spikers

Kristin Helgeson is aware the 2008 version of the Rosemount High School volleyball team will be young.

However, she also knows the young players have plenty of talent as they prepare to compete in the ultra-competitive Lake Conference.

"We look solid," Helgeson said after the first week of practice. "We are young. We have a handful of seniors, but we only have four returners who saw significant playing time."

Among those top returners expected to lead the way for the young Irish squad are Paige Petersen, Paige Carter, Laura Budinger and Hanah Dye.

"I would say we will be strong at the net," Helgeson said. "Right now, our offense looks to be our strength.

"I think our big players will be Paige Petersen on the right side, Paige Carter on the left side, Laura Budinger on defense and Hanah Dye will be in the middle."

Other players returning to the squad played a lot of volleyball during the off-season, which should help the Irish progress early on this season.

"They have been playing a lot," Helgeson said. "When we gel together, we are going to be a really solid team."

Although she hasn't set any specific goals for the season, Helgeson expects her team to be competitive every night.

"The conference is stacked again," she said. "There are a bunch of teams that are ranked. Every night is a competitive match.

"Right now, we are working hard. There is a lot of potential and depth in our program. That depth is going to be a major strength of ours. That is something that hasn't always existed."