Gaels feel they’re ready for a breakthrough
The St. Edmond volleyball team will try to piggyback from the late-season success of the school’s softball program last month.
Seven of the 11 players on the Gael varsity roster were members of the softball squad that reached a Class 1A regional final.
“I’m so proud of the girls and the commitment they give to the athletic programs at St. Edmond as multi-sport athletes,” SEHS head coach Dee Huss said. “Our varsity volleyball team has great leadership up and down the roster.
“Our expectations are high.”
Six letterwinners are back following a 10-win season a year ago, including seniors Hannah Huss and Livi Huss. Juniors Erin Flattery, Macey Mason, Jacque Oberg and Devyn Scott all were regulars in the rotation as well.
Rounding out the roster are senior Hannah Schaeffer, junior Chloe Lewison and sophomores Josie Huss, Cambrie McBride and Rylee Kinney.
“Last year, we went through some growing pains early on with several young players trying to step into starting roles for the first time,” Huss said. “Our goal was simple: get better every day, learn how to play as a team and have fun in the process. I think we saw the payoff during regional play last year as we finished strong hosting the first three rounds at home and had a great fan base supporting us.
“This season they want more of the same, but have been challenging themselves to focus on the details and do the little things now.”
Hannah Huss led the Gaels in kills with 267 and aces with 62 a season ago. She also served at an 85-percent clip and recorded 26 blocks in earning second team all-North Central Conference, all-district and honorable mention all-state honors.
Flattery had 57 kills, Scott 32 and Livi Huss served 219 of 239 attempts with 27 aces.
“We’ve spent a lot of time together this summer between the weight room and the gym,” Huss said. “I am very pleased with our play this summer at team camps and scrimmages in the preseason. Since our first official day of practice on Aug. 7, we have averaged 6 to 8 hours in the gym every day working on individual skills training, game play drills and competing.
“The culture has been very competitive and focused during preseason so we are encouraged this will continue throughout the year.”
Just two players graduated from last season in Megan Flattery and Madi Engels. They combined for 252 kills, 35 aces 37 blocks.
“Our seniors are valuable to this team as they provide balance on the court,” Huss said. “Hannah has been part of the offensive attack since her freshman year and showed her skills in the back court last year in becoming a solid, all-around player. Livi is one of our main setters and Hannah (Schaeffer) will be an strong asset to the team.
“Macy is back at libero with Jacque by her side in the back court as a defensive specialist and setter. Erin and Devyn continue to improve on their skills and embrace their roles as middle blockers.”
After opening with Perry at home on Thursday, St. Edmond will host its own invitational this Saturday with Bishop Garrigan, Webster City, Southeast Valley, Pocahontas Area and Aplington-Parkersburg rounding out the field.
2017 ST. EDMOND VOLLEYBALL
Seniors — Hannah Huss, OH; Livi Huss, S/OH; Hannah Schaeffer, OH.
Juniors — Erin Flattery, MB; Macey Mason, L; Jacque Oberg, S/DS; Chloe Lewison, S/OH; Devyn Scott, MB.
Sophomores — Josie Huss, OH; Cambrie McBride, OH; Rylee Kinney, DS.
(Matches start at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Aug. 24 — Perry, 7 p.m.; 26 — host St. Edmond Invitational, 8:30 a.m.; 29 — Storm Lake; 31 — at Clarion-Goldfield/Dows.
Sept. 7 — Algona; 9 — at South Central Calhoun Invitational, 8 a.m.; 12 — at Clear Lake; 14 — at Eagle Grove; 17 — at CYO, noon; 19 — Iowa Falls-Alden; 28 — at Webster City.
Oct. 3 — Manson Northwest Webster; 5 — Hampton-Dumont; 12 — Humboldt.