By William

LINDSBORG – When you return and entire team you get high expectations and that is exactly how it is for the Smoky Valley girls volleyball team as they head into the 2020 season where they are ranked eighth in the pre-season Kansas Volleyball Association of Coaches Class 3A rankings.

The Lady Vikings in 2019 had no seniors and head into the 2020 season with 36 players at practice. Broken down they have eight seniors, six juniors, nine sophomores and thirteen freshmen.

Sharlene Ramsey will be at the helm for her third season and looks to build and improve from a season that saw the Lady Vikings finish second in their league at 7-2 while going 24-15 overall. Overall Ramsey is 39-30 in her first two seasons.

“We had some very impressive wins last season,” noted Coach Ramsey. “We beat the team, Royal Valley, who won the Class 3A state championship and did it in three sets at Abilene. We defeated Central Plains who went on to take the Class 2A championship while also taking Class 3A runner-up Beloit to three sets at the Southeast of Saline Tournament.”

Abby Rose is the top returnee as she was named honorable mention 3A all-state as well as first-team all-league.

Bri Franklin has earned second-team all-league honors each of the last two seasons while McKinley Johnson also returns with all-league mention on her volleyball resume.

Coach Ramsey pointed out two newcomers who she claims are worth watching, with those being Aubrey Boldra and Avery VanDerWege.

“One thing we can be proud of is our teams academics,” added Coach Ramsey. “We received the KSHSAA (Kansas State High School Activities Association) Distinguished Team Award while the varsity team had a cumulative GPA for first semester of 3.59. Plus, the junior varsity squad posted a 3.40 GPA! We had seven girls receive a Kansas Volleyball Association All-Academic Award, those being Elyse Ramsey, Belle Peters, McKinley Johnson, Abby Rose, Aubrey Boldra, Avery VanDerWege and Madi Tolle.

Coach Ramsey concluded her pre-season reflections by noting, “I want to thank my assistant/junior varsity coaches Nathalea Stephenson and Kara Knopp for the work they do. We are doing everything we can to keep our players and staff healthy and safe in order for us to have a full season of Smoky Valley Volleyball.”

The Lady Vikings will open their 2020 season on Saturday, August 29 with a match on the road at Hoisington.

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