By William

LITTLE RIVER – After finishing runner-up in the 2019 substate and going 30-10 overall, the Little River volleyball team losses seven key players to graduation so the 2020 season will be a time to reset.

Lady Redskin Head Coach Kim Rolfs notes that all seven graduates contributed to the teams success last season and replacing Leah Ayers, Jaylie Bergkamp, Riley Bruce, Isabelle Eberle, Danielle Gadberry, Abbie Hudson, and Morgan Konen will be tough at the beginning.

But the cupboard is not completely bare as junior Lily Boughfman returns as the teams strongest hitter and all-around player. Boughfman led the Lady Redskins in kills with 323, digs at 276 and had the best serve/receive rating of the team. Boughfman has made all-league in both her first two seasons and last year was named all-state as just a sophomore.

Other returnees that will be counted on are senior Anna Birdsong who played several different roles in 2019 and is being counted on to come in and give Little River an aggressive serve or relieve the setter at times. Birdsong will also provide much needed senior leadership.

Senior Bailey Hodgson looks to see much greater time on the court in 2020 while sophomore Mea DeBaere stepped up in 2019 into a major role as just a freshman and did so very well. DeBaere will have to step up and help provide some experienced leadership along with consistency in 2020.

“Our season motto this year is “Together We Can”,” noted Coach Rolfs. “Our seniors came up with it and this is exactly what we will need to take place for our team to have success. With the loss of several key players, we will need many to step up and improve their play and battle every day to fill the missing pieces left behind due to graduation.”

When asked about dealing with the pandemic situation, Coach Rolfs explained, “We will play and practice every day like it could be our last. I want to take it one day at a time and hope for the best. Of course, we will follow all the COVID-19 guidelines and make the best of a rather crazy situation.”

Coach Rolfs concluded her preseason reflections by adding, “It will be an extremely competitive year, not only on game nights but in practice as well. I already have seen in summer skill sessions how the kids are pushing each other in a positive manner while also loving everyone’s successes. All our kids are great teammates and genuinely want ‘our team’ to succeed. Can not wait to see this team develop as we progress through the season.”

The Little River spikers hit the competitive court for the first time in 2020 on Tuesday, September 1 at Udall.

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