2012 record: 26-7
By PATRICK SLACK
Thanks to a deep and talented 2012 class, it’s been a few years since the Upsala volleyball team has had to think about the dreaded “R” word: rebuilding.
But after seven players graduated a year ago, including three-time Prairie Conference Most Valuable Player Aimee Pelzer, the Cardinals will look to regroup with a new set of players that includes only one senior.
Fortunately, the cupboard isn’t bare when it comes to talent for the Cardinals, only varsity experience.
Two players that did receive extensive time on the court for last year’s 26-7 squad that went undefeated in the Prairie Conference regular season were juniors Danica Cheney and Brooke Westrich.
Cheney will be counted on even more as a hitter this season, with Westrich sliding up from the back row to join Cheney on the outside.
Lone senior Jenny Wuebkers will look to step in as a defensive specialist, with juniors Kristin Wuebkers (setter) and Sara Herzog (right hitter), sophomore Kiley Smieja (middle hitter) and freshmen Katlin Welinski (middle hitter) and Maggie Jensen (libero) also expected to compete for playing time.
“We are a young team and rebuilding after losing seven seniors last year,” head coach Leah Merten said. “I expect us to compete well against the other teams in the conference. Both Brooke and Danica will be looked upon as leaders on the court.”
Upsala is slated to open its season at home versus Onamia, Tuesday.