No team really wants to have its three leading returners slowed by injuries to start the year.
But it may provide Little Falls with a unique opportunity: give some young players experience, then enjoy having its leading trio join them back on the court.
“We will start the year recovering from injury and earning experience,” Little Falls head coach Carmen Johnson said. “With hard work and teamwork, we should end the season very strong.”
Returning starters in senior Kendra Pohlman and juniors Melanie Dorn and Laura Fregin all open the year slowed by various maladies, but should make major impacts this fall, Johnson said.
“We intend to play Kendra as an outside hitter in the front row and a setter in the back row,” Johnson said. “She will be looked at for leadership on and off the court. Melanie is battling some back issues, but she too will be called upon to lead the team. She will play middle hitter when in the front row and setter when in the back row. Her hitting has come around and she is more confident and firing on all cylinders.
“(Fregin) will be a major contributor on the right side and brings leadership and experience to the team,” she said.
New players vying for playing time include outside hitters in senior Mara Zupko and juniors Robyn Nuehring and Autumn Zupko, middle hitters in junior Victoria Whittington and sophomores Rachel Boros and Terra Motschke, senior right-side hitter Kaitlin Hanson, senior libero Megan Koenig and senior setter Hannah Krupke.
Little Falls is scheduled to open the season at Osakis, Tuesday, with its home opener against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Sept. 2.