Glencoe-Silver Lake won 10 matches last fall and with another season of experience behind a young team, coach Murf Schwirtz is hoping "that we capitalize on close games for match wins this year. Despite our 10-17 record, only two teams swept us all season. If we were competitive with four sophomore starters, I am hoping this fall with growth and maturity we place 'W's on the match columns this year."
The Panthers are a great defensive team with good ball control, but must improve their attacking ability. "We are short but play and compete well," said Schwirtz. "We are physically a stronger team this year. This will give us a huge dimension/depth to our game if we can produce more kills."
Five Panthers posted at least 240 digs, led by defensive speclalist Cortney Konen and outside hitters Alexis Kerslake and Taylor Novak. The latter two are also the leading returning attackers, as well, and will be counted on for big seasons. Junior setter Layne Herrmann will hope to find both repeatedly throughout this match.
Meanwhile, Cannon Falls had a veteran team last year and lost several of its key pieces to graduation. But that doesn't deter the Bombers.
"Although I lost six strong seniors to graduation my expectations are still set high," said Cannon Falls coach Melissa Huseth, whose team won 19 matches. "Our defense and serve receive will remain strong and there are a number of young players who will be competing for offensive positions. I have players returning with a couple of years varsity experience who are fantastic leaders. With their guidance I believe we have much potential as the season progresses."
Those returning veterans include top juniors Hailey Huseth at setter and Katie Noble in the middle. Cannon Falls' back row also features seniors Caroline Bowen and Sami Cromer.
Why Glencoe-Silver Lake will win:
Why Cannon Falls will win:
Our pick: Cannon Falls in four.