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Side Out Preview: Glencoe-Silver Lake vs. Cannon Falls

By Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Sports USA, 08/18/14, 10:00AM CDT


11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 23 at Hopkins' Lindbergh Center East court


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:

  • Passing and ball control are so key in volleyball and the Panthers have both, anchored by Kerslake, Konen and Novak.
  • The Panthers are battle-tested in the tough Wright County Conference and won't back down.

Why Cannon Falls will win:

  • Huseth is like another coach on the floor and will keep the Bombers on an even keel throughout the match.
  • A young hitter such as freshman Chase Schaefer could explode and catch the Panthers off guard.

Our pick: Cannon Falls in four.

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