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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Skyline spikers set to go

  • Cautiously optimistic might be the best way to describe Skyline volleyball coach Summer Younie's outlook for the upcoming season.
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  • Cautiously optimistic might be the best way to describe Skyline volleyball coach Summer Younie's outlook for the upcoming season.
    "We have the potential to be a really strong all-around team," she predicted. Before potential becomes a reality, however, a couple of young, inexperienced Lady Thunderbirds are going to have to step up and fill unfamiliar varsity spots.
    With the graduation of some key players, there are a couple of holes in the line-up, but Younie feels that there is enough returning experience that Skyline could make a serious run at the post-season. Among the key returners is senior Ashley Koirth.
    "Ashley is our main setter. She runs our offense," explained Younie. Junior Kaitlyn Stark is another setter, but Coach Younie has started to also see some hard hits out of Stark in practice as well. Ashley Swonger will be a blocker, with her height posing problems for opposing hitters at the net. Swonger has also started becoming more aggressive offensively.
    Juniors Morgan Flowers and Janessa Davis are similar types of players, according to Younie. They will be counted upon as outside hitters and for defense. Taylor DeWeese is beginning to emerge as a force in the middle. "She has really progressed since last year," Younie said. "Taylor is starting to be able to smash it for us in the middle." Defensive specialist Harley Weaver will see valuable minutes off the bench as a libero.
    Coach Younie liked most of what she saw out of her girls at their preseason scrimmage Thursday. "We served and received serve well," she mentioned. "We also made some great hits. Alyssa, Morgan and Janessa all got good swings." A few areas that could be improved upon, according to Younie, were communication and transition.
    Younie will be assisted this year by Natalie King, who played at Pratt Community College.
    Younie expects Norwich to be the team to beat in the HOPL. The Lady T-Birds will see what kind of a start they can get off to this Saturday when they participate in the campaign's first tournament at South Barber.

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