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Seasoned volleyball players ready for success at Skyline

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
A trio of Skyline High School volleyball players spend pre-game time warming up with some bump ball prior to their pre-season scrimmage last week Thursday. The Thunderbirds have already found success on the courts in competition and look forward to a competitive season.

Led by a strong and experienced core of returning players, the Skyline High School volleyball team opened up their 2020 season with two wins and a competitive loss on Saturday, fitting the high expectations head coach Lori Anschutz has for her team this year. 

“I feel we should compete with pretty much any team we face this year,” Anschutz said. “We have a lot of returning girls that have prior varsity experience.  We have several sophomore girls who all played varsity for us last year: including Kady Anschutz (setter), Presli Harts (middle hitter), Randi Hoffman (defensive specialist), and Monika Castillo (outside hitter), along with these girls we have a couple more sophomore girls fighting for some time this year.   Our lone junior is our other setter Baylee Lauffer who has been a constant on the floor for us since her freshman year.”

Anschutz said there were six seniors this year that were already providing good leadership on the court and off. They include: Kenleigh Nation (middle hitter), Cassidy Spease (Libero), T’Lane Tobin (outside hitter) Kyrian Keeling (outside/middle hitter), Falicity Riggs (outside hitter), and Molly Meiklejohn (outside/middle hitter).

“Our challenges this year come in trying to follow all the KSHSAA guidelines for volleyball with COVID-19,” Anschutz said. “Tthing that have changed are the requirement to wear masks when we are close together, lots of hand sanitizing, and sanitizing the volleyballs. Some of our game protocols also changed, but they are pretty basic.  The biggest change is our league decided to go to limited spectators for each player.”

Anschutz said that despite the added protocols for safety she was excited for the year.  

“We started the season Saturday at South Barber and went 2-1, beating Stafford and then South Barber both in two sets,” she said.  “Our third match was against Attica, who is currently ranked #3 in 1A.  We played really well against them, but fell short in the 3rd set.  I think if we clean up a few little details during that game, the outcome is different next time we see them.”