It will be a season of some old and some new faces for the Schuyler Central High School volleyball team in 2017.
Former head coach Sean Wickham left the position last spring to pursue a career change. Jenna Saalfeld, an assistant coach under Wickham in 2016, stepped into the head coaching role.
The Lady Warriors went 7-24 last season and lost Brooke Horejsi and Jasmine De La Torre to graduation. But they return a solid nucleus of players with varsity experience from a year ago.
Saalfeld likes what she has seen from her team during the preseason practices.
“We have great team chemistry this year. The girls enjoy playing with each other, which helps them perform on the court,” she said. “They all work together and have been very supportive of each other both on and off the court.”
Saalfeld believes one of her team’s strengths this fall will be the return of five varsity starters. She said they worked hard over the summer to improve their skills and are dedicated to getting better.
The eight returning letter winners include seniors Lauren Kasik, Haylee Korth and Kameryn Healy. Saalfeld believes this trio of athletes will provide her team with the leadership it takes to send a winning volleyball team to the court.
With depth and returning talent being strong points, Saalfeld also sees some areas to improve.
“Something we are working on with the girls is giving them the confidence they need to be successful. The coaches see so much potential in them; we just want them to have confidence in themselves,” she said.
Another reason for optimism is the talent coming up in the freshman class, which Saalfeld sees potential in.
The Lady Warriors have their season scheduled sprinkled with several Class C and D opponents, but the team will also meet their fair share of top-tier Class B schools in conference action.
“Like every year, we play a lot of good and respectable teams. I feel that we will be very competitive and show a lot of teams what it really means to be a Schuyler Warrior,” Saalfeld said.
Saalfeld and her squad set realistic goals for the upcoming season.
“One of the goals that we have as a team is to improve on our record from last year. Another goal that I have for the girls is to have a feeling of accomplishment. I want them to get something positive out of this season,” Saalfeld said. “We will continue to work on team and individual goals throughout the season.”
“I am very excited for games to start,” she added. “These girls have been working so hard and I can’t wait to see all of their hard work pay off.”