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Area high school volleyball previews

POSTED August 31, 2010 10:16 p.m.

Claflin volleyball team leaning on seniors

Last season, the Claflin High School volleyball team finished with a record of 19-18 and a league record of 5-4.
This season, Lady Wildcats head coach Lora Zink said she wants to see the seniors on the team take control.
“We expect great leadership from our four returning letter winners who are seniors this season,” Zink said. “We plan to be strong this season overall and expect to improve as the season progresses.”
Zink’s four leaders are Ashlee Maier, a middle hitter, who made first team on the Central Prairie League in 2009; Natalie Hoffman, an outside hitter, was a second-team selection last season; Gina Bogner, an outside hitter; and Becca Oberle, an outside hitter, who plays middle hitter.
The Lady Wildcats have two more seniors and five juniors on the team. The other 10 players are underclassmen.
“We feel very confident that our underclassmen will step up and be a huge part of our team this season,” Zink said.
Zink said she believes that this year’s team will compete well with its rival, Quivira Heights.
“The Central Prairie League has always been a tough league,” Zink said. “Our league has always been a battle between St. John, Quivira and Claflin. We expect this year to be no different.”

Eagles mix experience with rookies for season

The Ellinwood Eagles volleyball team looks to improve on a 19-19 record of last season.
The Eagles’ Laurie Feist enters her fifth season as head coach after finishing in second in the Western Division of the Mid Central Activities Association.
The Eagles return five letter winners: Lauren Thill, a senior outside hitter; Brittany Pflughoeft, a senior outside hitter; Addie Billinger, a senior hitter; Kenzie Corbett, a junior setter and Lindsey Zink, a sophomore setter/hitter.
“I am very excited as we have a mix of seasoned players, as well as some players that have never played varsity before,” Feist said. “This team has been working extremely well together and have been positive, whether we’re doing sprints, running miles, in the weight room or on the court.”
The Eagles played Wichita Independent and Hutch Trinity Tuesday night. The varsity beat Wichita Independent 25-16 and 25-23 in a best-of-three match. Ellinwood beat Hutch Trinity 25-7 and 25-10.

Lady Cardinals meet new teams in league

One year after winning the Mid Central Activities Association, the Hoisington Lady Cardinals enter a new league with new opponents to compete with.
The Lady Cards are in a league with Ellinwood, Larned and Thomas More Prep-Marian (Hays), according to Hoisington head coach Tina Johnson said.
Johnson, who won her 500th match with the Cardinals last season, returns five letter winners form a team that finished 25-12 overall.
Junior Mallory Flagor, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, will lead the Cardinals in the offensive category.
“Mallory Flagor is a phenomenal player as a junior,” Johnson said. “(She) broke the school record as a sophomore hitting. (She earned) all-state and all-league honors last season.”
Even with the returning letter winners, Johnson said her team is very young this year with nine freshmen, six sophomores, eight juniors and only one senior.
 “We are very young and inexperienced at the varsity level,” Johnson said.
Johnson also pointed out many strengths for the Cardinals.
“They are hard workers,” Johnson said. “We have great kids … a great nucleus. They believe they can win.”
The Cardinals will host the Hoisington Invitational on Thursday, at 5 p.m.

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