Volleyball seeks to build on success

Following the first-ever volleyball sub-section champs title in ’07, the returning Irish athletes hit the gym ready to practice for another great season in 2008.

Although pre-season started on August 11, Irish players had already put in numerous hours over the summer. Returning varsity players, along with many other players as young as sixth grade, attended the annual Paul Moore camp and a hitting camp held in Maple Lake. Also, this July, nine Irish varsity players attended a team camp in Moorhead for three days. Then in August the same varsity team played in a captain’s tournament in Burnsville. In addition to attending camps and tournaments, volleyball players hit the weight room this summer to become stronger athletes.

“I don’t think that we need to have a volleyball league, open gyms and tons of individual camps over the summer,” said Head Coach Marty Kiebel. “Having all the girls, grades 7-12, go to two camps all together, will help out our program as a whole.”

During the first few days of practice many recognizable faces came ready to play. The Irish returned five varsity players who will lead very important roles for the 2008 season. Included in the returning five are three seniors and two juniors. The 2008 varsity roster is made up of seniors Amanda Horst, Laura Johnson, Ashley Kempenich, and Naomi Leino; juniors Megan Carriveau, Meghan Couette, Hilary Hogan, Rachael Paumen, Chelsea Rachel, and Jamie Waste; freshman Brooke Decker.

Along with familiar faces, this year the volleyball program gained eight eighth-graders who were asked to come to the early pre-season that is for grades 9-12, with 13 freshman. Graduating four seniors this year, the volleyball program continues to grow as the numbers in each grade are high.

Although the 2008 varsity team has five returning players, other volleyball athletes will have to step up this year to fill the open positions on the court.

More information appears in this week’s issue of the Messenger or subscribe to the on-line E-dition of the paper.