The Fall high school sports season is here, with coaches getting their athletes into game shape for the upcoming season. We will take a look at some area volleyball teams hoping to have successful seasons. Check out your favorite teams below!
Cape Central Tigers
2021 Record: 13-12-2
The Cape Central Tigers volleyball team had an up and down 2021 season under third-year Head Coach Haley Silman, finishing with a record of 13-12-2.
Gone is inside hitter and all SEMO Conference athlete Ella Vogel, who is now playing for Murray State University of the Missouri Valley Conference. Also gone is fellow hitter Ava Nelson, setter Malayna McAllister as well as Maddie Thomas and Sophia Sapp.
“We have Ella Haggerty back to hit/block up the middle,” Silman said. “We also have libero Anna Albertson and defensive specialist Taylor Hendrix back to help us defensively, as well as outside hitter Madison Phelps.”
Also returning after seeing action last season is setter Avery Criblez, setter/hitter Edyn McAllister and Zacariye Carter who will help with her strong serving game.
Two Sophomores will look to contribute for the Tigers and Coach Silman in Nalaiya Furlow (middle blocker/hitter) and Piper Underwood (OH).
“I always try to schedule the toughest opponents,” Silman said. “We will always battle with the tough teams and this season will be no different. I am looking forward to the start of the season.”
Cape Central features games with SEMO Conference foes Poplar Bluff (Aug. 29th), Sikeston (Aug.31th), New Madrid County Central (Sept. 7th) and Notre Dame (Oct. 12th), as well as non-conference contests against Woodland (Sept. 20th), Scott City (Sept. 21st), Fredericktown (Oct. 3rd) and Farmington (Oct. 10th).
Good luck Tigers!
2021 Record: 12-18-1
Festus finished off its 2021 season on a four-game winning streak only to lose to North County in the Class 4 District 2 quarterfinals, leaving the Tigers and Coach Stephanie Whitehead with a 12-18-1 record.
Graduating from that team were OH/DS Kinsey Benack, libero Devin Younger, defensive specialist Maddie Mchawes, MB Mackenzie Welsh and receiving specialist Sophie Nolen.
Returning to the team on offense are hitters Gabbi Burkard (5’10 Jr.), Kalia Oshia (5’11 Sr.), Audrey Jackson (5’7 Jr.) and Claire Martin (Sr.) with setter Delaney Willis (Jr.).
Defensively, the Tigers have Jersey Moonier (Sr.) returning, as well as Ella Shy (Sr.) and Alexis Biehle.
Festus opens its 2022 campaign on the road for three games, traveling to Ste. Genevieve on August 30th, at Farmington on September 1st and at Valle Catholic on September 6th.
The Tigers host St. Pius X on September 8th at the home opener and then take part in the North County Lady Raider Invitational on September 10th.
Festus plays DeSoto, Windsor, Perryville, Hillsboro and Herculaneum at home on the schedule, but travels to Windsor, Seckman and Jefferson R-7, as well as away games at DeSoto and Hillsboro.
Good luck Tigers!
2021 Record: 30-6-3
If Jackson and Coach Dave Mirly have one noticeable advantage for the 2022 season over many of its opponents, it will be their height on their roster.
With nine players boasting a height of 5’10” or taller, the Indians will tower over most of their competition at the net.
“We are very excited about all the returning players,” Jackson coach David Mirly said. “Our height combined with the dedication the players have for being a great blocking team has allowed us to play at a higher level this summer.”
Junior middle hitter Nadia Wasilewski and Sophomore outside hitter Katy St. John lead the returnees, both standing at 6’1”, followed by Junior hitter Christa Vandeven at 6’0”. Kamryn Link, a 5’11” setter, will help set up the massive front line, while Senior Monica DeLoach (5’11) and Junior Sydnie Floyd (5 ’11) hit from the outside.
2021 All-Conference hitter Ella Domain returns and might be the team’s best overall hitter, as she stands at 5’10” with the ability to hit down the lines and block.
Defensively, Jackson will be solid as well with Juniors Holland Williams (Libero), Natalie Dry (Jr.) and Senior Madison Eller collecting digs.
“Our main factors in us hopeful of winning 30+ games again will be maintaining a level of intensity and focus at all practice and in-game situations, as well as being mentally tough,” Mirly said.
The Indians will host their own jamboree on August 25th with Advance, Festus and Woodland then will play their first regular season game on August 29th against Ste. Genevieve on the road.
Jackson will host SEMO Conference adversaries Poplar Bluff (Sept. 6th) and Notre Dame (Sept. 15th) as well as non-conference matchups with Dexter (Sept. 1st), Valle Catholic (Sept. 12th), Oakville (Oct. 6th), Fox (Oct. 10th) and Seckman (Oct. 17th) among others at home this season.
The Indians will travel to play contests at Perryville (Sept. 8th), Cape Central (Sept. 13th SEMO Conf. matchup), Sikeston (Sept. 20th), Saxony Lutheran (Sept. 26th), Farmington (Oct. 3rd) and Scott City (Oct. 12th) and will take part in the Gateway Match Up at Oakville High School Sept. 22-24th, and the always tough SEMO Conference Tournament at the Cape SportsPlex Sept. 28th and 29th.
Good luck Indians!
2021 Record: 25-6-4
The Notre Dame volleyball team will look a little different in 2022 than it did last year because two of the better players in school history are no longer with the program due to graduation. All-State selection Rylee McClintock now calls the University of Arkansas-Little Rock home, while Lexi Rubel graduated to play basketball at the University of Tennessee-Martin.
Also graduating were co-captain Sarah Brennan, setter Claire Jones, defensive specialist Brooklyn Greaser and hitter Shelby Renner.
The Bulldogs will lean heavily on Rubel’s sister Tori (MH/MB) who is 6’1 and will cause problems for opponents on both sides of the ball.
Also returning from last year’s 25-win team are hitters Grace Young (Sr.), Kristin Anderson (Sr.), Emma Claire-Self (setter, Sr.), libero Anna Garner (Sr.) and Aubrey Neumeyer (Jr.).
“We will rely a ton on our Seniors,” Coach Meridith Brinkmeyer said. “Kristin, Tori and Anna all got ample time last year and gained experience playing for a district championship and in our sectional match.”
Newcomers Courtney Tatum (5’11 Soph hitter), Laynie Brown (5’7 Jr. hitter), Claudia Jones (5’7 Fr. setter) along with two new Rubel’s (Tori’s sisters Kate Rubel and Brie Rubel) will provide defense and depth. Kate is a 6’0 freshman who will help at the net on both sides of the ball and Brie is a 5’8 serve/defensive specialist.
“Grace is a Senior who didn’t get much playing time last year because we were so deep,” Brinkmeyer said. “She has worked hard and has already done great things for us in practices. Courtney will also be gaining a lot of playing time as a Sophomore, as will Freshmen Jones and Kate Rubel. Those two have really come in and shown they can compete at the varsity level.”
The Bulldogs will entertain Farmington for the home/season opener on August 30th. Home opponents will feature Scott City (Sept. 7th), Perryville (Sept. 12th), St. Vincent (Sept. 14th), Gateway Legacy (Sept. 21st), Saxony Lutheran (Oct. 6th) as well as SEMO Conference opponents Poplar Bluff (Oct. 10th) and Cape Central (Oct. 12th).
Road contests will feature Notre Dame traveling to Sikeston (Sept. 6th), Ste. Genevieve (Sept. 13th), Jackson (Sept. 15th), Leopold (Sept. 30th), Advance (Oct. 3rd), Kennett (Oct.17th) and the regular season-ending opponent St. Pius X on Oct. 20th.
The Bulldogs will also play in the Dig for Life Tournament, SEMO Conference Tournament and Lutheran South Tournament.
Ste. Genevieve Dragons
2021 Record: 18-10-1
The Ste. Genevieve Dragons had a very successful season in 2021 with Coach Carla Basler and her team going 18-10-1 with notable wins over Jefferson R-7, Woodland, Saxony Lutheran, North County and Fredericktown.
The 2022 team will feature seven Seniors who have a ton of experience and will play a crucial role in helping develop the underclassmen. “Several of our Seniors have been playing at the varsity level since they were Sophomores,” Basler said. “They understand the importance of leading the younger players and understand their role on the team will be larger this season.”
Seniors Lexy Parmer (DS), Tessa Grass (MH/OH), Arie Taylor (OH/DS), Maya Watts (DS), Dru Koetting (OH), Ally Byington (DS/RH) and Devyn Basler (S) will headline the “elder statesmen” that will provide a vital role on the 2022 squad.
“What I’ve seen so far during summer workouts along with the first couple weeks of practice are the Seniors doing a great job leading by example,” Basler said. “Our younger players have worked extremely hard to be able to step up into the roles needed for this season.”
Coach Basler will look to hitters Hope Schmelzle (Jr.), Kailyn Harmon (So.) along with defensive specialist Kale Clements (So.) and setters Joleigh Parker and Sophia Huck to give the veterans needed depth on varsity.
The Dragons will start the regular season off with back-to-back home games against Jackson on August 29th and Festus on August 30th.
The rest of the season schedule shakes out with home games against Windsor (Sept. 7th), Cape Notre Dame (Sept. 13), Arcadia Valley (Sept. 14), St. Vincent (Sept. 26) and North County (Oct. 4) along with other home opponents.
Road games against quality teams like Jefferson R-7 (Sept. 1st), Saxony Lutheran (Sept. 20th), Park Hills Central (Sept. 27th), along with a trio of difficult away games at the end of the season against Potosi (Oct. 6th), Valle Catholic (Oct. 10th) and Fredericktown (Oct. 11th), as well as the Dig for Life, Perryville and MAAA Conference Tournaments will provide an ultra-tough schedule for Ste. Genevieve to prepare for district play.
Good luck Dragons!
Saxony Lutheran Crusaders
2021 Record: 15-14-3
Saxony Lutheran had a tough regular season in 2021 under Coach Emily Wahlers, but found themselves playing their best at the end of the year, where they won a District Championship and made it to the state tournament.
Sadly that run ended with a loss to state contender Jefferson R-7 in district play, but 2022 brings a fresh look. A new season and a new coach, with first-year Coach Stephanie Brown at the helm of both the boys and the girls programs, the Crusaders have new life.
“We’re very excited to get the season started,” Brown said. “The upperclassmen have a lot of experience and have worked very hard to get to where they are to prepare for this season.”
The Crusaders lost several to graduatio,n including team captains Emma Voelker and Lauren Barnes, as well as hitters Anna Thomason and Isabella Deckard. Several key players return in 2022 including hitters Josey Wahlers (Sr.), Emilie Seabaugh (Sr.), Emma Hinze and Grace Ozark (Jr.) along with setter Landre Hoehne (Jr.) and libero Anna Mueller (Sr.). Defensive players Clara Brune (Jr.) and blockers Paige Seibel (Jr.) and Jaylah Paisley will help at the net.
“Our goal to have a winning season is to repeat as District Champions and hopefully make a deep run in the postseason,” Brown said. “ If we compete as a team and enjoy playing with everyone and have fun, we should be able to do just that.”
The schedule for Saxony Lutheran is not for the faint of heart, as a plethora of good teams wait in the balance for the Crusaders, who host Class 1 power Advance on September 1st, followed by St. Vincent five days later on September 6th. Other notable home games include dates with Valle Catholic (Sept. 15th), Ste. Genevieve (Sept. 20th), Jackson (Sept. 26th), Kennett (Oct. 10th), Scott City (Oct. 13th) and Jefferson R-7 (Oct. 18th).
Road games include Sikeston (Sept. 8th), Park Hills Central (Sept. 12th), Arcadia Valley (Sept. 30th), Notre Dame (Oct. 6th), Poplar Bluff (Oct. 11th) and Cape Central (Oct. 18th) among notable tough tournaments like the Dig for Life Tournament in Cape Girardeau and the Perryville Tournament.
Good luck Crusaders!
South Iron Panthers
2021 Record: 26-10-1
South Iron had a strong showing at the State Tournament last fall, finishing fourth in Class 1 competition and will feature All-State players Madison Ayers and Drew Gayle back for their senior seasons.
While the Panthers didn’t win state in 2021, the chances of Coach Megan Williams’ 26-win team from a year ago returning to state competition remains high.
“My girls give unbelievable effort,” Williams said. “We always talk about being the hardest workers on the floor every night and our team understands the importance of hard work, especially in close games.”
Ayers and Gayle will have help from teammates Rachel Ruble (Sr.), Enzley Dinkins (Jr.), Anna Parker (Jr.) as well as Sophomores Emmy Gayle, Lexie Bollinger and Tamiya Burse.
“The girl’s “Team First” mentality will make us successful, “Williams said. “They all understand that each player has their role on the team and plays to the best of their abilities to reach our goals.”
South Iron will open its season on the road at Summersville on August 26th but will return home for the home opener on August 30th hosting St. Paul Lutheran (Farmington).
The Panthers will host a tough Fredericktown squad on Sept. 1st and will also host Eminence (Sept. 27th), Bunker (Oct. 6th), Winona (Oct. 11th) and Greenville on Oct. 18th, among others.
South Iron will have tough road contests at West County (Sept. 6th), Park Hills Central (Sept. 13th), Meadow Heights (Sept. 23rd) and Lesterville (Sept. 29th), and will play Salem, Ellington and Clearwater on the road as well.
Good luck Panthers!
Valle Catholic Warriors
2021 Record: 32-5-3
Valle Catholic Coach Nancy Fischer knows how to win. She has produced a winning team for the Warriors for nearly every year of her 30+ years at the school and exceeded the 800-career win plateau last season.
The 2022 season should be no different for Fischer and Valle Catholic, but the Warriors did lose some top-notch talent to graduation. All-state hitter Ella Bertram is gone, as is fellow hitters Callee Naeger and Hailey Weibrecht, who led Valle Catholic to the Class 3 State Championship game a season ago.
Returning for Fischer will be four Seniors: Riley Brown, Kristen Drury, Emily Flieg and Tracy Wolk. All four saw considerable playing time last season and will bring veteran experience and toughness. Juniors Emma Christine, Makayla Joggerst, Audrey McDowell and Adelyn Weiler also saw playing time last season and should contribute valuable minutes.
Sophomores Brooklyn Weibrecht (5’10), Addison Donze and Claire Drury will bring size and net presence along with athleticism and grit.
Valle Catholic will start the season at home facing Perryville (Aug. 31st) and then will follow that with a road game one night later at Park Hills Central (Sept. 1st). Other notable home games in the 2022 campaign will be Festus (Sept. 6th), Jefferson R-7 (Sept. 8th), North County (Sept. 22nd), Potosi (Sept. 26th), Kingston (Sept. 27th) and Ste. Genevieve (Oct. 10th).
Tough road contests will feature Jackson (Sept. 12th), Saxony Lutheran (Sept. 15th), Fredericktown (Sept. 20th) and West County (Oct. 4th), among others.
Good luck Warriors!
Park Hills Central Rebels
2021 Record: 6-23-2
Park Hills Central and Coach Olivia Casey are hoping for a better 2022 season than in 2021 where the Rebels were only able to muster six wins. While last season wasn’t all gloom and doom, Casey is expecting her team to be much more competitive this year.
“We were behind the eight-ball from the start,” Casey said on the team’s 2021 campaign. “We lost Kinley Norris at the beginning of the preseason last year and that was a huge blow to our team.”
The return of Norris this season will indeed help the Rebels’ chances, as well as having four Seniors return in setter Natalie Miles, outside hitters Brylee Populis and Addison Miller and defensive specialist Kate Johnson lead a talented group of Juniors looking to make a name for themselves.
Defensive specialists Maddison Dunn and Kelsie Politte, hitters Courtney Dortch and Kloe Dischbein, as well as Norris (setter/hitter) lead a talented group of Juniors looking to make a name for themselves in 2022.
“We had a very good offseason and performed well in tournaments,” Casey said. “I’m really looking forward to the season and expect us to be competitive.”
Park Hills Central’s season schedule will line up Valle Catholic as the season/home opener on September 1st and will have the Rebels taking to the road to play DeSoto on September 6. Other notable home games have Central playing Herculaneum (Sept.8), Saxony Lutheran (Sept. 12), South Iron (Sept. 13), Perryville (Sept. 22), along with MAAA conference games against Ste. Genevieve (Sept. 27) and Farmington (Oct. 6). Other road contests feature Jefferson R-7 (Sept. 20) as well as conference games against North County (Sept. 29), Fredericktown (Oct. 6) and Potosi (Oct. 11) as well as the Dig for Life Tournament in Cape Girardeau, Licking Classic and the MAAA Conference Tournament.
Good luck Rebels!