by Steve Peterson
Akron-Westfield second year volleyball coach Mollie (Hamblin) Koopmans has a lot of optimism when it comes to this year’s team’s chances.
“We have a good group of girls. The team chemistry is good, and they know what they need to work on and are working on it. Our strengths this year are serving and blocking, and overall hustle,” said Koopmans, who is a West Sioux Grades 4 – 5 teacher during the day.
A-W opens the volleyball season by hosting Unity Christian at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 28.
A-W and West Sioux held a scrimmage Aug. 10 after the first few days of practice.
“It was good to see what we need to work on against another team,” said Koopmans, adding the second year gives her more confidence than as a rookie coach last season.
Koopmans said she believes the team has what it takes for a good War Eagle Conference finish.
A total of 24 girls are out for the 2012 team.
Emily Miller and Haley Coyle at right side and setter are two seniors who should be known to A-W fans.
The top nine players for the Lady Westerners will likely be, according to Koopmans, senior Miller; senior Haley Coyle; sophomore Desi Oltmanns; junior Dana Hedlund; freshman Kortney Hedlund; junior Kayla Tindall; sophomore Cali Westergard; junior Sarah Schroeder and junior Bethany Eastman when she returns from an injury.
“We have had a lot of players step up when Bethany got hurt and Cali was one of them,” said Koopmans following an Aug. 17 scrimmage.
“The scrimmage was good in that it gave the parents a chance to see the team play, and we had a parents’ meeting so everyone is on the same page,” said Koopmans.
Varsity Volleyball Schedule
Aug. 28: Unity Christian, home, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 30: Remsen-St. Mary’s, away, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 4: Remsen Union, home, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 11: George-Little Rock Tournament, 5 p.m.
Sept. 15: West Sioux tournament, 8:30 a.m.
Sept. 18: Gehlen Catholic, away, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: Sioux City tournament, away, 9 a.m.
Sept. 25: South O’Brien, home, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 2: West Sioux, home, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 4: Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, away, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 6: Elk Point-Jefferson, home, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 9: Hinton, home, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 11: Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn, away, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 16: Class 1A regional first round, TBA.