Granby: Panther spikers hopeful about season |

Granby: Panther spikers hopeful about season

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

As they prepare for their first match on the 2008 season this week, Middle Park High’s volleyball players are clearly excited and hopeful about their chances this season.

The Lady Panthers will open against Summit on Thursday with a home match. Due to ongoing construction at the high school in Granby, the competition will take place in the gym of East Grand Middle School.

The schedule of matches on Thursday is: C-Squad, 4:30 p.m.; Junior Varsity, 5:30 p.m. and Varsity, 6:30 p.m.

“We expect it to be a tough match, but we also expect to come out on top,” said coach Kris Newberry. “Our players are very confident this year and we’re ready to play.”

Part of the reason for that upbeat assessment is that this year’s team has a roster of 32 players, including five returning players on its 10-member varsity squad. The team’s complete lineup is:

Varsity ” Anna Conrad, Chelsea Lang, Shannan Stensvad, Jessica Waldron, Madison Zolnir, Elsa Krieg, Quincey Pedersen, Arielle Steinberg, Cheyenne Hickox and Larissa Burg

Junior varsity ” Molly Lowers, Jennifer Cox, Brooke McClain, Tiffany Maestas, Reed Caldwell, Heather Butler, Jessica Ryall, Jenny Kinney, Justine Bickler and Laurel Snow

C-Squad ” Savannah Hickox, Dovile Klisauskaite, Makayla Claussen, Haley Nordin, Audra Lorton, Brittany Herndon, Moreya Gardner, Allaura Cox, Sydney Markle, Rianna Hilton, Randy Strandberg and Katie Jones.

Another factor in the team’s confidence is the additional off-season training that the players have gotten during the past few months.

“We put together some local club teams again last winter where our girls gained a lot of valuable volleyball experience,” Newberry said. “The numbers for our program have been steadily climbing over the past few years. We’re now at the point where we have players who are competing for spots on the team and pushing one another to improve.”

Because of the overall improvement in individual skills, this year’s team has also been able to upgrade its game plans.

“This season we’re putting in some varied, complex offensive plays,” Newberry said. “Our new technical consulting coach Father Michael Freihofer is helping to beef up our offense. He brings a wealth of experience to us after coaching club, high school and college teams for several years.”

Also joining this year’s coaching staff is former Middle Park High volleyball standout Tynet Calhoun who graduated last spring from West State College in Gunnison. She will be the junior varsity’s coach while Peter Butrymovich returns as the C-Squad’s coach.

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