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Verndale volleyers have veteran team ready for PRC run

Verndale's Shania Glenz spikes a shot during a drill Friday morning as teammate Haley Stinar looks on. The Pirates open their volleyball season Aug. 26 at Parkers Prairie. They are scheduled to move into a new gym in September.

Verndale's Shelley Glenz will be able to throw a veteran crew at the competition this season as she tries to improve on a 19-10-1 season record.

The head volleyball coach lost senior starter Krista Dailey to graduation but returns a strong group of underclassmen.

Third-year co-captains Sarah Moenkedick and Jordyn Glenz will lead the Pirates. Moenkedick, a junior outside hitter, led the Pirates in serving percentage and digs last year. Glenz did not let her lack of height interfere with her work as a middle hitter. The junior standout led the team in blocks as well as attacking percentage and kill percentage.

The Pirates have kill leader Shania Glenz back and the sophomore letterwinner will join her sister at a middle hitter spot. Glenz recorded 259 kills as a freshman.

In sophomore setter Haley Stinar the Pirates have player who paced the team in service point returns last season. Stinar will be joined at the setter position by sophomore letterwinner Megan Dougherty.

The Pirates expect sophomores Alexys Thompson and Jordan Carr to play the outside and right side hitting spots.

"Both Alexys and Jordan have worked hard in the off-season to become powerful hitters, giving us a much more balanced offensive attack," Glenz said.

Rounding out the team will be eighth-grader Morgan Glenz, sophomore Amy Ismil, sophomore Jensyn Schluttner, freshman Katie Johnson and eighth-grader Allison Olsson.

Despite their fine overall record, the Pirates found themselves finishing 3-4 in the Park Region and placing fifth in the seven-team conference. New York Mills, Henning, Bertha-Hewitt and Sebeka all won 20 games or more.

Glenz regards Henning and New York Mills as two of the PRC's top contenders this season. The Pirates will once again test the huge Section 5A field the post-season. Nevis won the Section 5A title last year and took consolation honors in the state tournament.

The Pirates will be playing most of the home matches on a new court this season. A 29,700-square foot addition includes a high performance gymnasium.