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Lady Pirates have good balance for 2010 campaign

Photo by Brian Hansel Verndale's Ashley Richter slaps a shot over the net as her sister, Megan, looks on during a Verndale volleyball practice. Blockers include Miranda Dougherty and Jordan Schwanke. The Pirates are entering their second season under head coach Shelley Glenz.

Keeping an upward momentum going will be one of the goals of this year's Verndale volleyball team.

The Pirates took a good shot at .500 last season in their first season under Shelley Glenz and finished 13-15-1. They also won four of their five Park Region Conference games and rose from sixth to fourth in the final PRC standings. Six of their victories came in the final month of the season.

Glenz lost five seniors to graduation but she had four letter winners back as a nucleus for her 2010 squad.

Seniors Ashley Richter and Elizabeth Johnson, junior Jordanna Schluttner and sophomore Teresa Moenkedick will be anchoring the team. Richter is a 5-3 outside hitter. The 5-7 Johnson will be playing a setter spot. Schluttner is a 5-8 middle hitter. Moenkedick is a 5-4 setter.

"Fortunately this year we are extremely well-balanced with several of our players able to play 2-3 positions," Glenz said.

The 5-3 Richter will mainly be used as an outside hitter. Johnson, 5-7, will alternate between setting and hitting on both the left- and right-side positions. Schluttner has 5-8 size is will see most of her playing time at a middle hitter spot. Moenkedick, at 5-4, will be a setter and outside hitter.

The rest of the varsity unit will consist of 5-5 junior Kayla Graba, 5-9 middle hitter Megan Richter, 5-8 freshman setter Kaitlyn Richter, 5-3 senior outside hitter Jessica Silbert and 5-4 middle hitter Amanda Dailey.

"These girls have really put in a lot of time during the off season and have greatly improved their play," Glenz said. "We look forward to being able to move girls around much more this year and to having strong players coming off the bench."

Glenz named Sebeka to the favorite of this year's Park Region Conference race.