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WDC girls ready to make another state run

Photo by Brian Hansel Emily Miron tips the ball over the net during a drill Monday morning in the Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary gym. Miron will be one of the mainstays of Sue Volkmann's varsity volleyball team this year.

For the Wadena-Deer Creek volleyball players, opening the 2012 season on a brand-new volleyball court is a lock, and finishing it at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul is the goal.

Sue Volkmann's Wolverines will be the first WDC team to use the new secondary school court for a regular season match Aug. 30, when they entertain Moorhead.

The Wolverines have reached the state tournament four straight times. They won it all in 2010, the same year their school was destroyed by an EF4 tornado.

"I'm sure their main goal will be to get back to state again," Volkmann said.

Coming off a fourth-place finish in the 2011 state tournament, the Wolverines enter a challenging season, ranked fifth in Class AA by Breakdown magazine and seventh by the Coaches Association.

To sharpen their skills, they have added two big tournaments to their regular season slate. The Wolverines will square off in the Class AA Showcase Sept. 21-22. They will play metro competition Sept. 29 in the Chanhassen Tournament. In addition to their season opener with Class AAA Moorhead, they have a Sept. 10 home date with state-ranked Nevis and an Oct. 10 home match with Class AAA Bemidji.

The Wolverines have five seniors and three juniors to spearhead their 2012 campaign.

Future North Dakota State player Emily Miron will be back to handle a middle hitter spot. The 6-2 standout will be the club's main offensive threat.

"She'll get set a lot," Volkmann said. "She definitely is going to have a good senior year."

Caitlin Volkmann will be starting her fourth season as a full-time varsity player. The 5-9 outside hitter gives the Wolverines a good offensive and defensive player, plus some valuable leadership.

"She's kind of our floor leader," Volkmann said. "She keeps everyone focused on the game."

Melissa Moenkedick's 6-1 height will help the Wolverines at their other middle hitter position.

"She's a real good blocker," Volkmann said. "She played the middle for us last year and got that year of experience, and it really shows."

The Wolverines will have senior Halley Maas at the outside hitter spot, held by Brittney Noon last year. Maas is expected to be a strong offensive player.

Sarah Craig will play the rightside hitter spot for WDC, and Volkmann likes the experience she brings to the position.

Juniors on the team include Heather and Hope Theisen and Sydney Schissel.

Heather Theisen took over as the team's main setter last year and brings a full year of experience to the court.

Volkmann is very high on Hope Theisen's ability as libero.

"I'd have to say she is one of the top liberoes in the state in all classes," Volkmann said. "She just has a nose for the ball."

Schissel returns to the back row where Volkmann likes her hard play.

"She plays just as hard as Hope," Volkmann said. "She goes for the ball and she has no fear."

The Wolverines have added 5-10 sophomore Danyel Post to their team. Post transferred from Windom, Minn. and has shown Volkmann a lot of skill.

Another sophomore on the team will be Carrie Nelson, whom Volkmann is planning to use as a spot player both offensively and defensively.

The youngest member of the squad will be seventh grader Casey Volkmann, who is also expected to be a spot player for the Wolverines.

"I think we'll be a little more well-rounded," Volkmann said in sizing up her varsity club. "I think our defense will be just phenomenal. They'll be fun to watch."

What the defense does will determine the offensive tempo.

"We'll be able to run an offense that will put the ball away," Volkmann said.

Volkmann is tabbing Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Thief River Falls and Perham as top teams in the section.