WDC Volleyball: Wolverines bring back a winning mix in a new section
Having lost just one senior, the Wolverines are prepared to strike with an experienced group. They hit the courts for the first home game at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 31 against Pequot Lakes.
Wolverines should be a cut above competition this fall, unfortunately they know very little about their competition after a move from 8AA to 6AA for the 2021 season.
Lucky for this team they bring back a host of strong players as well as a coaching staff that includes 34-year head coach Sue Volkmann. She brings a 582-304 record with her and a belief that it's less important what other teams are doing and more important what they are doing to be prepared.
"I'm more the philosophy I'd rather have my team prepared for anything rather than try to prepare for another team," Volkmann said. "We're going to bring our strengths, let them prepare to try to stop us."
Their 8-1 record last season was boosted by the now junior Madison Carsten, who the team hopes will be fully recovered and cleared to play this season. She was injured not far into the winter basketball season, a sport she is also very skilled in.
Volkmann is calling this year a building a year, though the team brings varsity experience back to the court with seniors Lauryn Gravelle, Ashley Lepinski, Summer Pettit and Kaylin Lupkes; juniors Madison Carsten, Katrina Moench and Emily Lepinski; sophomore Kayla Kircher; and freshmen Addy Gravelee, Montana Carsten and Jenna Dykhoff.
Newcomers that should be a boost to the varsity include seventh grader Payton Gravelle, who already stands above much of the team; and eighth grader Jada Dykhoff.
"We'll be a completely different team this year," Volkmann said.
Volkmann watched the girls proudly as they practiced in the preseason. She is pleased because a lot of the girls had varsity experience last season. All the winning pieces are coming together.
"After a very shortened season last year, I feel that we have a team that has the potential to improve greatly over the season," Volkmann said. Out of the usual 25-plus game season, they played just nine games last year.
Defense is the team's strength and they look to improve upon their offense to be successful. Another thing the group has going for them is that they all excel in the classroom, Volkmann said.
Look for them to school the competition as they take on teams from Pequot Lakes, Park Rapids, Sauk Rapids, Barnesville, Pelican Rapids and the more common Verndale and Bertha-Hewitt matchups. Volkmann expects Henning to be one of the top teams they'll take on in their conference. Time will tell.
Lauryn Gravelle, Ashley Lepinski, Summer Pettit, Kaylin Lupkes
Madison Carsten, Katrina Moench, Emily Lepinski, Haley Dickey, Emoni Holmes, Reagan Goldie, Danielle Dickey
Kayla Kircher, Isabelle Larson, Brenna Leeseberg, Bailey Sundby, Adison Block, Izzy Johnson, Ava Sargeant, Caylee Lysdahl, Paige Ridenour, Kieza Chandler, Gracie Ames, Adrianna Portillo, Briana Yglesias, Madyx Shreves, Anna Guo, Jasmine Ericson
Lizzy McCoy, Kaylee Berg, Ari Sargeant, Ariana Paplow, Danica Pederson, Macy Wynn, Braelyn Wegscheid, Nevaeh Louks, Serenity Shelton, Amara Neuerberg, Kiahna Truman, Elsie Anderson, Kiana Greeno, Mazie Boen, Addie Carr, Jayden Larson Ava White, Jenna Dykhoff, Montana Carsten, Addy Gravelle, Jenna Wood.
Jada Dykhoff, Kennedy Ness
Tuesday, Aug 31: 7:30 p.m. @ home vs. Pequot Lakes
Thursday, Sept. 2: 7:30 p.m. @ Perham
Tuesday, Sept. 7: 7:30 p.m. @ home vs. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
Thursday, Sept. 9: 7:30 p.m. @ Menahga
Saturday, Sept. 11: 9 a.m. tournament @ Sauk Rapids-Rice
Tuesday, Sept. 14: 7:30 p.m. @ home vs. Barnesville
Thursday, Sept. 16: 7:30 p.m. @ home vs. Bertha-Hewitt
Tuesday, Sept. 21: 7:30 p.m. @ Detroit Lakes
Thursday, Sept. 23: 7:30 p.m. @ home vs. Henning
Tuesday, Sept. 28: 7:30 p.m. @ home vs. Pelican Rapids
Thursday, Sept. 30: 7:30 p.m. @ Verndale
Tuesday, Oct. 5: 7:30 p.m. @ home vs. Breckenridge
Thursday, Oct. 7: 7:30 p.m. @ New York Mills
Monday, Oct. 11: 7:30 p.m. @ Park Rapids Area
Thursday, Oct. 14: 7:30 p.m. @ home vs. Pillager
Tuesday, Oct. 19: 7:30 p.m. @ Sebeka
Friday, Oct. 22: 2 p.m. tournament at Moorhead
Saturday, Oct. 23: 9 a.m. tournament at Moorhead