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Preview of 2010 Hancock volleyball team

The Hancock girls volleyball teams started practice on Aug. 16, and the Owls are working to replace two key starters and fit players in new positions.

"This is a great group of girls and they have all been working hard in practice," Owls coach Kristi Fehr.

The Owls' first match is Thursday, Sept. 2 against Brandon-Evansville.

The night opens with an 8th grade match starting at 5 p.m., and the junior varsity follows at 6 p.m.

The squad includes three seniors, five juniors, one sophomore and four freshmen are practicing.

The seniors are: Lauren Nelson, Aria Walstad, and Illissa Koehl.

The juniors are: Kendra Schmidgall, Alison Reese, Abby Ascheman, Shae Brown and Tara Flaten.

They are joined by sophomore Courtney Greiner and four freshmen -- Lexi Nohl, Sami Schmidgall, Taylor Mix, and Karol Algarate.

The Owls' 8th graders are Leah Steiner, Gabrielle Nienhaus, Kami Feutchenberger, Steph Milander and Tiara Bedel, and the 7th graders are Lexi Steege, Claire Hanson and Jadin Copa.

Managers are Serandon Bigalke and Karly Fehr.

The Owls lost two key seniors off of last year's 21-7 team with the graduations of Bree Holleman and Lindsie Cunningham, who played outside hitter and libero.

The varsity roster includes nine girls: Lauren Nelson, Aria Walstad, Illissa Koehl, Kendra Schmidgall, Alison Reese, Abby Ascheman, Shae Brown, Tara Flaten and Courtney Greiner.

Five girls are returning starters from last year, but may possibly play different positions.

"We are fortunate to have some nice height so we will really be focussing on the hitting and blocking," said coach Kristi Fehr. "Bree and Lindsie were the two main passers last year so we will be looking for some of these girls to step up and take over those roles."

The Owls have played in two scrimmages in Minnewaska and Osakis. They are testing several rotations and the Owls have made huge improvements between the first scrimmage and one played Friday in Osakis, Fehr said.

"Right now the key is figuring out the best spot for each of the girls," Fehr said.