Despite the loss of three all-conference athletes, the Superior High School volleyball has plenty of experience heading into the 2019 season.
The Spartans return three starters from a team that went 24-10 overall and finished third in the Lake Superior Conference.
Looking to fill the void of Caleigh Jensen, Chloe Wilson and Hannah Hughes will be senior setter Zoie Cole, senior middle Izzy Swanson and sophomore outside hitter Lexie Lohman.
Also battling for playing time are seniors Torie Peterson and Abby Dolsen, and sophomore Makayla McMeekin.
“We have a lot of talent on this team,” SHS coach Brenda Pluntz said. “We have five sophomores on the varsity with a mix of seven seniors. All of them are hard working, are coachable, and very knowledgeable players.
“We might lack varsity experience, but we are working hard and improving every day.”
Superior, 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the LSC, opened the season at the D.C. Everest Invite on Aug. 27. The Spartans lost close games against Eau Claire North and Chippewa Falls, then defeated D.C. Everest in three sets.
“I saw us improving every time we hit the court,” Pluntz said. “With the hard working players we have we will compete hard no matter what we compete against.”
The Spartans opened LSC play with a 3-1 (25-17, 27-15, 23-25, 25-14) win at Duluth Marshall on Sept. 5.
Statiscally for Superior, Cole had two ace serves, 28 set assists and 13 digs; Destiny Hering had 16 digs; McMeekin had nine kills and five digs; Lohman had 12 kills, three blocks and 21 digs; and Swanson had seven blocks and six digs.
Superior then ran into a hot Ashland (5-1, 3-0) team, which extended its winning streak to five with a 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 19-25, 25-19) win Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Sundberg Gym in Ashland.
The Spartans, who were scheduled to play at Duluth Denfeld on Thursday, Sept. 12, will play in the Hudson Invitational at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, and host Hermantown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.
SPARTAN SPIN: Also graduated off last year’s team is Autumn Siers, who will be playing softball at St. Scholastica. … Superior defeated New Richmond in the opening round of the 2018 WIAA playoffs, but then lost to Eau Claire North. … Pluntz has an overall record of 84-104 at SHS. … Superior last won a LSC championship in 2011. … The Spartans have never advanced to the state tournament. … Superior’s assistant coaches are Jessie Pluntz and Hailey Kontny and the team managers are Ethan and Evan Warring.