Spirit Lake Volleyball

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The 2011 Spirit Lake volleyball team (front, from left): Cassidy Pratt, Elisabeth Hoffmeister, Hayley Roberts, Kaela Delperdang and Carter Hassel, (middle): Bailey Loveall, Whitney Berkland, Alexa Rodawig, Cara Vale, Amanda Bueltel, Brittany Johannsen and Kayla Herrig (back): Coach Rachel Gerking, Coach Rachel Berkland, Paige Krause, Kendra Stokke, Jessica Sandy, Alissa Christoffer and Coach Tim O'Hagan.

Q&A with Coach Berkland

1. What are the main differences between this year's team and last year's team?

"With us graduating only two seniors last year, our team doesn't change much. Some of my players are strong athletes and will show great leadership when they are on or off the court. They continue to show how much of a team they are when they are cheering each player on. They don't like seeing their teammates fail."

2. Where do your strengths lie this year?

"We are returning many players that have had varsity experience. Our reserves are strong and make us work hard every practice. This group enjoys coming into the gym and being a part of a team. It's fun to come to practice and watch the improvement each player is making."

3. Where do you see the team needing to improve?

"Every day we have something we need to improve. Without the basic skills of passing and serving you can struggle as a team so those are skills we work on every day. We continue to work on improving our volleyball game knowledge by making practice more gamelike so the girls know how to handle those situations later."

4. Who are your key returning players?

NAMEGRADEPOSITION10 STATS/HONORS
Whitney Berkland 12 S324 assists, 243 digs, All-Conf.
Alexa Rodawig 12 OH90 kills, 21 blocks
Cara Vale 12 MH99 kills, 19 blocks
Amanda Bueltel 12 L199 digs, 89% server
Kendra Stokke 11 OH124 kills, 256 digs
Paige Krause 11 OH133 digs, 130 assists
Alissa Christoffer 11 L/DS164 digs

5. Do you have any promising newcomers in the mix?

"Sophomore, Bailey Loveall isn't really new since she had some time on the court last year, but she will be starting in the middle for us this year. Brittany Johannsen is a senior defensive specialist and Jessica Sandy is a junior right side hitter."

6. Size up your conference this year.

"Our conference should once again be tough. ELC returns many players who have been successful in other sports and will want to continue with that sense of drive in their volleyball season. I've seen some of the Hull Western girls at camps, and they will be a powerhouse. Le Mars, Spencer, Emmetsburg, Storm Lake and Cherokee have tough returning players so getting the win (on any given night) will not be easy."

5. Do you have any promising newcomers in the mix?

"Sophomore, Bailey Loveall isn't really new since she had some time on the court last year, but she will be starting in the middle for us this year. Brittany Johannsen is a senior defensive specialist and Jessica Sandy is a junior right side hitter."

6. Size up your conference this year.

"Our conference should once again be tough. ELC returns many players who have been successful in other sports and will want to continue with that sense of drive in their volleyball season. I've seen some of the Hull Western girls at camps, and they will be a powerhouse. Le Mars, Spencer, Emmetsburg, Storm Lake and Cherokee have tough returning players so getting the win (on any given night) will not be easy."

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