But for Northview and the tradition they have established in the past decade, the 23 win season of a year ago is nothing more than motivation to climb back to the state championship level they are accustomed to.
“We’re going to be a solid team this year and I know the girls are hungry after all of the injuries we battled through last year,” said Northview coach Dan Kearney, now in his fourth year at the program’s helm. “We only graduated two seniors, we have nine coming back and they feel like it’s their time to make a mark on the volleyball tradition at Northview.”
The tradition at Northview includes at least 41 wins in six straight seasons from 2005-10, final four trips each year, and state titles in 05, 07, and 08. But last year the injury bug derailed their run as a volleyball powerhouse when four of six starters were lost by season’s end — the Lady Titans finished 23-22 and were eliminated in the first round of the AAAAA playoffs.
Kearney said that with a roster of experienced and healthy players this fall he expects his girls to ascend back to that elite level in September and October.
“We have two outstanding outside hitters, a senior setter with really great hands and a couple of middle blockers that are really improving,” said Kearney.
“For us the first touch will be most important, if we can serve well and pass well we have a chance to do some real damage.”
Seniors Amanda Dachs and Rachel Rice are providing most of the offense on the outside with fellow senior Kelly Rockers running the offense as the team’s setter.
Paige Steioff and Lauren Unruh are playing at the middle positions with Emily Gaines, Natalie Rames, Caroline Skjoedt, and sophomore Kaitlyn Dachs providing depth to a talented and experienced roster.
“We know we have some really good players and our expectations are high as always. The goals here are always to win state championships. We feel like that opportunity if out there and that is what we are aiming for,” said Kearney.