In front from left are Desirae Brainard, Stine Myrah, Grace Edgington. Nicole Krenzke and Kendra Paus. In second row are Jordan Anderson, Lauren Arneson, Elizabeth Johnson, Samantha Boyd, Heidi Buxengard, Tara Solberg and Sierra Hunter. In back are Aly Folz, Nicole Ellingson, Kailee Bjerke, Samantha Bratland, Lauryn Bohr, Carrie Hagen and Danika Albert.
In front from left are Desirae Brainard, Stine Myrah, Grace Edgington. Nicole Krenzke and Kendra Paus. In second row are Jordan Anderson, Lauren Arneson, Elizabeth Johnson, Samantha Boyd, Heidi Buxengard, Tara Solberg and Sierra Hunter. In back are Aly Folz, Nicole Ellingson, Kailee Bjerke, Samantha Bratland, Lauryn Bohr, Carrie Hagen and Danika Albert.
Their brand new home floor may still be under construction, but the Spring Grove volleyball team is almost ready to begin play.

Ten upperclassmen, including 8 of the 11 returning letter winners will provide the Lion volleyball team with good continuity for their 2013 campaign, even if the team is somewhat lacking in varsity experience in a few key areas.

Last season, Spring Grove posted a record of 16-12, going 10-3 in conference play. They snagged second place in the Southeast Conference (SEC) East, earning a no. 6 sub-section seeding.

Senior middle hitter Nicole Ellingson is back this year, bringing a wealth of talent and leadership to the squad. The three-time letter winner earned All-SEC honors in both 2011 and 2012 and took the Impact Player Award in team voting last year.

At 5 feet 8 inches in height, Ellingson has "a great sense of court awareness and an explosive attack to all areas of the court," veteran Coach Michelle Anderson noted.

Anderson is now in her 23rd year at the helm. She also serves as athletic director for the district. Bethany Bergsgaard will serve as JV/9th grade coach.

"With the graduation loss of three starters at the setter, hitter and libero positions, we will be looking for major contributions from a number of players," Anderson reported.

Some of those players include 2012 SEC Honorable Mention Tara Solberg at outside hitter/defensive specialist, another senior class member.

Senior Heidi Buxengard plays at the same position while two-time letter winner Aly Folz, another senior, checks in at outside hitter. She was named Most Improved Player in 2012.

Senior Sammi Boyd will play right side hitter/setter. She had off-season ankle surgery, but the Lions are hopeful she'll return to practice soon.

"Junior 5-foot-10 hitters Samantha Bratland and Kailee Bjerke should provide a solid block in the front row," Anderson noted, "as well as a potentially potent attack. Back row players handling libero/passing duties will be juniors Lauren Arneson, Liz Johnson and Carrie Hagen.

"Sophomores Jordan Anderson and Sierra Hunter will be counted on to step right into varsity roles. Anderson will see action as the starting setter while Hunter has the ability to play a number of positions."

The coach reported that the Cougars of Mabel-Canton remain the team to beat in the SEC and will once again figure in the Section 1A East playoff picture.

The Cardinals, (defending state Class A champ Bethlehem Academy) can be counted on to be very tough once again in Section 1A West, while nobody should look past a pair of Falcons (Fillmore Central or Wabasha Kellogg) in tourney play either.

The Lions will see plenty of early action with the Tuesday, Aug. 27 season/conference opener in Rochester against Schaeffer Academy and the Aug. 29 trip to Mabel-Canton followed by the Aug. 31 annual holiday weekend all-day Mabel-Canton Tournament. The complete schedule is available on page 6.