Lady Eagle spikers shoot for steady improvement
Jenna Bean doesn’t really like to use the word “rebuild.”
Bean and the Lady Eagle spikers are just a year removed from a stellar season that saw Cashton capture a share of the 2016 Scenic Bluffs Conference title and advance to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 4 sectional semifinals.
But the nucleus of that championship squad – nine senior letter winners – have been lost to graduation, leaving Cashton with a lack of experience to open the 2017 season.
“We’re a work in progress,” offered Been. “We have a lot of new faces with lots of potential.”
If it’s shear numbers your talking about, Cashton is in great shape, with 42 girls out for volleyball in grades nine through 12.
That may bode well for the future of the Lady Eagle spikers, only two of those are returning letter winners – seniors Kyah Flock and Taylor Costello.
“We have a lack of varsity experience with only two letters winners back,” said Bean. “Last year, we had a lot of girls who played a lot of years together.”
A solution, of course, is practice, practice, practice, and Bean said her team is getting better at playing together.
While a lack of experience may be a weakness, Bean is excited about the hard work and dedication her team has shows to date.
“We have a lot of players who will do whatever I ask of them,” she said. “They have talent and they are willing to work.”
In addition to Flock and Costello, players on this year’s varsity roster for Cashton include seniors Odessa Hemmersbach, Autumn Ritter, Katlyn Geisler, Jasmine Felch and Shelby Hanson, junior Aubree Schmitz, sophomore Hailey Huntzicker and Ally Peterson and freshman Adelynn Hyatt.
The Lady Eagles are off to a decent start, splitting a pair of matches in their season-opener at Onalaska Luther and posting a 3-2 mark to finish second in a tournament at Westby over the weekend.
Still, Bean said she plans to keep her team goals simple at the start of the season.
“We’re looking at taking it one game at a time. Every single day, we’ll look at what we can improve on,” she said. “Our focus is on today – what’s going to make us better today.”
As for the SBC race, Bean believes it will be a dogfight again this season.
Last year, Cashton, Bangor and Royall all posted 11-3 conference marks to tie for the top spot, while Brookwood finished just one match back in fourth place at 10-4.
She expects Bangor, Royall, Brookwood and Hillsboro to be tough again this season, but believes the conference race will be a tight one.
“I think we’ll be right in the middle of the pack, to be honest,” concluded Bean.
Cashton is back in action Saturday, when the Lady Eagles travel to La Crosse to compete in a 9 a.m. tournament at Aquinas High School.