By Kelsie Hoitomt
GLENWOOD CITY — After finishing third in the Dunn-St.Croix Conference last season, the Lady Toppers look to run as a strong conference contender again this year with a core group of players returning.
The Toppers graduated just two girls off the team, but they bring back a strong group this year that includes letter winners, Jennifer Kopacz, Moriah Kuehndorf, Megan Samens, Kristie Knops and junior award recipients Rachel Klatt, Maya Petersen and Gabby Peterson.
Klatt, Petersen and Knops have all been starters on the team, but their shoes will need to be filled for a while after each of them suffered a knee injury over the summer.
Petersen is hopeful to return in December, but Klatt and Knops will not be on the court until later in the season.
Helping to fill in those voids are returning players, Kayla Hanson, Taylor Brittain, Gabby Peterson, Carlee Strong, Briana Barstad, Tia Carlson, Taylor Drinkman, Becca Moll, Leslie Peralta, Morgan Peterson and Kaylie Scalzie.
New to the roster this year is Cortney Lawson, Jamie Scanlon, Emily Hill, Mariah Voeltz, Jenesa Klinger, Makayla O’Brien and Elizabeth Wink.
“Our weakness will be our depth in terms of experience due to the injuries and lack of height in the post position,” said coach Justin Kuehndorf. “Our strength however, will be that we have a good group of kids that work well together and have good team speed.”
This is Kuehndorf’s fifth year as head coach for the Lady Toppers and he holds a 46-47 overall record.
He led the team to a 14-8 overall record in the 2013-14 season, which was their best in the past eight years.
Kuehndorf stated that their number one goal in terms of statistics is to “minimize turnovers and play sound basketball on both ends of the floor.”
“Our team goals will be to have a successful season in terms of cohesiveness and working hard to reach our potential both as players and as student athletes,” Kuehndorf continued.
The Lady Toppers will take to the court this Thursday, November 20 with a game at home against Mondovi at 7:30 p.m.
They will then travel to Elmwood on Monday, November 24 to play against the Elmwood/Plum City co-op team before the Thanksgiving break begins.