ELK MOUND – Taking over the varsity volleyball job from her mother Donna Weix, Samantha Weix will have to start fresh with a group of girls that have just two players with varsity experience this season. A total of 41 girls reported for practice allowing for a varsity team, two junior varsity teams and a C team this year.
“After playing for my mom and working as an assistant coach with her, I am very excited to be the new head coach,” Weix said. “It is something I always wanted to do, and after getting a teaching job at Elk Mound, things fell into place for me to take over as volleyball coach.”
Senior Hannah Flatness, who was a Second team All Conference pick as a junior, along with fellow senior Serena Weiser are the two returning letter winners and are expected to lead the Mounders this year. Having to replace 10 players from last year that finished second in the conference and lost a second round regional game to Eau Claire Regis won’t be an easy task for new coach Weix. Gone are Morgan Polden, Dayna Kotecki, Elizabeth Schreiber, Moriah Mauer, Elly Friberg, Rachel Caron, Katie Benson, Leia Kufahl, Lexi Peterson and Katie Gerber. Friberg, Polden and Schreiber were named First team AC and Kotecki was a Second Team selection.
Looking to fill the holes are seniors Emily Finder, Isabella Cater, Abbey Olsen, Makenna Zurbuchen and Kayla Black, along with juniors Jenna Heit, Karie Jo Nigon, Jordyn Abramowicz and Lauren Scharlau. A pair of sophomores are in the hunt for a varsity spot including Allie Weber and Maddie Borofka, and a very tall freshman, Morgan Radtke should see some court time.
Working on improving their skills by playing on the JV or C team are juniors Riley Radtke, Jenna Storing, Mikayla Solberg, Sarah Sweeney, Colleen Olson and Amber Edington. Sophomores include Cassisdy Yakesh, Alex Jensen, Allison Lindquist, Emily Bartig, Hannah Hawkins, Kyla Egan and Siri Shepard. Freshmen playing are Qwynn Tyman, Kaitlyn Schiferl, Victoria Fasbender, Abby Curry, Brynn McVey, Amanda Sahm, Danielle Olson, Isabel Hay, Alyssa Lauer, Amber Gilbertson, DeAnna Leon, Hannah Simpson and Alexis Lee.
“Our experience level is down with just the two varsity players back and with me being a new coach,” Coach Weix said. “But Hannah and Serena are strong, smart players and the rest of the players all seem to be receptive to a new coaching style. And it helps to have a coaching staff (Jenny Garnett, Darla Diermeier, Wende Kasakaitas) that has been with the program several years. In just the first week of practice we have seen some great improvements and I’m excited to see what a whole season of hard work gets us. Like the past few years, we are hoping to be a top contender for the conference title along with Colfax,” she added.
After a two day meet at the UW-Sprawl Aug. 28-29, the Mounders will play at Cadott Sept. 1.