By Cara L. Dempski
BOYCEVILLE — After finishing 5-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix in 2015, Bulldog Coach Corrie Roemhild knows her team will have to be ready to play every game on its schedule in 2016.
“No team can be overlooked,” she said. “Anything can happen on any given night.”
Boyceville is looking forward to getting the 2016 season underway after losing only three players after last season and gaining a talented, competitive group of freshmen.
Outside hitter Abby Lorenz was one of the players who left the team after 2015. She was joined by right setter Jenna Beyrer and libero Marki Lagerstrom. The trio left behind a group of players who Roemhild refers to as experienced.
Playing as seniors this year are returning letter winners Erica Sempf, Brooklyn Hellmann, Hannah Guy, Madysn Riek, Morgan Kuhn and Cassie Malean. Playing as middle hitters will be Sempf, Riek, and Malean, while Hellmann, Kuhn, and Guy will serve a setters. Sempf and Guy will also hold down positions at middle blocker and outside hitter. Riek was also named to the 2015 second team all-conference.
Juniors Haley Wold and Mariah Drury join the mix as returning letter winners and lead a group of 11th-grade players totaling nine. Also vying for time on the court will be Jaslyn Krueger, Paulina Wienke, Satina Chilson, Shania Dunn, Kailynn Bird, Sam Sorenson and Mariah Schlottman.
Jaida Peterson returns to the team as a sophomore after winning a letter in her first year of high school. She will have classmates Amber Retzloff, Alyx Bloom and Shawna Gove to help the team toward this season’s goals.
Finally, nine freshmen join this year’s roster. Hannah Johnson, Tyra Kostman, Taylor Grambow, Emma Ouelette, Emma Bygd, Tara Gunnufson, Ana Evenson, Megan Hintzman and Desiree Lo complete the team. Roemhild had nothing but compliments for her youngest team members.
Roemhild said of the freshman class, “We have a strong group who are not only skilled volleyball players, but also very competitive. They push everyone to be better.”
This matches well with the rest of the team, who now have played several years together. Roemhild said of the team that not only are this year’s Bulldogs experienced, but they have a great work ethic.
Not only are the girls on the team skilled, but they are supportive of each other, no matter the grade level of each player. They play well together as a team, and all have individual goals for themselves and the team. Each girl is constantly challenging herself and her teammates to become better, Roemhild said.
While such pursuit of excellent can be the making of a strong team, Roemhild admits there can also be a downfall.
“They continually strive for perfection, but they also need to realize that mistakes will happen,” the Bulldog coach said.
In a conference which last year saw an 8-0 team at the top, Boyceville fit into the ranks at fourth place. Such determination and drive could keep the team striving to climb a bit further up the ladder this year in the Dunn-St. Croix, according to Roemhild.
“All of the girls have a wide range of goals they want to reach, and hopefully all of their individual goals will help us reach our ultimate team goal,” Roemhild said of her players.
Roemhild is in her 10th year of coaching the Bulldog volleyball team. She is joined by assistants Angela Hellmann and Diana Robinson.
Boyceville will open their season against Chetek-Weyerhaeuser at Chetek-Weyerhaeuser High School on September 6. They then play at Amery High School on September 8 and in Plum City on September 15 to open conference play. The team’s first home game will be September 20 against Durand.
The Bulldog volleyball team will also be participating in “Volley for a Cure” on August 25. The event will start at 4:30 p.m. and continue through the varsity quad that evening. Joining the team will be the Flambeau, Cornell and Ladysmith teams for special activities to help fight cancer. This includes an ice cream sundae social, face painting for children, split-the-pot raffle, match break contests, and the sale of Volley for a Cure t-shirts.
Seniors: Erica Sempf, Hannah Guy, Brooklyn Hellmann, Morgan Kuhn, Madysn Riek, Cassie Malean.
Juniors: Haley Wold, Mariah Drury, Jaslyn Krueger, Paulina Wienke, Satina Chilson, Shania Dunn, Kailynn Bird, Sam Sorenson, Mariah Schlottman.
Sophomores: Jaida Peterson, Amber Retzloff, Alyx Bloom, Shawna Gove.
Freshmen: Hannah Johnson, Tyra Kostman, Taylor Grambow, Emma Ouelette, Emma Bygd, Tara Gunnufson, Ana Evenson, Megan Hintzman, Desiree Lo.