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ELK MOUND — The Lady Mounders came up a bit short in their quest for a conference championship last season as they finished in second place in the Dunn-St. Croix with a 7-1 record. Elk Mound’s lone conference set back came at the hands of rival and six-time defending titlist Colfax.
Overall, Elk Mound tallied a 24-13 mark in the 2018 campaign.
“We fell short of our goal as we were looking to claim a conference title and make a push for a regional title,” said Mounders head coach Samantha Stelter. “However, we had a very successful season.”
Elk Mound will make a run at a conference title once again this season without the help of their strongest player, Morgan Radtke, who graduated this past spring. Radtke was tabbed as a first team all-conference performer and earned her second consecutive D-SC player of the year honor for Elk Mound.
Abigail Curry and Qwynn Tyman also graduated last May and were strong defensive players for the Mounders.
Making her return to the court will be Kortnee Halgren who will continue to be a setter for Elk Mound.
“Halgren not only has soft hands and places the ball well, she is a big block for us in the front row and aggressive defensively,” explained Stelter.
Sophomore McKenna Diermeier returns after a stellar freshman season. According to Stelter, Diermeier has a good sense when it comes to the court and the ability to play all positions well.
Maggie Bartig and Hailey Blaskowski will also return for Elk Mound.
Bartig played middle last season for the Mounders, but she has brought a sense of leadership and is ready to make her statement this season.
As for Blaskowski, she is a strong defensive player and will be coupled with Sophie Cedarblade, who returns to the front row.
“I think energy as well as the girls continue to show excitement for the season and competition is our strength,” said Stelter. “Our lack of experience may create inconsistency at times, but we have a lot of options.”
The goal for Elk Mound is once again to make a run at a conference title and to work on developing confidence in their less experienced players and identifying the team’s identity this season.
“It’s a new look without Radtke up front, but these girls are working hard to leave their own mark on the team and program,” said Stelter.
The Mounders will keep their eyes on the 2018 Dunn-St. Croix 2018 conference champion Colfax Vikings as a majority of the team has returned to Colfax.
“I anticipate that they will be the team to beat this season,” Stelter explained.
This is Stelter’s fifth year with the Mounders and she has an overall record of 92-69 and a conference record of 27-5.
The Mounders traveled to Stanley-Boyd last evening, Tuesday, for their first game of the season. Elk Mound will stay on the road as it takes part in a two-day tournament hosted by UW-Stout on Friday and Saturday, August 30 and 31. Elk Mound’s home opener is next Tuesday, September 3 when it hosts a quadrangular.
Seniors: Maggie Bartig, Hailey Blaskowski, Sophie Cedarblade, Kortnee Halgren and Lexi Nechanicky.
Juniors: Emma Brenden, Morgan Kinblom, Susan Marquardt, Chloe Simpson, Bryanna Troutz and Tessah Tyman.
Sophomores: McKenna Diermeier, Kyah Fischer, Isabella Harmer, Issie Hollister, Ari Pinder and Kallee Rhude.
Freshmen: Tori Blaskowski, Deanna Christner, Brooke Emery, Gracie Carlton, Lauren Garnett, Karsyn Heath, Aleah Kurtzhals, Kate Mohr, Teagan Pahl, Stella Rhude, Grace Roder, Sierra Simpson, Cecilia Soto and Lillian Vang.