With just 12 Centre High School athletes out for volleyball this year, team members should see a lot of action. There are two seniors, three juniors, five sophomores, and two freshmen.
Coming off a 13-15 season, Coach Yvonne Burhoop expects the team to finish in “the middle of the pack” in the Eisenhower League, behind Sunrise Christian Academy, Wakefield, and White City, and ahead of Solomon, Hope, Elyria, and St. Xavier.
All three of the 2007-08 senior players who graduated were starters. Three returning letterwinners are seniors Leann Pankratz and Bridgette Burns and junior Carlye Simons.
“Leann is our best all around player,” Burhoop said. “She was an outside hitter last year, but she may do some setting as well as hitting.”
Burhoop characterized Burns as a leader on the team, both in her play and in encouragement of the younger players.
“She along with Leann are my best passers,” Burhoop said.
Simons is in the process of learning to be a setter.
“In the past she was an outside hitter, but because of her athletic ability, we are working on making her into a setter,” Burhoop said.
Other players who will be vying for starting positions include juniors Shelby Deines and Allison Shields and sophomore Amanda Floyd.
“We must stay healthy and develop some of our younger players in both hitting and setting,” the coach said.
Season openers included a quadrangular Sept. 2 at Inman and a triangular Tuesday at Wakefield. Centre will host a triangular with Elyria and St. Xavier next Tuesday, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Burhoop is in her 27th year as a volleyball coach at CHS. Her overall record is 443-294. Instructor Karen Nickel is her assistant.