Stanley Blue Jay Volleyball Preview (2017)
Head Coach: Bobbi Jo Johnson (First Year)
Assistant Coach: Nikki Heinle
Junior High: Kayla Grande and Jasmynn Halvorson
2016 Record: (10-28)
Returning Award Winners: Abby Iverson (All-District and All-Tournament) and Hayley Schmidt (All-Tournament)
Who’s gone: Kassie Meyer and Jessica Niemitalo (Coach)
Coach’s Outlook: “I’m excited to have a great group of young talent. We have some decent height now that can only help us get stronger defensively and let Abby and Hayley lead our offense.”
“Drills are running smooth and our 2 seniors are being great role models and leaders. A lot of freshman and sophomores in the gym so very young.”
Coach’s Expectations: “I expect us to be competing strong in the district and region by tournament time. I am hoping for a top 4 finish on the regional level. We hope to develop our young height throughout the season to strengthen our defense.”
“I would expect Watford City to be tough again this year. After them, I think we will be fairly even throughout. Ray, Kenmare, and Powers Lake will likely be solid also.”
Thoughts from the Stanley Gazette: Replacing Jessica Niemitalo will be a tough task. The longtime coach picked up five state tournament appearances during her tenure.
Despite the loss of Niemitalo and the group’s lack of experience, the Blue Jays have some reasons to be optimistic. The team returns two of the top hitters in the region in senior Abby Iverson and junior Hayley Schmidt. Freshman Raygen Lee rounds out the group of hitters.
The Blue Jays also return two setters with experience in senior Jasmyn Giese and freshman Taylor Dean. Sydney Larson also figures to be in the setter mix.
The Blue Jays are young but tall down the middle. Sophomore Jossi Meyer returns the most experience. Sophomore Alyssa Ruden and Freshman Leevi Meyer are also battling for playing time.
The group is also bolstered by the addition of freshman Logan Lapica (first season playing volleyball). Lapica was a starter on the Blue Jay Basketball team as an 8th grader, she has plenty of upside.
Junior Daphne Enander will handle the libero duties.
The Blue Jays are young and some early season turbulence should be expected. The group of middles are intriguing because of their height, but they are very green. Passing was the Achilles’ heel of last year’s squad. If the Blue Jays can improve in that area it should allow Iverson and Schmidt to tee off, something their opponents don’t want to see.
Stanley Blue Jay Volleyball Schedule (2017)
Aug 31 7:00pm Away Bowbells/Burke Central
Sep 5 7:00pm Away Lewis & Clark
Sep 7 7:00pm Home Tioga High School
Sep 9 7:00pm Away Watford City Tournament
Sep 19 7:00pm Away Williston Trinity Christian High School
Sep 21 7:00pm Home Powers Lake High School
Sep 26 7:00pm Away Watford City
Sep 28 7:00pm Away Ray High School
Oct 3 7:00pm Away Nedrose High School
Oct 5 7:00pm Home Kenmare High School
Oct 10 7:00pm Home Parshall High School
Oct 12 7:00pm Home Divide County High School
Oct 17 7:00pm Away Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood High School
Oct 23 7:00pm Home South Prairie High School
Oct 26 6:30pm Home Killdeer High School
Oct 30 4:00pm Away District 16 Tournament
*Ian Grande is the Editor of the Stanley Gazette. If you have any comments or concerns please email StanleyGazette@gmail.com
Categories: Local Sports