McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Fall Preview: Smoky Valley

  • First-year head coach Allison O’ Neil will try to do what no Smoky Valley volleyball head coach has done since 1986.
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  • O’Neil aims for state with Viking spikers
    First-year head coach Allison O’ Neil will try to do what no Smoky Valley volleyball head coach has done since 1986.
    Take a team to state.
    Last years upset minded Vikings came so close to knocking off Larned in the Sub-State finals. The Vikings only went 11-25 last year, but were a set away from becoming the cinderella story of the tournament.
    “There were positives to take away from last season,” O’Neil said. “The team will be looking to improve and make greater steps forward in the 2014 season.”
    The team will have to replace Second Team All-CKl senior Emily Deterding, but otherwise return plenty of firepower. Look for seniors Kelly Tolle and Hannah Godfrey to provide the leadership along with four other returning starters.
    “The 2014 team will be looking to build off their young team that brings a lot of depth and a scrappy defense.” O’Neil said.
    The Vikings will make their debut under the new coaching staff in a Preseason match against Hesston on Aug. 30, and make their season debut on Sept. 4 when they travel to Abilene.
    Viking tennis expects success
    LINDSBORG — With three returning varsity starters and only one state qualifier, the Smoky Valley girls tennis team is going to have their hands full trying to compete in a tough 4A.
    Don’t tell that to fourth year head coach Michelle Stula, as she expects her girls to compete with success.
    “We are optimistic about our upcoming season,” Stula said.
    Senior Hannah Morrical looks to lead the way for the Vikings, coming off of a 21-17 year and an appearance at state.
    Smoky Valley has some youth returning as well, with the sophomore duo of Emily Roets and Katie Bellah. Both Roets and Bellah showed glimpses of potential with above .500 records. With a year of experience under their belts, the two hope to strengthen the depth of the inexperienced Viking team.
    Rounding out the varsity lineup are a string of juniors. Jade Soukup, BrookeAnna Galloway, and Katie Klaassen hope to be in full swing by the start of the season.
    “Between the added experience our young team received last year and the depth of our team, we expect to be very competitive this year,” Stula said.
    The Vikings open their season Thursday with a varsity meet at Hesston.
    Smoky Valley harriers build on experience
    LINDSBORG — The Smoky Valley boys cross country team will look to capitalize on three returning athletes from a season where they took 6th at state.
    Led by Logan Windholz, the boys have the potential to be very strong this year.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I look for our boy’s team to be more competitive as a whole this year,” ninth year head coach Holly Lindquist said. “I look to have some top individuals as well as some good supporting runners to help our team score.”
    Isaac Peterson and Austin Lustfield will be the other two boys returning from last years varsity team. The Vikings will have plenty of youth on the boys side, as we’ll see three freshman in action for Smoky Valley.
    Unfortunately for the girls, the preseason outlook doesn’t look to favorable for the Vikings. The Vikings are going to have to overcome the lack of depth and numbers if they’re going to be able to have any success.
    Angel Ortega will have to carry the load, and the rest of the lineup is a big question mark.
    “The girls will have a couple top individuals, but will struggle with the team score due to the lack of numbers.” Lindquist said.
    You can see the Vikings cross country team in action, starting Sept. 4, as they open the season with a home meet at the Lindsborg Golf Course.
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