LINDSBORG — Everything is setting up for this to be a pretty special year for the Smoky Valley High School Vikings.

The Vikings return five seniors, all of whom have been playing with each other since the seventh grade. SVHS has state tournament expectations this year, after a 26-11 season ended at sub-state in 2015.

“They are a very athletic and driven bunch of girls,” first year coach Christine Deterding said. “Very scrappy.”

The Vikings are led by Deterding’s daughter, Kate, who made the Central Kansas All-League First Team and the 4A-Division II All-State Honorable Mention Team.

Kate, a 5-foot-8 outside hitter, is one of the top players in all of Class 4A-Division II.

Delaney Johnson is as automatic as it gets in terms of serving, as the starting setter completed 100 percent of her serves in 2015.

Middle hitter Haley Peterson led the team in kills in last season, while Bilee Carson is the teams defensive specialist.

Deterding lists athleticism, determination and drive as strengths, while the only thing she fears for this team are injuries.

The 2015 season was the first time in three years the Vikings finished the year with a winning record, and were second in the Central Kansas League to Pratt.

Smoky Valley opens the season on Aug. 27 in Pratt.

Contact Gallagher Martin by email at and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel