8/29/2017 12:40:00 PM Volleyball making some room on its trophy shelf
The Tiger volleyball team will be led by six seniors, including captains Julianne Waugh (kneeling left) and Emily Rinken (kneeling right) and standing, from left, Amy Lofgren, Kailee Brower, Anna Oeltjenbruns, Carissa Smith.
If offense wins games and defense wins championships, the Stewartville volleyball team needs to make some room on its trophy shelf. Back to lead the Tiger defense is senior libero Emily Rinken. The first-team All-State selection finished with a team-best 518 digs in 2016 and will captain this year's team with the scrappy senior outside hitter Julianne Waugh, an HVL honorable mention who is coming off knee surgery. Add Kailee Brower, Carissa Smith, Anna Oeltjenbruns and Amy Lofgren, four more "dedicated senior leaders who have high expectations," according to Tiger coach John Dzubay - with a mix of young letterwinners and varsity newcomers - and that should give Stewie a winning formula. "Our defense will be solid, as usual, but we should have more offense to go with it this year," said Dzubay. Blend in the talents of two-year letterwinner in sophomore middle hitter Kaitlyn Prondzinski (173 kills, 45 blocks); and letterwinners in sophomore middle hitter Lily Welch; freshman middle hitter Erin Lamb (184 kills, 33 blocks); and freshman outside hitter Jaidyn Brower (187 digs as a back row player in 2016). Junior newcomers Makenna Theobald and Ayla Stecher, both right side hitters, will add depth to the roster. Expect parity in the HVL this season with Kasson-Mantorville, Kenyon-Wanamingo, Hayfield and Cannon Falls all having outstanding teams. "Every HVL match will be competitive," said Dzubay.