2017 De Soto High School volleyball team

Members of the De Soto 2017 volleyball team are (front, from left) Sierra Martinson, Susanna Dammon, Isabell Audetat, Vilde Norne; (middle) Marie Harpelunde, Elaina Klemme, Riley Anderson, Taylor Olson, Lila Tully, Jenna Krzewinski, Hannah Skau, Ava Brosinski, Leah Meyer, Michaela Hermeier; (back) assistant coach Alexis Reber, Emilee Koch, Natalie Randa, Rachel Gianoli, Brianna Carmen, Analia Johnson, Kenzy Kreuzer, Ellie George and head coach Mai Lang Lor. Not pictured: Kylee Boardman.

New Pirate volleyball coach Mai Lang Lor takes over a program that lost a lot of experience and talent to graduation.

Grace Brosinski (2016 Most Improved Player, Ridge and Valley Sportsmanship Award), Roxanna Haakenson, Sierra Tully (2016 Co-Coaches Award, Ridge and Valley All-Conference Honorable Mention), Rachel Veglahn (Ridge and Valley All-Conference First Team), Lauren Voelker, Rachel Wellman (2016 Front Row Player) and Julia Wopat (2016 Back Row Player, Co-Coaches Award, Ridge and Valley All Conference First team) have all moved on.

Lor said the top returning players are seniors Izzy Audetat, Susanna Dammon and Sierra Martinson and junior Ava Brosinski.

“(I have) a lot of faith in these students’ ability, as each of them individually are great players,” Lor said.

She said she hopes to focus on how she will fill spots and how they will do as a team. “I am really looking forward to working with these athletes and providing them with the knowledge and skills that I have.”

Lor said that her team’s biggest strength is the relationship between the players.

“They all have a great relationship with each other and are very energizing to the underclassmen,” Lor said. “They started showing great teamwork during open gym.” She added that her team’s major weaknesses are serves and passes. “We will definitely focus on drills regarding serves and passes.”

Lor predicts that her team will do fine. “As this is my first year coaching some of our goals are to have faster plays and be quick on our feet and being smart as a hitter.”

Lor’s advice to her players, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

Lor said she predicts that top contenders for the Ridge and Valley Conference will be Seneca. “Kickapoo also looks good.”

Lor’s assistant coach is Lexi Reber.

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Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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