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Young players to fill Kernel volleyball team

Rachel Bucholz, Mitchell senior, sets the volleyball during drills at the first high school volleyball practice Thursday afternoon. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)

With three varsity experienced players returning, the Kernel volleyball team will display many new faces this season.

"We have to define our roles and almost every role is up for grabs coming in, which is nice," Mitchell head coach Deb Thill said Thursday evening. "They're all going to get a chance to be a contributor and we're going to try to develop some depth. Obviously, we've got to try to find kids who are able to compete at the varsity level."

The Kernels had their first practice of the season Thursday at Mitchell High School, which is three days earlier than in previous years. Mitchell has more than two weeks before its first match of the season against Sturgis on Aug. 29.

Mitchell graduated eight seniors in May, including University of Iowa signee Taylin Alm. Alm has two school records, including single season kills (457) and all-time kills (1,160).

Last year, the Kernels finished their season 9-13 overall and 7-9 in the Eastern South Dakota Conference.

The three returning letter winners this season include, seniors Rachel Bucholz and Kristi Anderson and junior Ally Goldammer. The Kernels also have two other seniors on the roster looking to break into the lineup this season with Nikki Driggs and Kaylynn Schutte.

Thill said she is excited about the season after all the hard work her team put in over the summer.

"I'm extremely happy with the work they've put in," she said. "We had around 35 kids at every open gym. It's their turn to shine, so they're really excited about it."

Thill said the team will hold tryouts over the next week and work on fundamentals.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.