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Coach expecting good season from MCS volleyball team

The Mitchell Christian volleyball team is looking to take another step forward this year.

Under head coach Jodi Burbach, the Golden Eagles won one game in 2011 and finished 3-17 in 2012. But this year, the third-year coach is expecting a much greater finish from her veteran squad.

“This is looking like it will be one of the best seasons we have had in a long time,” Burbach said. “The year prior to me taking over, we lost nine seniors so we pretty much had to start from scratch. We have gained a lot of experience since last season and our team has been the same pretty much the last two seasons.”

Mitchell Christian opens its season with a quadrangular starting at 9 a.m. Saturday against Marion, Ethan and Hanson. The Mitchell Christian squad features returning starters junior setter Emily Schrag, freshman outside hitter Abbie Reynen, sophomore middle hitter Emily Reynen, junior outside hitter/setter Lindsey Thompson, junior defensive specialist Destiny Reimnitz and junior middle hitter/libero Ellie Bleeker.

Reimnitz had 31 aces, Schrag had 146 assists, Emily Reynen had 71 kills and 58 blocks, while Bleeker had 166 digs and 100 kills last season. Gone from the team is third-team all-Custer Battlefield Highway Conference outside hitter Brittany Zoss, who graduated. Zoss had 199 digs and 30 aces last season.

“Brittany was an amazing player,” Burbach said. “She did a lot of things for us and was a great captain and a great leader.”

Bubach said the girls’ familiarity with each other will help them as they go through the season.

Filling the void left by Zoss will be two experienced players, who are newcomers to the team in Cassidy Graham and Ashley Schmit. Graham, a junior outside hitter, transferred from Hanson where she played volleyball and basketball last season. She was named third-team all-state honors in basketball last season after averaging 14.4 points per game.

Schmit, a 5-foot-11 middle hitter, transferred in from Sanborn Central, where she played volleyball, basketball and ran track for the Blackhawks.

Burbach said she is looking forward to seeing both players on the court this season for the Eagles.

“I am expecting a lot from both of them,” Burbach said. “They will each start for us and their height and strength will be a really big asset to our team on the front row. We are a very close-knit team and I think that is one of our greatest strengths. The way they support each other throughout games and practices is going to help our team go far.”