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MCS volleyball faces season's challenge with youth

With the season drawing closer, Mitchell Christian's volleyball team was already facing its share of challenges. The team, which finished 15-12 and lost in the District 8B championship game to Hanson a year ago, has just three returning letterwin...

With the season drawing closer, Mitchell Christian's volleyball team was already facing its share of challenges.

The team, which finished 15-12 and lost in the District 8B championship game to Hanson a year ago, has just three returning letterwinners in Kaitlyn Asmus, Grace Garrels and Abbie Reynen. Reynen won't be able to help the Golden Eagles this season after she tore her ACL in her knee over the summer.

That means coach Chris Nemec isn't quite sure how the Golden Eagles will start the season, expecting the team to find its way and its identity in the first few weeks. Mitchell Christian's season opens today when the Golden Eagles host Sunshine Bible Academy.

"Going into the season, we're going to have to find out where we're at and it's probably going to have to take some time," he said. "It's going to be a challenge but we just have to trust our kids."

Nemec said it will provide a chance for the team's younger players to assert themselves,

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"I think being young will be a good thing because the kids will be more willing to just go out and play hard and they don't have to worry about much else," he said.

The Golden Eagles graduated two seniors a year ago and Reynen and Asmus were the only two of the four juniors from last season's team to return this year.

Mitchell Christian will also play in the Custer Battlefield Highway Conference Tournament in Plankinton on Sept. 10 and the Cavalier Clash in Tyndall on Sept. 17. They'll host a season-ending triangular with Freeman and James Valley Christian on Oct. 27.

"I think it will be a good year," Nemec said. "We have some kids that can play and we'll just have to see how they do on the varsity level."

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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