FALL PREVIEW: Chargers look to take another step forward

Photo by Jake Przytarski The 2019 Westbrook-Walnut Grove volleyball team includes front row (L to R): Lexi Herding, Kelly Berglund, Emma Wahl, Kelsey DeSmith and Addeson Jenniges. Back row (L to R): Halle Steen, Madison Dennistoun, Kayla Freeburg, Camryn Bunting, Beth Byers, Alli VandeKieft and Ivy Paplow. Not pictured: Kayla Reimers.

WESTBROOK – In Meghann Westover’s first year as head coach of the Westbrook-Walnut Grove volleyball team, the Chargers made great strides from their nine win season in 2017 by rattling off 14 in 2018. Now, with many of the same players from last year’s team set to make their return, the team is expected to make an even bigger jump in 2019.

Leading the way for the Chargers are six seniors, including All-Conference honorable mention Camryn Bunting at the middle blocker position and Halle Steen as the setter. All-conference member Emma Wahl will also be making her return as a junior at the libero position.

Westover anticipates that her team will be especially strong on defense with Wahl back for a third-straight year at the crucial position.

“Our defense (will be an area of strength),” said Westover. “We have Emma Wahl that comes back as our libero. This will be her third year there. I look for us to have a pretty strong defense.”

Though the team has the capability to be a strong hitting team as well, Westover hopes to improve in that area during practices after struggling with it at times last year.

“I mean we have good hitters but we need to strengthen that area,” said Westover. “I think we had a lot of good points last year but we need to put it all together and actually win games that we should be winning.”

The Chargers will open up the regular season on Monday when they host Edgerton in a Red Rock Conference matchup at 7:15 p.m. Westover has goals of ending the season near the top of the conference standings and picking up wins against a big rival along the way.

“I’d like to see us in the top three in the conference, which I think is completely doable,” said Westover. “I (also) want to beat Adrian. We played them three times last year and didn’t come out with a win in any of them so I would like to beat them.”