The Litchfield High School Panthers will kick off the 2021 volleyball season at home against Nokomis on Thursday, Aug. 26, and the level of anticipation for both coaches and players is cautiously optimistic.
“The girls are very excited,” Head Coach Abby Carlson said. “They have been working hard, their energy level is high and they are very excited to have a full season of volleyball.”
Coach Carlson said it is always nerve-wracking to begin the season.
“You never really know where you stand until your first match, but these girls have worked so hard and they really, really want it. I think it has finally clicked. They know the amount of work and effort they have to put in.”
Coach Carlson will be assisted at the junior varsity level by Mitchell Hughes and Kari Dragoo will guide a healthy number of freshmen who came out this year.
The LHS volleyball roster contains three seniors - Taylor Brakenhoff, Alissa Crabtree, Ashley Hickerson; four juniors - Carlee Harmon, Blair Johnson, Libby Lamb, Emma Walch; nine sophomores - Taylor Bradburn, Madisyn Bremerkamp, Emma Diveley, Amy Frerichs, Madalyn Hampton, Riley Helen, Annika Rhodes, Kendall Stewart, Aundreyah White; and 13 freshmen - Jaydah Caldwell, Ava Fetter, Laurin Hamm, Ella Hohnsbehn, Moriah King, Megan Lee, Georgina Painter, Henshi Patel, Isabella Reyes, Keeley Tabor, Elise Walch, Alayna Wyatt, Hayley Zeller.
The varsity Panthers will play an 18-match schedule and compete in two tournaments, the Grace Filled Tourney on Sept. 10 and 11 and at Civic Memorial on Oct. 16. The junior varsity gets a taste of tournament play on Oct. 23 as they compete in the Lincolnwood Tourney while the freshmen and sophomores will compete in the Pawnee Tourney on Sept. 11.
The schedule also includes 13 freshman matches that begin at 5 p.m., followed by the junior varsity and varsity matches. In addition to Nokomis, the Panthers will defend their home court nine other times while they travel on the road for eight matches.