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Cedar girls face big expectations

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HARTINGTON - The Cedar Catholic volleyball looks to avenge last year’s only loss in the State Championship game this year.

The Lady Trojans broke five team records and two individual records last year, going undefeated until losing in five sets to Superior in the State Championship game. 

Cedar lost a number of seniors in Anna Reifenrath, Madie Arens, Ashley Hamilton, Sydney Steffen, Mallorie Steffen, Sydney Becker, and Maddie Sudbeck. The Lady Trojans maintained a good deal of depth though, with Maddie Wieseler, Jada Cattau, Brianna Miller, Gabby Steffen, Kenlee Goeden, Abby Hochstein, and Megan Heimes all returning as letter winners.

Cedar still has some solid experience returning, something that head coach Denae Buss sees as a strength coming into the season.

“Our strengths this year would be experience,” said Buss. “We have a good core from our team last year, and will be adding varsity players that are ready to uphold their high expectations.”

In senior leadership, Maddie Wieseler, Jada Cattau, and Brianna Miller all provide plenty of experience from last year’s state tournament run.

All three showed their ability to hit at the net last year. Cattau led the team with 291 kills, with Wieseler not far behind at 280. Brianna Miller finished the season with 138 for fourth most on the team. Cedar last year had six girls with over 100 kills in a season, and will be returning four of them. Junior Abby Hochstein is the fourth, finishing last season with 107 kills.

Last year, Wieseler and Cattau also showed that they can contribute in multiple ways. Wieseler was second on the team in set assists with 476 behind Ashley Hamilton who graduated and will be playing at Nebraska Wesleyan this fall. Cattau was second on the team in digs with 307, behind Madie Arens who graduated as well.

Wieseler also led the team with 116 blocks, and was followed by Miller with 94.

The Lady Trojans may have lost some fire power with seven seniors graduating last year, but this year’s team still comes with a lot of experience. It is a paradox in a game that plays just six players at a time. The deep rotation that Cedar did last year shows the level of talent there was, and plenty of it has carried into this season.