HARTINGTON — It appears that Hartington-Newcastle head volleyball coach Leigh Haselhorst is more than ready for the new campaign to start.
It all serves up Thursday against a top challenge in Crofton before heading to the Howells-Dodge tournament Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.
“The last time we played Crofton it was a battle of offense and defense,” Haselhorst said. “The first tournament is always fun because you can see the team really start coming together and ironing out some kinks. It is a great opportunity to play numerous games during the day.”
While that is happening, the Lady Wildcats hope to get plenty done to progress forward in the campaign.
“For the first couple of weeks, I tell my girls to only focus on what we can control on our side of the court,” Haselhorst said. “We need to win the serve and pass game, and communicate as much as possible. Every team has nerves but doing the things that they can control will ensure we play our best game.”
The coach expects her middle to step up big and outsides Kayden Jueden and Erin Folkers to swing away while maintaining consistency from the pins.
“The girls have worked so hard for these moments and I am excited for the rest of the town to see what they can do,” Haselhorst said. “Game days have such a fun atmosphere in a small town. Coaches can see how their team responds to different situations. I cannot wait to see the Lady Cats in action.”
It’s off to Homer Thursday for Cedar Catholic for a triangular against Randolph and the host Homer Lady Knights.
Coach Denae Buss said she wants her team to continue to work out the kinks, and begin to refine their game.
“Our goals for this week are to really work on our consistency on serve receive, on getting that great pass and working as a team,” coach Buss said. “Our team is extremely excited to get to play games after so much uncertainty if we would get to this point.”
No matter what happens on the court, the girls will appreciate the opportunity to play, she said.
“We really just have to soak up the moment and love the game, being thankful for this opportunity.”
Osmond rolls into town at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, to take on the host Lady Blue Devils to tip off the 2020 campaign.
“We want to play as competitive as we can each game working on basic fundamentals,” Wynot head coach Tammy Wieseler said. “I want to see constant improvement game to game so we hopefully peak at the end of the season when we need to.”
The Lady Tigers always pose a tough match, Wieseler said.
“Osmond plays us tough. I would expect some height and some first game jitters from them as well as us,” she said.
The Wynot coach said her girls are working hard at mastering their skills to get ready for the opener in hopes of getting better.
That’s scary stuff coming from a perennial state team.
“Our season motto is ‘Thankfulness,’ Wieseler said. “Every time we can have another practice or another game, we are thankful. So, yes, we are eager to get going.”
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