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Wynot Lady Blue Devils have reloaded for another run

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Wynot — Year 17 for Tammy Wieseler as the head coach of Wynot volleyball begins Aug. 27 when Osmond comes to town.

Wieseler’s tenure has included a best-ever state runner-up finish in 2016 and state appearances in 2006, 2011, 2014, 2018 and 2019, with back-to-back fourth-place finishes the past two years.

Wynot heads into the fall following a 25-5 record that added to Wieseler’s 313-101 career record and now will try to replicate that success despite some big graduation losses.

Wieseler will have to replace 2020 graduates RH Whitney Hochstein, OH Katelyn Heine, BRS Michaela Lange, MH Kaitlyn Heimes, MH Shaelee Planer, libero Noelle Wieseler and OH Emma Greninger.

The Lady Blue Devils will attempt to continue its recent run of successes behind OH Karley Heimes, MH Autumn Lawson, RH/S Edyn Sudbeck and S/libero Emersyn Sudbeck.

“Karley is a sharp steady player, Autumn is a strong and aggressive player, Edyn is a strong attacker and returning setter and Emersyn is a smart player and quick in the backrow,” Wieseler said.

Wynot will run a 6-2 and the Blue Devils will aim to exploit their illustrative line of strengths.

“We are tall and hope to be a good blocking and attacking team,” Wieseler said. “With the large number of graduating seniors, we will be a young team with new girls in new positions. They are very hard working and eager to get on the court.

“We have worked hard in the last few years to have been able to play at the state tournament. We have come up a little short the past few years and the girls are working hard to go farther in the tournament and win state.”

The Lewis and Clark Conference offers strong challenges in Ponca, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge and Homer while Wynot’s state challenges include Falls City Sacred Heart, BDS, Humphrey St. Francis and Lawrence-Nelson.

Then there is that little potential roadblock in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The situation that all coaches and players are in has been challenging, but we are utilizing this time to grow as a team and practice as hard as we can for as long as we can, and hope that it will get us through the season,” Wieseler said. “Fortunately, we were able to compete in the month of July, sharing our time between volleyball and basketball, getting the girls the opportunity to play with each other and compete.”

The senior Sudbeck twins noted that the era of the pandemic will make for some oddities like no crowds where they are used to a nice packed house in Wynot.

“The crowds are a big part of volleyball that helps with the momentum and that kind of stuff,” Edyn Sudbeck said.

Emersyn Sudbeck agrees that the lack of crowds could be a challenge for the Lady Blue Devils and just the various social distancing protocols including wearing a mask on the court.

“But mainly we are just happy to be together,” she said. “As a team we are going to have the mindset that we are going to get through these obstacles and focus on the sport.”

The sport itself could find itself being a rewarding one despite the loss of so many seniors.

“We have a completely new team, but the girls have also been stepping up and it should be a good season and we should go far,” Edyn Sudbeck said. “We have a lot of good blockers and hitters – that’s our strongest part of the game.”

A new team in terms of varsity volleyball experience, but realistically, the group that is coming up know each other very well.”

“We have been playing with these girls for a very long time – Wynot is small so we are all on the floor together if we are starting or not,” Emerysn said. “So we are figuring out what rotations work out best for us.”

She said the tall timber up front will come in handy as the team’s passing has been on point.

“We’ve been trying to get a quick offense in and we have been working on that and speeding things up,” Emersyn Sudbeck said.

“Our blocking has been terminal since we have some pretty good jumpers and we have a double block up there at all times,” Edyn Sufbeck said.

Emersyn Sudbeck said as libero, the block has been doing well getting touches on the ball to make the back row’s job a lot easier.

“This year has been new for me since I am starting to play libero this year,” she said. “We are working on closing the block and every now and then we will get touches and we just need to be reading the block. So far I am happy with it.”

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