With fall sports now over, the members of the Waconia volleyball team have dispersed for the winter and spring seasons to other sports and activities, but won’t soon forget the successful season they had as they prepare for 2014.
The Wildcats finished the 2013 season 23-8 overall, with an 11-game win stretching from late September until early October.
Of the team’s eight losses this season, six were to teams that eventually made state tournaments, according to WHS head coach Jim Lee.
Although a 9-1 conference record is usually enough to take a title, for this year’s Wildcats, that 9-1 wasn’t enough as the Orono Spartans finished 10-0 to take the WCC crown.
Despite missing out on a slice of the WCC title, there were plenty of achievements to be proud of this season.
In three different tournaments, which Lee called “prestigious,” the Wildcats had a least three wins in each. Waconia was 3-1 at the Eagle Invitational in late September and 3-2 at St. Michael-Albertville in early October.
Lee was also proud of victories over 2013 state champion Bethlehem Academy on the road on Sept. 24 (won 3-1) and upsetting the No. 3 seeded Prior Lake Lakers in the section tournament.
The Wildcats’ season ended Oct. 29, as the ‘Cats fell to Delano 3-0 in the section semifinals.
Waconia will say goodbye to four seniors this season in Julia Allenson, Roz Holasek, Samantha Paulson, and Kirsten Wagener. Wagener led the team in blocks with 79, while Paulson had 343 digs for WHS.
“We’re losing dependability on the court,” Lee said of the departing seniors.
But there are plenty of talented athletes that will return for the Wildcats next season including the team’s kill leader, Jessica Wolf, who tallied 388 kills this season, as well as Anna Schmitt, who holds the school record for most career assists with 1,964 and still her senior season to play.
Wolf is also the team’s leading ace server.
Also set to return for WHS will be future seniors Kia Pankey, Lauren Brettingen, Jordyn Goldschmidt, Jenna Van De Velde, and Madelynn Lage, along with Makayla Williams and Taylor Wolf, who both had significant varsity minutes in 2013.
“Should be younger next year than this year with a re-molded conference,” Lee said.
All-Conference Awards went to Schmitt, Wagener, and Jessica Wolf, while Paulson and Van De Velde were Honorable Mention. Wolf received All-State Honorable Mention recognition while Wagener was an All-State Academic winner.
Team awards included Most Improved (Williams), Honorable Mention Most Improved (Allenson), and the Wildcat Award (Wagener).
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]