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Replacing hitters is key to Braves’ success

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     Replacing last year’s hitters will be the key to success for the Menahga volleyball team this season.

     The Braves graduated five of their top hitters in Jenny Skoog and Kendra Dresow on the outside, Savannah Kako and Abby Jokela in the middle, and Jessica Yrjo on the right side.

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     Three starters return to help the Braves improve on their 2-5 record in Park Region Conference play and 6-15 overall record. Leading the Braves this fall are seniors Lakyn Anderson (setter), Elyse Skoog (right-side hitter) and Stacy Holmer (middle hitter). Sophomore Alyana Lake also returns after seeing plenty of varsity action as a libero last season.

     Being counted on to fill the other starting spots and provide depth off the bench will be seniors Jodi Skoog (outside hitter and defensive specialist) and Kendall Koch (middle hitter) and junior Danielle Novak (outside hitter).

     Rounding out the varsity lineup are junior Caroline Koch (outside hitter), sophomores Mackenzie Kako (setter) and Samantha Sabin (right-side hitter), and freshman Leah Schwartz (outside hitter).

     “All in all, we are a very young team,” said Menahga head coach Isaiah Hahn, who will be assisted by Nichole Weston and Spring Bungert. “Lakyn, Elyse and Stacy will need to be big leaders for our young team this year. Our team’s focus is serving and defense. We really need to be consistent in these areas this year in order to reach our goals as a team. I am looking for much more consistent play in all areas of our game, but it must start on defense, especially when it comes to passing and serving percentage.”

     Last season, the Braves received the No. 4 seed in the north for the Section 5A tournament and opened with a loss to No. 5 Pillager. Hahn is hoping his team can produce more victories and advance past the first round of the tournament this fall.

     “We have another very solid conference and section with some great teams with a lot of talent,” said Hahn. “Being a very young team, we really need to come together and be consistent with our play, especially with our passing and serving. If we can do that, the sky’s the limit.”

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