2013 Fall Sports Preview: Experience plentiful for East Ridge volleyball team
The Raptors will look to build on a strong end to the 2012 season as they rev up for 2013 with a deeper, more experienced team.
Second-year coach Erin Nickleby said she’s encouraged by the number of returning players — including junior outside hitter Claire Whitman, who last season recorded 177 kills — and defensive depth. Nickleby lauded the team’s “great cohesion” and set her sights high for 2013, but admitted that Cretin-Derham Hall and Roseville will present challenges in conference and section play.Returning starters for the Raptors include Maddie Christenson, a outside hitter who Nickleby said will be counted on for leadership. The 5-foot-10-inch senior compiled 25 aces and 192 digs in the 2012 campaign.Other returning players include junior mid-hitter Emily Hrastich, junior setter Savanna Lipps, senior setter Makayla Sauro, senior mid-hitter Jamie Swanson and senior setter Sydney Kleinhuizen.Hrastich recorded 23 kills last season, while Lipps served 24 aces and amassed 304 digs in 2012. Swanson, who stands 6 feet tall, logged 106 kills last season.Nickleby said rising stars could include Allison Barber, a freshman setter with “great hands and great potential” and eighth-grader Ella Ratzloff, a setter who the coach said “plays aggressive and reads well.”