2011 Fall Preview: Plenty of new faces for Royals volleyball team this yearThis fall, under second-year head coach Linda Crum, the Woodbury volleyball team will look to replace nine graduates from last year’s 25-11 squad.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
This fall, under second-year head coach Linda Crum, the Woodbury volleyball team will look to replace nine graduates from last year’s 25-11 squad.
“This season is about blending the experience of our seniors with the talent and athleticism of our newcomers,” Crum said.
A little less than year ago, Woodbury fell 3-1 to rival East Ridge in the Section 4AAA semifinals at Stillwater High School, ending the Royals season.
This year, however, the Royals bring team strengths of athleticism, serving, blocking and defense in its quest for redemption.
Key returning players from last year’s team include seniors Olivia Wangensteen, an outside hitter, and Alexa Erickson, a setter. Both will serve as team co-captains in 2011.
In addition, Woodbury welcomes promising newcomers Sara Biermaier — a junior outside hitter, Alex Benedict — a senior middle hitter, Ericka Johnson — a senior libero and Aby Andualem — a junior outside hitter, who will play key roles for the Royals this fall.
All the girls will need to help replace the loss of stalwarts Cady Roberts, Sam, Jenna and Nicole Sullivan, Marika and Nicola Kim and Cassie Cahill, who graduated last spring.
Despite all the new faces, Crum said she believed Woodbury would be among the top six teams in the Suburban East Conference this year, along with Cretin-Derham Hall, Roseville, Mounds View, Stillwater and East Ridge. The top teams in the section this fall are expected to be Cretin-Derham Hall, Hill-Murray and Roseville.
Key dates on the 2011 schedule include: at home against Roseville on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at Stillwater on Tuesday, Sept. 27, and at home against East Ridge on Tuesday, Oct. 11.