Volleyball: Royals return young roster
New Royals head coach Cassie Cahill was a player on some of the best Woodbury volleyball teams in recent history.
Her mission now is to lead the Royals to a return of those glory days.
Woodbury was 23-9 in 2007, 24-5 in 2008 and 19-10 in 2010, which was Cahill's senior year at the high school.
Since then, however, the Royals have struggled to be competitive in the talented Suburban East Conference. Woodbury was just 6-21-1 overall last season and 1-7 in the SEC.
Cahill played Division II volleyball at Quincy University, graduating in 2016. Last year she coached the Woodbury sophomore B squad. This year she will be directing the Woodbury varsity.
"It's a brand new coaching staff, but we have a similar philosophy," Cahill said. "We're asking them (the Royals) to buy in to what we're saying, and they're doing a great job of doing that. They're really like sponges. They're willing to make changes and play with a lot of energy."
The Royals lost six seniors from last year's team, but return several key players. Leading the returners will be junior setter Amber Bretwisch, sophomore setter Courtney Cahill, and junior middle hitter Grace Beseman.
"Those three are our biggest assets," Cahill said.
"Our setters are very strong," she added. "And we should have a strong middle. Our serve receive should be really great."
Woodbury will be a young team with just one senior on the varsity. With some varsity inexperience on the floor, consistent play will be a key for the Royals this season.
Cahill is aiming for a middle-of-the-pack finish in the conference this season.
"Our non-conference schedule may up our record," she said. "I want to take a step up from last year, but this is a pretty young group. We have one senior and the rest sophomores and juniors."
Cahill looks at Stillwater, Forest Lake, and East Ridge to be among the conference's best teams this season.