SIDNEY – The Sidney Cowgirls enter the 2019 volleyball season with a goal of reaching the state tournament for the fifth consecutive season.
For the first time in that run the Cowgirls won’t have Jaden Daffer and Camryn McClintock.
The Cowgirls do have four seniors on this year’s team that played every set last season. Kelsey Hobbie is back at middle hitter. Maddy Duncan and Presley Brumbaugh return on the outside and Olivia Larsen will be the setter again this season.
There are open spots available after that. The Cowgirls thought they would have the other part of their main rotation, Makenna Jarosz, back for her senior season. That won’t happen, though, as she tore her ACL in her knee for a second time during the offseason and will miss the entire season.
The four they are building with were all key parts of last season’s run to the state semifinals. Hobbie had 331 kills and a kill efficiency of .392. She’ll be counted on to play all six rotations this year for the first time.
Duncan finished with 133 kills and 237 digs while Brumbaugh popped up 257 digs to go with 120 kills. Larsen added 243 digs to go with 1,017 assists.
The rest of the rotation is where the question marks are for head coach Amy McClintock’s Cowgirls.
Harley Spurlock stepped in to the middle hitter position at the state tournament when Jarosz suffered the injury. Spurlock will likely play there again this season.
Lily Johnson and Paige Smith are two other returners who saw time for the Cowgirls last season. Johnson will play in the back row and has some experience setting as well. Smith will either start on the outside or right side and could play all the way around for the Cowgirls this season.
Sophomores Alyson Barker and Makenna Laumann and freshman Emily Hutt and Kaden Payne are a few other athletes that could see time for the Cowgirls this season.
Sidney opens the season, Thursday, Aug. 29 at Tri-Center as the Cowgirls will play the host Trojans, Glenwood and Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson. A trip to the Harlan Tournament comes two days later.
The home opener is Tuesday, Sept. 3 against Johnson-Brock, followed by the Corner Conference opener in Stanton two days later.
McClintock said the Viqueens as well as East Mills and Fremont-Mills all return quite a bit this season and could give the Cowgirls fits in the Corner Conference race this season.