Panthers return good core from regional finalist

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Head coach Peggy Huhn has a bright outlook on the Plymouth Panthers’ 2014 girls volleyball season.

PHS has a fairly young squad with four sophomores but has a good core returning from last year’s team which finished second in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference with an 11-3 dual record and was a Division 2 regional finalist. The Panthers had a 29-9 overall mark in 2013.

The Panthers have three starters back in senior setter Mary Albert, senior defensive and back-row specialist Cara Bardon and senior outside hitter Kathryn Aukerman. Joining the starters as returning letter winners are senior defensive specialists Delaney Haese and Elise Suttner.

Albert, a three-year starter, was named All-Eastern Wisconsin Conference honorable mention last season. She ranked No. 2 in the EWC in assists with a 7.0 average per set. For the overall season, Albert led the Panthers in ace serves, assists and serving percentage.

“I look ahead to a very sound season, one that we improve each game, jell more each game and really start controlling matches by mid to the end of this season,” said Huhn who is in her sixth season as the PHS head coach.

“We will look to Mary Albert as our leader on the court. She has great court sense and awareness, and knows the game very well,” said Huhn.

“I will look to her to be more offensive on the court. Also, up and coming is her younger sister, Sophie. She has a lot of energy, loves to play the game and you can see that on the court.

“Kathryn Aukerman has moved over to the outside. She has to really learn this position but her natural athletic ability and drive to get better will really allow her to excel at this spot,” said the coach.

“Our middles [sophomore Megan Goeser and junior Hayley Mueller] are young but eager. Once they get comfortable out on the court, they will demand respect from our opponents’ block which will then really open things up for our outsides and right sides.

“I look forward to seeing them grow and become very dominant middles in our area.”

Huhn pointed out two keys for her team to be successful.

“We will need to be very sound defensively this year and that is our goal. Determination in the back row needs to be present this year for us,” she said.

The coach predicts a balanced conference this season. Waupun is the defending champion and returns two All-EWC first-team players in senior Blake Buchholz and junior Kyra Verheyen.

“The conference this year will be very even. Waupun will be strong but perhaps not as dominant as they had been,” said Huhn.

“From there, Sheboygan Falls, New Holstein, Campbellsport and us will battle it out. Between these four, any team can win at any time. I would anticipate many five-game matches and many barn-burning scores.

“I do not see the conference leaders being undefeated. In fact, I anticipate many teams splitting matches with each other throughout the season,” said the coach.

Sept. 16 – @ Kewaskum
Sept. 18 – JV Quadrangular, here
Sept. 18 – Fr. Quad. @ Campbellsport
Sept. 19 – @ UW-Oshkosh Invite (V)
Sept. 20 – @ UW-Oshkosh Invite (V)
Sept. 20 – Fr. Quad. @ St. M. Springs
Sept. 20 – @ Port Wash. JV Invite
Sept. 25 – @ New Holstein
Sept. 27 – JV Invitational, here
Sept. 27 – @ Port Wash. Invite (V)
Oct. 2 – Waupun, here
Oct. 4 – @ Wrightstown Invite (V)
Oct. 7 – JV Quadrangular, @ Kiel
Oct. 7 – Frosh Quad., @ Waupun
Oct. 9 – @ Sheboygan Falls
Oct. 11 – @ Sheb. North JV Invite
Oct. 14 – @ Kiel
Oct. 16 – Grafton, here
Oct. 18 – EWC Tourney, @ Waupun
Oct. 21 – Regional, TBA


Seniors – *Mary Albert, *Delaney
Haese, *Elise Suttner, *Kathryn Aukerman and *Cara Bardon.

Juniors – Elizabeth Baus, Morgan
Lisowe and Hayley Mueller.
Sophomores – Sophie Albert, Emma
Grapentine, Jessica Schumacher and
Megan Goeser.
*_ =_ _ R_e_tu_r_n_in_g_ _ le_t_te_r_ w_i_ n_e_r._______

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