Bombers return big senior class
The Ballard volleyball team is looking to make some major strides this season under first-year coach Morgan Hassman.
The Bombers are coming off a rough 2012 season in which they went 6-21 overall and finished last in the Raccoon River Conference with a record of 0-8. But with a veteran group coming back and some talented younger players, Ballard should be a stronger unit in 2013.
"I am very optimistic about the season," Hassman said. "The girls have had so much growth and we are focusing on positivity and communication. We have set goals for each match and will not overlook any opponent. I am excited to see what the 2013 volleyball season brings."
Making things easier for Hassman in her first year will be a large senior core. Middle blocker Alanna Dubberke and outside hitter Brooke Mallon will lead Ballard at the net. Charcey Petersen is back at setter, as is Rachel Bruns at right-side hitter and Sheridan Gealow at outside hitter.
Dubberke put up 146 kills and 38 blocks and Mallon had 160 digs, 158 kills and 15 blocks a year ago. Petersen dished out 347 assists and totaled 120 digs; Bruns recorded 66 assists, 45 digs and 28 kills and Gealow delivered 12 kills and nine digs in 2012.
Defensive specialists Ashley Davis and Meg Hannasch round out the Bomber senior class.
"I am so excited about the group of seniors I have," Hassman said. "Their leadership and positivity is really shining through."
Junior Alex Petersen will fill in the libero spot after recording 110 digs last year. Sophomore Meredith Ossian also brings in some varsity experience after she chipped in 22 kills and six blocks in 2012.
Junior middle blocker Shelby Drummond, sophomore defensive specialists Emily Jurgensen and McKenzie Davis, sophomore outside hitter Hannah Larsen and freshman setter Abby Carlin fill out the rest of the varsity spots.
"We have been practicing with many different lineups for the season," Hassman said. "Each player in the gym knows that after each game, it is a fresh start."
Adel-Desoto-Minburn and Bondurant-Farrar are the favorites to claim the RRC championship. ADM is rated 10th in Class 4A and Bondurant-Farrar begins the year ranked eighth in 3A according to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.
Ballard began the season last Tuesday with a home triangular meet against Nevada and Gilbert. The Bombers will host Pella in another non-conference match tonight at 7 p.m. at the Ballard High School Gym.