The North Platte Community College Volleyball Team moved onto campus Sunday night and started practice Monday in preparation for the 2013 season. The Lady Knights open Aug. 23 at home in the Subway Invitational at 5 p.m. against Williston State College.
The 2013 Lady Knights received votes in the preseason NJCAA Top 20 national poll.
“The start of practice has gone really well,” head coach Sally Thalken said. “We are really excited to see how this team comes together over the next several practices and then watch them compete.”
The Lady Knights return five sophomores from a team that finished with a 20-18 record. The season ended in the Region IX Division II tournament championship, where they lost a five-set battle to Central Community College.
The sophomores this year include Laura Beckman of Julesburg, Colo., Sabrina Hallahan of Brush, Colo., Sandrina Hallahan of Brush, Colo., Jacee Kershaw of Culbertson, and Shannon Liewer of Imperial.
“The sophomores have come out and really set the tone for practice with their hard work,” said Coach Thalken. “They have had the pedal to the metal. They have also provided great leadership for the underclassmen.”
The Lady Knights add seven freshman to the team, including Samantha Byrn of North Platte, Lisa Dodge of Strasburg, Colo., Joli Hopping and Samantha Kennedy of Sutherland, Taylor King of Fleming, Colo., Abby Kurtzer of Haxton, Colo. and Kylie Wroot of North Platte.
“We were able to bring in a great freshman class,” said Coach Thalken. “They are all practicing well and are adjusting to the college game.”
The sophomores all said that the start of practice has been going well and they are excited to get the season underway.
“Our team is really jelling for how short of a time we have been here,” Kershaw said.
“It feels like we have been here for several months already,” Beckman said.
The Lady Knights have been working on fundamentals at this early point of the season.
“We have focused on passing the most so far,” Liewer said.