Experienced Vikings volleyball team relies on senior class

September 26, 2014

Viking coach Sarah Rittenhouse welcomes back a total of nine seniors this season. Eight of the seniors have been on Varsity for at least two seasons.

Last season, the Omaha North Lady Vikings had three seniors on their Varsity volleyball team and finished with an overall record of 15 wins and 16 losses; six wins and five losses during district play.

With more seniors on the volleyball team this season, the Lady Vikings look to better their record from a season ago.

“We have a lot of returning players mostly the seniors, and we also have one junior and one sophomore and two freshmen who are good athletes,” said Rittenhouse.

Omaha North’s seniors this year are: Makayla Aspegren, Alaiya Cave, Ciera Clark, Stephanie Hansen, Alece Moore, Kyiia Rollag, Haley Umble, Me’Tay Vinson, and Corrie Weaver.

With five returning seniors, the Lady Vikings’ are an old bunch with several of the returners playing the same position. And with most of the seniors playing on the same team for at least two years, they will not have to worry about chemistry on the court.

“Our team has good chemistry and team work, most of our players have been playing on the same team for two, maybe three years, said head coach Sarah Rittenhouse.

Junior, Jordan Askamit will be setting the ball to a lineup filled with veteran hitters. Aspegren and Vinson are back as right-side hitters, while Hansen is the returning outside hitter. Seniors Moore and Cave are back as the team’s middle hitters.

The defensive specialists of the team are Clark, Umble, and Weaver, who round out the group of seniors.

“It’s nice to have the nine seniors returning,” Rittenhouse said. “It gives us a lot of depth.”

Adding to the depth is one junior, one sophomore, and two freshmen. Junior Askamit is returning to varsity for her third consecutive year. Sophomore Natialia Partridge is up from junior-varsity.

Kamryn Pullen and Leah Johnson are in their first season as a varsity volleyball player for the Lady Vikings.

Being a senior on a team creates higher expectations because the younger players are looking up to you to set the standard.

“I expect a lot from them [seniors],” Rittenhouse said.

One of the main things Coaches Rittenhouse and assistant coach Jennie Clymer agree on is looking for leadership in the seniors. Leadership is a key aspect to the 2014 season and the future of the Lady Vikings.

“I look for seniors to help with the younger players so that they know the expectations of the program,” Clymer said.

It is not just the seniors that have experience on the team. Head coach Rittenhouse is in her 15th year coaching volleyball (5th year as Vikings head coach). Rittenhouse came from Omaha South as junior-varsity coach for five years and coached club/camps for a combined five years.

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