Hill-Murray volleyball still strong under new coach

The Hill-Murray volleyball team put together quite a season a year ago. There was a conference championship, a section title and a trip to the state tournament, where the Pioneers were the consolation champions. 

Since then, there have been some major changes to the program. Five seniors graduated from the 2015 team and there is a new coach.

Angie Houk takes over a program that has been to state twice in the past three seasons. Despite losing a good chunk of the roster from a year ago, Hill-Murray is still a contender to add to that list of state appearances.

The Pioneers return six varsity players, including some key offensive cogs. Alina Gartner is a junior setter and she’ll be setting up junior outside hitter Claire Westby and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Hinrichs quite often.

Also returning is senior libero Amy Koalska.

“The strength of our team will be in our returning players,” Houk said. “We will be very strong in our setting position, our outside hitters and our libero.”

Finding replacements for last year’s five seniors could be crucial to Hill-Murray’s success. 

Hill-Murray kicks off its schedule with a busy week. The Pioneers host 2015 Class AA state runner-up Concordia Academy on August 30 and Forest Lake on Sept. 1. Also on the docket this week is a tournament at Eden Prairie on Sept. 3.

The Pioneers open up Metro East Conference play on Sept. 8 with a visit from Mahtomedi.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

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