The Poynette prep volleyball team is going through another coaching change, as Janeen Hutchinson takes over for Morgan Serstad.
Hutchinson will have her hands full this season, as the Pumas lost eight seniors to graduation and return just three athletes who saw varsity action last season.
“We have a great group of athletes who work well together and are very supportive of each other,” Hutchinson said. “They’ll need this support as a number of the players are learning new positions.”
The Lady Pumas finished last season 9-18 overall. They were 0-10 in the Capitol North.
“Our goal this year is to improve with each game,” Hutchinson said.
Lakeside Lutheran claimed the conference title last year with a 9-1 record, followed by Lake Mills (8-2), Watertown Luther Prep (7-3), Columbus (4-6), Lodi (2-8) and Poynette.
Poynette had a solid showing in the 2018 postseason. The Pumas came from behind to beat Palmyra-Eagle 3-2 in a regional opener, but fell 3-0 to Waterloo in the regional semifinal.
Seniors Casey Fountain and Molly Anderson both return to Poynette’s lineup this season. Classmate Shelby Reeder is also back after cracking the lineup late last year.
“All three of these ladies will factor into the success of this year’s team,” Hutchinson said.
The Pumas’ senior group also includes Sienna Peck, Kirstin Doherty, Alexis Lannoye and Brianna Schulz.
“Our seniors are hungry for success and are willing to work hard,” Hutchinson said. “The senior leadership is key to our program’s development this season.”
Also looking to make an impact this season are juniors Peyton Kingsland and Jessica Bruchs and sophomores Oliva Radewan, Rachel Yelk, Leah Hutchinson and Emma Romack.
The Capitol North title race should be very interesting this season. Defending champion Lakeside Lutheran returns four all-conference performers, while Lake Mills returns three, including two first-team selections.
“Poynette volleyball has not been a factor in conference play in recent years,” Hutchinson said. “We are determined to be competitive this year in every set.”