WAYNE – Blue Devil volleyball fans will have a pair of opportunities to catch their team in action with a scrimmage and jamboree match this week.
Along with attending Wayne State team camps, Wayne High spent a lot of time on passing and serve-receive during open gyms.
Nichelle Daum will be entering her first year as the head coach but is in her third year with the Blue Devil volleyball program. Coach Daum has been networking with other coaches in taking over the reins from Traci Krusemark.
“Transition wise has been pretty smooth; she’s (Traci Krusemark) been helpful,” said Daum. “Other coaches around the area have also reached out and are really helpful. We host a team camp in the summer as well, so getting to meet and network with the coaches there. They’ve all been really good at ‘hey if you need anything, if you ever want to see anything let us know’.”
Joining coach Daum will be returning assistant coach Dale Hochstein along with McKenna Nelson who is a senior at Wayne State College from the Seward area.
There are about 13 freshmen going out for Wayne High volleyball with around six sophomores, four juniors and two seniors.
“We lost a lot of older girls last year,” Daum added. “We had six seniors. A lot of solid starters who went onto play in college, another went to play basketball in college. So, all around just decent athletes. So, I’m excited to see who steps in to replace those spots that we have open at the varsity team.”
The Blue Devils went 15-13 last season and recorded a solid late-September run going 7-1 in a span of a week and a half. WHS did suffer five of their losses in five-set matches including an early exit from the 2021 subdistrict tournament against Battle Creek.
Playing experience returning includes junior starters Kate Hill as well as sophomore Amelia Legler who started and was the first off the bench as well as defensive specialist Faith Powicki.
Hill led Wayne High last year with 20 total blocks while also finishing second in kills (279), second kills per set (3.3) and third in hitting percentage (0.163).
The Wayne High volleyball team will be hosting their Gatorade scrimmage on Tuesday, August 16 at 5:30 p.m. in Wayne. WHS will also be competing in Wisner on Thursday, August 18 with their jamboree match starting at around 6 p.m.
“You can’t do much else in a volleyball game if we can’t start off with a good serve-receive,” Daum mentioned. “Then the other thing that we’ve really been working on is just playing together as a team. Like I’ve mentioned we’re a young team with lots of new kids coming in, lots of new people within the varsity team. So, getting used to the girls that they’re playing with.”
The 2022 season opener will be on Thursday, August 25 against Ponca at 7:45 p.m. for varsity competition in Wayne followed by a Thursday, September 1 and Saturday, September 3 weekend tournament hosted by Wisner-Pilger and Pender.