TIFFIN– In his third year at the helm of the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) varsity volleyball team, Coach Brian Bronzynski sees his Clippers “right in the thick of the race.”
Last year, the Clippers posted a 16-11 record overall and 4-3 in the WaMaC, and picked up their first Regional win in ten years over Washington. In addition, the team qualified to play in the Championship bracket of the WaMaC Conference Tournament and brought home second place finishes from the West Branch and Anamosa Invitational. CCA also took first place in the WaMaC West Sophomore Tournament.
This year, one senior and six juniors return to the starting line-up: Laura Neuzil (senior), Amy Kalkhoff, Maliah Fligg, Michelle Lutz, Kate Hergert, Grace Chabal and Tara Walls. Neuzil is a middle blocker, Kalkhoff an outside hitter, and Fligg also is a middle blocker. Lutz returns to her Libero role while Hergert is the setter. Chabal and Walls will specialize as outside hitters.
Seniors Jazmyne Neely, Kara Brant and Mariah McKinnon also return as defensive specialist, right side hitter and outside hitter respectively. Junior Liz Hergert is also back and will be a defensive specialist as well.
Six freshmen: Hanna Stokes, Dacia Lipkea, Lauren Stopko, McKenzie Fuller, Natalie Brimeyer and Lexie Kinnaird will add depth to the experienced and veteran squad, which Bronzynski feels has good serve and receive experience coupled with strong team chemistry. The coach (assisted by Jennifer Schleiman and Jackie Clubb) feels however the team needs to continue to work on its defense to offense transition.
Looking at the conference, Bronzynski sees Marion, Williamsburg, Waterloo Columbus and CCA battling for the top four spots in the WaMaC West division.
“Everyone we play in duel play, we must be ready to compete with. I’m looking forward to how much progress we can make,” the coach said.