IOWA CITY– Kathy Bresnahan always tells it just like it is. With 22 years at Iowa City West and a 558-174 record with the Women of Troy’s volleyball program, she can afford to.
Bresnahan and her squad overcame the death of friend and teammate Caroline Found in 2011 to go on to a 39-6 record and the team’s second consecutive Class 4A state championship. West was a force to be reckoned with. In contrast, the 2012 season ended with a 20-17 record and the chance at a three-peat thwarted by a 3-2 loss to rival City High in the regional final.
But it’s a new season and Bresnahan is encouraged by a large nucleus of returning players. That, she said, will make the Women of Troy more competitive this year.
Seniors Mollie Mason, Hannah Fairfield, Toni Martins and Elizabeth Klemme bring experience and leadership to the team. Mason is a 5’10” outside hitter, Fairfield is a 5’10” middle blocker, Martins is a 5’6” outside hitter and Klemme is a 5’5” setter.
Juniors Laynie Whitehead, Mikaela Morgan and Madi Miller round out the returning starters. Whitehead is a 6’1” setter/right side hitter, Morgan is a 5’11” middle blocker and Miller is a 5’6” defensive specialist. Freshman Allie Tauchen joins the varsity line-up as a 5’10” middle blocker as well.
Once again, right-hand man Scott Sanders will serve as assistant coach.
Ever the realist, Bresnahan says there are, “too many question marks to be considered an elite team in the state. Mason and Whitehead will do a nice job as three-year starters.” But, she added, the defense and setting need to improve in order for the Women of Troy to run a quicker offense. Overall she said they are, “an undersized team that will need to rely on ball control.”
In the battle for the Class 5A title, the coach sees Ankeny, Bettendorf, City High and Dubuque Hempstead as contenders.