Lady Devils going old school with Struna
SPRING VALLEY — The Hall Lady Red Devils will go old school this basketball season.
Hall superintendent Mike Struna took over the girls’ basketball program last month when Tim Swanson, who was to replace the retired Dave Kain, took a new job late in the summer. Struna, who last coached girls’ basketball at Mount Pulaski in central Illinois in the early ‘90s, where he won two regionals over a 12-year span, admits he may be still adjusting to the times.
“What we are implementing might be a little old fashioned, so I am not sure how successful we will be when we open up on Nov. 15 at the Oregon Tournament. I guess it will be a learning experience for me more so than the girls,” Struna said.
The Hall roster has 11 varsity players in camp and Struna said they’ve had six good practices over the first week.
Struna’s biggest task will be to rebuild after the loss of senior standouts Liz Mosbach, Kelle Nett and Jacylyn Kain, who led Hall to an upset win over St. Bede for the regional championship a year ago.
“I don’t think we have three players who can replace Kelle Nett, Jaci Kain and Liz Mosbach, but we have a little more depth this year, so we will play a little more up tempo and use the bench a lot more,” Struna said
Struna welcomes back juniors Brenna Faletti (5-3 G) and Becca Herrmann (5-9 F/C), who were starters on the varsity last year. Struna said he expects them to step up and lead the team. Seniors Bekka Dagraedt (5-6 G/F), Jacquie Wallaert (5-4 G) and Val Hoffert (5-7 C), also played some varsity minutes last year, as did junior Kaylee Golden (5-3 G), who filled in for Mosbach last year when she was injured and Struna expects her “to be a big part of what we do this year as well.”
Seniors Nicki Ernat (5-8 G) and Carrie Cissell (5-10 C), as well as junior Vanessa Olivares (5-3 G/F) are welcome additions to the team after not playing a year ago. The squad also includes junior Brittany Foster (5-2 G) and sophomore Ellen Herrmann (5-9 G/F), who Struna expects to also see plenty of playing time as well.
Hall will open the season at the Oregon Tip-Off Classic, facing Fulton at 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 15 and Mendota a 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 16 in B Pool play. The finals will be held Nov. 17.
Other teams in the field include Milledgeville, Rockford Lutheran, Pecatonica in Pool A, Oregon, Polo and Amboy in Pool C and Marquette, Prophetstown and Rockford Christian in Pool D. The Hall sophs will also be playing at Oregon, drawing 7:15 p.m. games vs. Fulton and Mendota.