SPRING VALLEY — With a new coach and a new conference, the Hall Lady Red Devils are looking to make a splash with some returning players and some fresh faces.
Josiah Martin moves into the varsity head coach position after serving as the assistant to Hall Superintendent Mike Struna last year. He will have 10 varsity players when the season starts.
Leading the returners for Hall are seniors Brenna Faletti and Becca Herrmann. Both Faletti and Herrmann have been on the varsity since they were sophomores, but Faletti missed most of last season with an injury.
“Having Brenna back from injury is a huge help to our team. She certainly brings the intensity to the court and sets a good example for the rest of the team,” said Martin of his senior point guard. “Not only is the intensity factor a big welcome back, but with her being our point guard, she will be a big component and a leader on the court.”
Martin is also expecting big things from the senior Herrmann, who has logged plenty of minutes for the Lady Red Devils the past two seasons that will be a big asset.
“These two girls will be looked up to by the rest of the girls in the program,” said Martin said.
In addition, Martin has senior guards Brittany Foster and Kaylee Golden on his squad along with six juniors who will look to replace the graduation of Jacquie Wallaert and Becca Dagaerdt. Two of the juniors Martin is expecting big things from include Alyssa Smith and Shelby Justi.
“Alyssa Smith has shown improvement from last year,” said Martin. “I am looking for her to make a significant impact on this team.”
Martin believes the 2013-14 Lady Red Devils fans can expect to see a hardworking team who never quits.
“The team will bring a lot of energy to the court every night and leave everything on the floor,” he said.
While the Lady Red Devils will lack a “really tall girl,” they will have average height between juniors Ellie Herrmann, Emily Hoscheid, Justi and the elder Herrmann, it may make for a fairly tall lineup. Rounding out the varsity roster for Hall will be juniors Abbey Azarskis and Sam Osborne.
Hall (8-19 last year) will join rivals St. Bede and Princeton as members of the Three Rivers South Division and will face Kewanee, Sherrard, Rockridge and Orion in conference matchups.
“It will be tough playing several new schools because you really don’t have much of an idea on how to prepare to play those new teams,” Martin said.
Hall will travel to the Oregon Tip-Off Tourney to begin the season and will play Three Rivers power Prophetstown and Rockford Christian to begin the season in pool play before Thanksgiving.