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2014 Hall volleyball preview

Lady Devils have a new outlook

Published: Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 2:07 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 2:11 p.m. CDT

SPRING VALLEY — It’s a whole new outlook in the Lady Red Devils volleyball nation.

The former Megan Nation, now married by the name of Megan Uphoff, returns for her second season as head coach at Hall. With it comes renewed hope and excitement with the Lady Devils many steps ahead of where they were last year.

“I am really excited about this season,” Uphoff said. “Our girls have worked so hard this summer to improve the things that we needed to work on last season. Our confidence is up, and we are playing well as a team. ...We have five returners from last year on the floor which really makes a big difference.”

Uphoff said the seven seniors bring experience and are fantastic leaders, a class including Ellen Herrmann, Lexi Scarpaci, Emily Hoscheid, Morgan Soldati, Shelby Justi, Hayley Cessna and Lexi Piccatto.

“They all worked so hard these first few weeks of practice and summer. Their hard work has paid off. They are excited and ready to start the season,” she said.

Junior Brooke Keegan returns at setter to run the floor. Uphoff said Keegan is much improved and provides experience and leadership.

Herrmann (MH) and Hoscheid (OH) are playing with more confidence, Uphoff said, and “hitting good shots and playing smart.”

The seniors will be joined at the net by the sophomore tandem of Hunter Galassi (OH) and Jenna Lusietto (MH). Uphoff said both youngsters have come out of their shell and will be big assets for the Lady Devils.

Justi is switching roles this season to libero. She’ll be joined in the back row by defensive specialists Scarpaci, Soldati and Piccatto. Uphoff said the newcomer Scarpaci is an aggressive player which she likes most about her.

“Our back row has also improved. They move around the court well, reading the ball well, and defensively move after everything. They will be scrappy at times but they get to balls well,” Uphoff said.

With 14 players all with something to bring to the team, the Lady Devils’ coach said they have a deep team, including the senior Cessna (DS) and juniors Caitlyn Jablonski (RS/MH), Luciana Mautino (OH/RS), Brenna Janssen (MH) and Mia Fusinetti (RS).

“Our big battle last year was confidence both in ourselves and in our team. These girls are looking to a turn around this season. They have set some high goals which I believe we’ll reach them,” Uphoff said.

The Lady Devils will play out of the Three Rivers East with the change from North-South to East-West divisions. Other teams in the East include rival St. Bede, Princeton and Bureau Valley along with Kewanee, Amboy and Newman

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