Your Prep Sports
The calendar has hit August and that means high school volleyball season in Iowa is right around the corner.
Practice officially begins for teams across the state on Monday and things move fast from there.
The opening night of matches is August 22 around the state with the state tournament just a few months away scheduled to run from October 31 to November 3 at Xtream Arena in Coralville.
Your Prep Sports will have plenty of coverage of area volleyball teams in the weeks leading up to the start of the season but the coverage begins with a look at six area players to keep an eye on this season.
Senior, Liberty High
One of the top players in the state Hartman is already a two-time Elite All-state pick by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association, a two-time Mississippi Valley Conference divisional player of the year and is coming off the best season of her career last fall.
A Northern Iowa recruit, Hartman surpassed the 1,000-kill mark for her career last season when she led Liberty High in kills for the third consecutive season with a career-best 423.
The 6-foot Hartman ranked fifth in Class 5A in kills last season and fourth in hitting efficiency at .351 and ranked second on the team in both blocks (48) and digs (400) and was third with 27 ace serves.
Senior, Liberty High
Part of one of the most dangerous hitting duos in the state along with Hartman, Kimm has had her own stellar career while helping turn Liberty High into one of the premier programs in the state.
A St. Cloud State recruit, Kimm was a Class 5A first team all-state pick for the first time last season after earning second-team honors as a sophomore in 2020.
The 6-foot Kimm ranked second on the team behind Hartman with 269 kills while hitting .281 a year ago and led the Lightning with 50 ace serves.
Kimm also ranked third on the team with 364 digs and fourth with 30 blocks last season.
Junior, West High
Lacy has quickly emerged as one of the top hitters in the Mississippi Valley Conference posting back-to-back 200-kill seasons to open her career.
An explosive athlete, Lacy led West High with 200 kills as a freshman and improved that number to 254 last season on her way to being a first-team all-MVC divisional selection.
The 5-foot-11 Lacy also ranked second on the team with 39 blocks a year ago and added 20 ace serves while helping West High to a 16-17 record.
Junior, City High
Ernst built on a strong freshman season by leading the Little Hawks in kills last season on her way to earning second-team all-MVC divisional honors.
The 5-foot-11 Ernst had a strong debut season in 2020 when she ranked second on the team with 136 kills.
Ernst more than doubled that total last season, posting a team-high 327 kills while hitting .256.
The junior also ranked second on the team with 26 ace serves and fourth with 214 digs a year ago to go with 16 blocks.
Junior, Clear Creek Amana
Few players in the state made a bigger leap last season than Beck who flashed her massive potential during a breakthrough sophomore season.
Beck was named WAMAC West Division player of the year after hammering 306 kills last season and ranking in the top-10 in Class 4A in both hitting efficiency and blocks.
The 6-foot-2 Beck ranked ninth in 4A with a .332 hitting efficiency and was fourth with 92 total blocks.
An honorable mention Class 4A all-state pick, Beck added 20 ace serves while helping Clear Creek Amana to a 27-12 record.
Senior, West Branch
A four-year varsity contributor Senio is seeking to end her prep career with her best season yet.
The 5-foot-8 senior hitter has collected a combined 372 kills over the past two seasons and led the Bears with 195 kills in 2020.
Senio had 177 kills, 86 digs and 22 ace serves last season as a junior when she landed on the River Valley Conference All-South Division team.
The top returning hitter for the Bears this season Senio will look to build to a career resume that already includes more than 400 kills and digs and 60 ace serves.