Your Prep Sports
Coach: Keeley Arnold (2nd season)
Assistant coaches: Jordyn Stammeyer, Paola Jaramillo-Guara, Tarin Weipert, Brigid Ryan
Last season: 16-17
Returning starters: Melae Lacy, Jr., OH/MB; Emma Stammeyer, Jr., RS/S; Sophia Deyak, Sr., MB
Other returning letterwinners: Alaina Greenlee, Sr., DS; Lily Prochaska, Sr., RS/S; Grace Miller, Sr., OH; Jaida Rost, Sr., OH/RS; Lucy Schmid, Jr., OH/DS; Lexi Nash, Sr., DS; Finley Bevelacqua, Sr., OH; Sadie Koski, Sr., DS
Headliner: Junior Melae’ Lacy has post back-to-back 200-kill seasons in her first two years of varsity action emerging as one of the top hitters in the Mississippi Valley Conference. The 5-foot-11 Lacy had a career-high 254 kills a year ago and ranked second on the team with 39 blocks.
Keep an eye on: At 6-foot-2, senior Sophia Deyak possess a rare combination of size and athletic ability that could make her a menace in the front row for the Trojans. Deyak ranked fifth on the team with 72 kills a year ago was third with 37 blocks.
Ready for a breakthrough: Already a two-year starter junior Emma Stammeyer raised led the Trojans in assists each of the past two seasons while sharing setting duties. Stammeyer raised her assist (332), kill (55) and dig (199) totals last season as a sophomore and is poised for an even bigger jump this fall.
Circle the date: On September 10 West High hosts the Caroline Found Volleyball Extravaganza that features another strong field including Liberty High, Ankeny, West Des Moines Dowling and Clear Creek Amana.
Breakdown: West High returns just three starters from a year ago but they are three good ones that give the Trojans a very solid nucleus to build around.
Lacy has led West High in kills each of the past two seasons, Stammeyer has led the Trojans in assists in both of her varsity seasons and Deyak is an experienced varsity player that provides size at the net.
West High must replace the steady production of Katherine Kouba in the back row where junior Lexi Nash and senior Sadie Koski could slide in and will look for stepped up production from a number of other seniors that have been in the program.
Alaina Greenlee, Lily Prochaska, Grace Miller, Jaida Rost and Finley Develacqua should all have increased roles this season along with junior Lucy Schmid.
Coach: Tricia Carty (5th season)
Assistant coaches: Reagan VanDyk, Kayla Joyner, Mickey Hansche, Grace Brown
Last season: 20-15
Returning starters: Claire Ernst, Jr., OH; Emmy McComas, Soph., OH; Ruby McDonough, Sr., MB; Lauren Koch, Sr., MB
Other returning letterwinners: Norah Jespersen, Sr., S; Mia Driscoll, Sr., DS/L; Emily Arling, Sr., OH
Newcomers to watch: Sidney Slay, Jr., S/RS; Haleigh Nelson, Jr., DS/L
Headliner: Junior Claire Ernst followed up a strong debut season with a breakthrough sophomore campaign last fall leading City High in kills while earning second team all-MVC honors. Ernst had a team-high 327 kills last season while hitting .256 and ranked second on the team with 26 ace serves and fourth with 214 digs.
Keep an eye on: Sophomore Emmy McComas was brilliant as a rookie last fall and will in for an expanded role this season. McComas ranked second on the team with 219 kills lasts season as a freshman, led the Little Hawks with 316 digs and adding 23 ace serves.
Ready for a breakthrough: Senior Ruby McDonough ranked fourth on the team with 62 kills as a sophomore and boosted that number to 102 kills good for third on the team a year ago. Now comes the breakthrough for McDonough who has emerged as a solid hitting option to compliment Ernst and McComas while leading the Little Hawks with 50 blocks a year ago.
Circle the date: October 4 at West High. The Battle for the Spike returns to West High after City High swept the Trojans to retake the Spike last season at City High.
Breakdown: With its top three hitters headlining a group of four returning starters City High has the firepower to build on its 20-15 record from a season ago.
The big question for the Little Hawks is at setter where they must replace four-year starter Makayla Ribble.
There are options at the setter spot and whoever emerges will have the luxury of a talented group of hitters led by Ernst, McComas and McDonough.
Senior middle Lauren Koch also returns with starting experience after posting 54 kills on .201 hitting last season while ranking second on the team with 33 blocks.
Look for seniors Norah Jespersen (setter), Mia Driscoll (back row) and Emily Arling (outside) to all be in line for bigger roles this season.
Head coach: Allie Kelly (2nd)
Assistant coaches: Scott Sanders, Madi Miller, Jeff Daugherty, Kelsey Law
Last season: 34-5
Returning starters: Cassidy Hartman, Sr., OH; Shelby Kimm, Sr., OH/MB; Mariah Rollins, Jr., S; Lilah Vanscoyoc, Sr., OH; Asta Hildebrand, Soph., S/OH
Other returning letterwinners: Lauren Ramspott, Jr., MB/OH; Gracie Hennings, Jr., MB/OH; Nessa Hardaway, Jr., MB/OH; Sydney Stratton, Sr., MB; Isabelle Mehmen, Sr., DS/L; Abby Stapleton, Sr., S; Ava Meyer, Sr., MB
Newcomers to watch: Ellie Heiar, Jr., DS/L; Lucy Maassen, Fr., OH
Headliner: Senior Northern Iowa recruit Cassidy Hartman is a two-time Elite all-state pick and two-time Mississippi Valley Conference player of the year with over 1,000 career kills and ranks among the top overall players in the state.
Keep an eye on: If Hartman is the headliner there might not be a better Shelby Kimm sidekick in the state than Kimm. A St. Cloud State recruit Kimm is a two-time all-state pick after earning first-team honors last season after hammering 269 kills on a .281 hitting percentage last season to go with a team-high 50 ace serves.
Ready for a breakthrough: Sophomore Asta Hildebrand was impressive last season as a freshman earning second team all-MVC divisional honors after ranking second on the team with 429 assists and adding 127 kills, 174 digs and 22 ace serves. With a year of experience under her belt expect Hildebrand to be an even bigger part of the puzzle for Liberty High this season.
Circle the date: August 27 at Ankeny Centennial Invitational. Liberty High opens the season a state title contender and will get an early-season test at an early 16-team tournament that features seven of the eight 5A state tournament qualifiers from a year ago as well as perennial power and defending 2A champion Dike-New Hartford.
Breakdown: Liberty High has reached the state tournament in three consecutive seasons and will once again in the Class 5A state title hunt in 2022.
The Lightning returning six starters from last year’s 5A quarterfinal team including four of its top five hitters and both of its starting setters.
Liberty High has perhaps the top hitting duo in the state in Hartman and Kimm and also returns senior Lilah VanScoyoc who had 137 kills on .336 hitting last season.
Hildebrand returns with setting experience along with junior Mariah Rollins who led the Lightning with 605 assists last season.
There are a fill spots to fill, including in the back row and at middle but Liberty High has options.
Look for Gracie Hennings, Sydney Stratton, Nessa Hardaway and Lauren Ramspott to get opportunities at middle.
Clear Creek Amana
Coach: Jack Clubb (9th season)
Assistant coaches: Rachel Berkland, Jamie Stratton, Molly Hastings, Natalie Fry, Rachel Hovde
Last season: 27-12
Returning starters: Silvana Kabolo, Sr., RS; Meg Berkland, Jr., L; Bliss Beck, Jr., M; Kenadi Wood, Jr., S/DS; Sam Schrage, Jr., M; Addison Gisleson, Jr., OH
Other returning letterwinners: Ashlyn Pitcher, Jr., S/RS
Headliner: Junior Bliss Beck used a breakthrough junior season to establish herself as one of the top players in Class 4A. The 6-foot-2 Beck was named WAMAC West Division player of the year after hammering 306 kills to ranking in the top 10 in Class 4A in both hitting efficiency (.332) and blocks (92).
Keep an eye on: Junior Addison Gisleson ranked third on the team with 92 kills last season as a sophomore behind departed senior all-stater Calia Clubb and Beck. Look for Gisleson to take off this fall with more opportunities.
Ready for a breakthrough: Senior Silvana Kabolo has showed the athletic ability to be a difference maker and now with several years in the system she is ready for a big season. Kabolo has been solid posting 69 kills and ranking second on the team with 64 blocks a year ago and should see those number climb this fall.
Circle the date: August 25 at Mount Vernon quad. The Clippers jump right into action opening the season at a WAMAC quadrangular that features 3A state qualifier Mount Vernon, Solon and Center Point-Urbana.
Breakdown: The Clippers had otherwise extremely successful season that featured 27 wins cut short by an early postseason exit getting swept by Benton Community in a Class 4A, Region 5 semifinal.
Clear Creek Amana has the talent and depth returning to respond with a deep postseason run this fall.
Replacing Clubb, a four-year starter and Division I recruit, is no easy task but the Clippers return four players that had at least 49 kills a year ago led by Beck, Gisleson and Kabolo.
There is plenty more talent behind those three.
Junior setter Kenadi Wood returns after leading the Clippers with 467 assists a year ago while junior Meg Berkland was a WAMAC all-division selection a year ago after leading the team with 402 digs.
Coach: Mikayla Long-Siddell (1st season)
Assistant coaches: Trystin Luneckas, Taylor Bransky, Nathan Watson
Last season: 17-23
Returning starters: Delaney Bombei, Sr., OH; Brynn Deike, Jr., S; Kylee Flynn, Sr., DS/S; Aly Stahle, Soph., OH; Yasmine Sell, Soph., M
Other returning letterwinners: Grace Erwin, Soph., M; Sophia Hoeper, Sr., RH; Mikayla Langenberg, Sr., DS; Brianna Kerkove, Sr., DS
Newcomers to watch: Kennedy Whitford, Fr., L/DS; Brianna Henning, Soph., OH
Headliner: A four-year starter senior Delaney Bombei has been a stalwart in the Solon lineup since she put on a Spartan uniform. Bombei has more than 500 career kills and 200 career blocks and is coming off her best season when she had 209 kills and 85 blocks last season.
Keep an eye on: Junior setter Brynn Deike returns after leading the Spartans in assists last season with 284 while ranking second on the team with 38 ace serves and fifth with 32 blocks. Look for Deike to take a step forward this season with a year of experience under her belt.
Ready for a breakthrough: Speaking of taking a step forward sophomore Yasmine Sell is poised for a strong season after showing flashes of brilliance as a freshman. Sell ranked second on the team with 78 blocks a year ago and was fifth with 74 kills on a team-high .230 hitting.
Circle the date: September 15 against Williamsburg. The first home game in the Mikayla Long era comes as a WAMAC cross-divisional match against the Raiders.
Breakdown: Solon is coming off its second consecutive 17-win season and seeking its first winning season since 2018.
With five players with starting experience returning the Spartans certainly have the personnel to make a jump this fall.
Bombei is a four-year starter that gives the Spartans a leader in the middle of the lineup while Deike and senior Kylee Flynn returning with setting experience after sharing duties last season.
Sell and fellow sophomore Aly Stahle (31 kills) each got their feet wet at the varsity level last season and should take big steps forward.
Seniors Sophia Hoeper (98 kills), Mikayla Langenebrg (99 digs) and Brianna Kerkove all returning with experience along with sophomore Grace Erwin (35 kills, 17 blocks).
Coach: Brandon Mills (3rd season) and Lauren Hansen (1st season)
Last season: 20-12
Returning starters: Sydney Wagner, Jr., S; Caitlin Martin, Soph., OH; Avery Kies, Jr., L/DS
Other returning letterwinners: Laci Chambliss, Soph., L/DS; Brooke Greiner, Sr., RS
Newcomers to watch: Abby Schuessler, Jr., MH; Alaina Timmerman, Jr., OH
Headliner: Sophomore Caitlin Martin made a name for herself a year ago on a senior-laden Regina squad last fall ranking third on the team with 87 kills while hitting .134 as a freshman.
Keep an eye on: Junior Sydney Wagner will look to take her game to the next level this season after getting a full season of starting experience a year ago. Wagner had 42 kills, nine blocks, 23 ace serves and 31 digs last season and should see those numbers explode this fall.
Ready for a breakthrough: Another player with the benefit of a full season of experience from a year ago is junior Avery Kies who was a staple in the Regal back row last season. Even more will be asked of Kies this year after she ranking third on the team with 135 digs last season.
Circle the date: September 15 at West Branch. The two long-time River Valley Conference rivals meet in West Branch this season after the Bears swept Regina in a RVC regular season match a year ago in Iowa City.
Breakdown: Regina will have its hands full replacing a talented graduation class of seven seniors that included four starters, three of which were three-year starters.
Those losses will create plenty of opportunities for young players to step up this season.
The cupboard is not bare with Wagner, Martin and Kies giving the Regals of trio of talented players with starting experience.
Look for senior Brooke Greiner and sophomore Laci Chambliss to step into larger roles this fall along with juniors Abby Schuessler and Alaina Timmerman.
Coaches: Monica Tylee (1st) and Becky Hosier (1st)
Assistant coaches: John Walsh, Jamie Tucker
Last season: 21-14
Returning starters: Iva Senio, Sr., OH; Alyse Klinkkammer, Jr., DS; Kylie Pickett, Jr., S; Ava Finley, Sr., S; Kya Montgomery, Jr., MH; Emily Coleman, Jr., RS/MH
Other returning letterwinners: JaLynn Falco, Jr., RS
Newcomers to watch: Peyton Braddock, MadeLynn Falco, Bri Hudson, Claire Jarrett
Headliner: A four-year varsity player senior Iva Senio is set up for a big senior season. Senio has 372 kills over the past two seasons leading the Bears in kills with 195 as a sophomore in 2020.
Keep an eye on: Junior Alyse Klinkkammer returns after emerging as one of the top backrow players in the River Valley Conference last season. Klinkkammer led the Bears with 374 kills a year ago and was second on the team with 32 ace serves.
Ready for a breakthrough: Senior Ava Finley was solid in her first season as a varsity setter last season leading the Bears with 442 assists while sharing duties with junior Kylie Pickett. Both return with a year of experience and should be poised for big seasons.
Circle the date: August 27 West Branch tournament. First-year co-head coaches Monica Tylee and Becky Hosier begin their coaching tenure at home as the Bears host an eight-team tournament that should give West Branch an idea of where it stands early in the season.
Breakdown: West Branch won 21 matches last season and has the roster returning to continue to trend upward in the first season under co-head coaches Monica Tylee and Becky Hosier.
The Bears lost some offensive production in the form of its top two hitters Lexi Klinkkammer and Delaynie Luneckas but return their top two setters in Finley and Pickett, their top back row player in Alyse Klinkkammer and a dynamic hitter in Senio.
The key will be filling in around those players.
Look for juniors Kya Montgomery, Emily Coleman and JaLynn Falco to all lend a hand.
Falco had 71 kills a year ago while Coleman had 21 and Montgomery 13 in limited action.