WEST POINT – The GACC volleyball team will have new leadership when they hit the hardwood for the first time this season. First year head coach Paul Steuter talks about what fans can expect to see from the Bluejays this season.
“I’m hoping to put on the floor a really scrappy team. Defense is the heart of a good team, being able to withstand momentum swings. I’m looking for grittiness from my players, and hopefully they can find a way to offensively be very balanced,” Steuter said. “I want a balanced attack this year. We wanna push change in tempo on our offense as far as mixing it up to keep the opposing teams off balance. That’ll be a strength of ours if we can execute a change in tempo offense we should be fairly successful this year.”
The Bluejays return six upperclassmen, including four seniors, as well as four starters from last year’s team. Steuter talks about his four seniors.
“Our senior outside hitter, Riley Throener, she’s a returning starter and I like her. She has a heavy arm and she’s also a good passer. Kaylee Stratman, she has started for about three years now at Central Catholic and she’s an excellent setter,” Steuter said. “Allie Knobbe is our right side and she’s a very solid right side player. She’s very versatile on the floor and can do a lot of things for us. The fourth senior is a player who hasn’t had any varsity level experience, Bobbi Ortmeier. But I’m looking for big things from her. She could be an impact player for us as well.”
With just two juniors, Steuter says the freshmen and sophomore players will have to step up in order to provide some depth.
GACC enters this season having qualified for the state tournament the last seven years in a row. That’s a tradition coach Steuter hopes to continue.
“Goals will remain a lot the same. We expect to compete again this year down at state. We’ve had a long tradition of doing that,” Steuter said. “Our conference will be tough again as usual. We play in the Mid-State and that’s a big challenge for us every year since we’re one of the smaller schools. We will be the smallest school in the Mid-State this year in Class D1. But we hope to compete well in the Mid-State Conference as well.”
The Bluejays have qualified for the state volleyball tournament 18 times in school history.
They open the season on August 31 in the Northeast Nebraska Tournament hosted by Pender and Wisner-Pilger.