Lauren Schutter | sports editor
The Wabaunsee volleyball team expects to achieve great things again this season.
The team returns four starters, with three previous state appearances for the senior class — taking second as freshmen, first as sophomores and third as juniors. Though the team is bringing in a lot of previous players, there is a new addition to the group.
Coach Chris Smart is entering his first season with the Wabaunsee Volleyball squad. Upon entering the extremely successful program, he gives a lot of credit to previous head coach Tracy Capoun. “There is no question that Tracy is a great coach. She’s not only a regionally recognized coach but a state recognized coach that coached in the volleyball all-star game this last summer. I don’t think there is a lot of pressure. The seniors are still the ladies she coached and got them to the level they are at right now.”
Speaking of those seniors, they definitely feel the excitement of this upcoming season. “I’m definitely feeling it this year,” senior Kaelyn Conrad said. “I’m not joking around when I say we have a state championship in our future. We have the talent, ability, and positive attitude to do it.”
The team opened up its season Saturday, playing in the annual Amy Schutter memorial tournament. Teams that competed in the tournament this year included Axtell, Centralia, Mission Valley, Osage City, and Rock Creek. The Chargers have placed first or second in each of the past nine years, and won this tournament in both 2019 and 2020. The team continued this trend, earning first place and going on a 5-0 run.
The Chargers took on the Riley County Falcons and the Chapman Fighting Irish Tuesday evening at Riley County High School. The Chargers defeated the Falcons 25-15, 25-20, then went on to defeat the Fighting Irish 25-17, 18-25, 26-24. Their next competition is September 11 at Lyndon.