Entering the 2006 volleyball season Seward County Community College Head Coach Bert Luallen will notice quite a bit has changed in one year. Gone from last year are six graduated sophomores, including one of the top players in the history of the program, Kelli Kirkwood. New to the program in 2006 are eight incoming freshman and a new assistant coach, Alana Rowland. Luallen is not only optimistic about the new faces that have joined him this year, but he is also ready to see the team succeed with youth as a focal point for the Seward County volleyball program in 2006.

The Seward County volleyball program has three retuning players, which include All-Conference and All-Region VI outside hitter, Janete Ferreira, All-Region VI right side hitter Juliana Nascimento, and back row defensive specialist, Dana McLaren. In 2005, the Lady Saints offense was centered on Ferreira and Nascimento. This year the freshman class will offer additional options to the Lady Saints offensive attack.

Freshman outside hitter’s Kaytlyn Dutton (Lubbock, TX) and Jenny Schwier (Perryton, TX) were targeted last year by Luallen as the two players who would bring in athleticism and talent at the outside hitter’s position. Dutton and Schwier combined to total 567 kills during their senior seasons.

Kelli Kirkwood led the Lady Saints for two seasons at the setter’s position. This year freshman Alex Droogsma (Denver City, TX), will be handed the reigns to lead the SCCC 5-1 offense. Droogsma was named District Most Valuable Player during her senior year. Freshman, Mallory Mitchell (Great Bend, Kan.) will also provide SCCC stability at the setter’s position.

Due to the graduation of Honorable Mention All-Conference libero, Whitney Myers, SCCC will be looking to fill an important position with several options. Sophomore, Dana McLaren, and freshmen Katy Troutman (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Jazmin Hernandez (Liberal, Kan.) look to be the front runners to secure the Lady Saints libero position.

Seward County will also look at two freshmen to fill the middle hitter’s position with Jennifer Noel (Valley Center, Kan.) and Trisha Keahey (Meade, Kan.). Noel will be a two-sport athlete at SCCC also playing with the Lady Saints basketball team. The 6’2” Noel was a three-time Ark Valley All-Conference selection. Keahey collected 170 blocks (87 solo-73 assisted) during her Honorable Mention All-State senior season.

Seward County begins their season this weekend hosting the SCCC Kick-Off Classic. Seward County will play at 1:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

All Times and match-up’s for the SCCC Kick-Off Classic can be seen by going to the Volleyball Schedule web site.