SPRING HILL — The Spring Hill Lady Bronco volleyball team returns eight letter-winners from a team that put together a season for the history books a year ago.
The Lady Broncos captured the Frontier League title for the first time since 1983. Spring Hill was undefeated in league play with a 9-0 record. The team defeated Kansas City Washington and Bonner Springs to win the substate championship, qualifying for state for the first time since 1985.
The Lady Broncos were 38-4 last season, ending the year in the Class 5A state tournament.
Letter-winners back to defend the league crown are Jalyn Stevenson, Alli Frank, Mariah Hess, Kate Frakes, Rylee Serpan, Addie Hedrick, Daphne Gardner and Cate Milroy.
Spring Hill is ranked No. 2 in Class 5A in the Kansas Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll.
Stevenson, a senior outside hitter, was named to the all-state tournament team.
Stevenson was named the Tri-County Spotlight Volleyball Player of the Year. She was a first-team Spotlight selection.
Stevenson led the team with 455 kills, averaging 4.5 kills per set. She was second on the team in digs with 24.
Stevenson was one of six Lady Broncos named to the Spotlight volleyball team.
Frank, a senior middle hitter, was a first-team Spotlight selection. Frank had 232 kills and 94 blocks.
Frakes, a junior middle hitter, was a second-team Spotlight selection.
Gardner, a sophomore setter, was a second-team Spotlight selection.
Serpan, a junior right-side hitter, was an honorable mention Spotlight selection.
Hess, a senior, will anchor the defense as the libero.
Hedrick, a sophomore, is an outside hitter.
Milroy, a junior, is a defensive specialist.
Coach Erica Book is entering her 11th season with the Spring Hill volleyball program and third as head coach.
“They have more work ethic and dedication than any other team I’ve ever coached,” Book said “This is truly a special group of athletes.”
Spring Hill has set some lofty goals, defending the league title and returning to state for starters.
“Spring Hill Volleyball expects to have a huge year,” Book said. “I feel the team we have coming back is stronger than what we had last year with more experience.
“We have been preparing all year to get back to the state tournament,” she said. “Our goal this year is to win a state championship and win the league this season.”
Spring Hill has eight letter-winners back, including seven starters. The program is ready to make some more history in 2020, Book said.
“I have really big expectations for this team and they have huge expectations as a team,” she said. “We believe we could be contending to be at the 5A State Tournament and win a state championship.
“In order to do this, we need to pass and serve better than our opponents,” Book said. “We have set some goals on passing/serving, and it will be a focus every match. We are a really good team when we are in system and pass the ball well. That has to be the key to win matches against really good teams.”
The Frontier League is always tough, Book said. Teams to beat this season include Bonner Springs, Louisburg and Eudora.