The Sauk Valley Community College volleyball team will take the court in 2012 with aspirations of making an impact on the Arrowhead Conference standings. Sauk returns five starters from a 2011 squad that finished 5-7 in the conference and advanced to the semi-finals of the Region IV tournament for the second consecutive season.
Among third-year Head Coach Jay Howell's list of returning players are the two top defenders from last season- Mariah Long from Oregon and Nicole Shaffer from Dixon. This tandem will provide the Skyhawks with stability and excellent back row play. Other returning starters are Opposite Hitter Jessica Bonnell from Dixon; Middle Hitter Randi Wilken from Oregon, and Outside Hitter Stacy Stewart from Prophetstown-all of whom gained valuable experience last season, and will be stepping up to leadership roles for the Skyhawks.
Although the top hitters for the past two seasons, Jamie law and Lauren Kerr, are gone, a talented group of freshmen hitters is on board this season. Kalli Scheppers(OH/MH) comes to Sauk from Mendota High School where she earned 1st Team News-Tribune All Area Volleyball honors for three years and led Mendota to a regional championship. Kayla Kurz(MH) from Ashton-Franklin Center High School brings a huge net presence and also led her team to a regional championship. Ali Massey (OH) was a Northern Illinois Big X11 1st team all conference performer for Sterling High School. Tyler Fuller (OH/MH) comes to Sauk from Morrison High School where she was named 1st team all-conference in the TRAC-8.
With the loss of two-year setter Kelsey LeFevre, setting duties will fall on the hands of freshman Karly Koch. Koch comes to the Skyhawks from Dixon High School where she earned Northern Illinois Big X!! 1st team all-conference honors.