Veteran coach Kathy Anderson rebuilt the Saints last season with one senior, Erika Sombke, 393 digs and 190 kills. Lutheran is back with the rest of the lineup intact: seniors, setter Kristen Simons, 741 assists; libero Taylor Brown, 344 digs; and scrappy middle blocker Erin Pasch, 242 kills and 196 digs; plus junior outside hitter Rylee Morris, 202 kills.
The Saints seek the Indiana Crossroads title and deeper tourney success.
“We have a lot of experience coming back, which is really nice, and it is experience in key positions,” Anderson said. “We have a lot more flexibility with our younger players, and that should help us as we go into the post-season.”
Anderson holds her key returnees in high regard.
“It is huge to return with our top two hitters,” she said. “Some of the players we are adding should open up some more swings. We’re waiting to see who steps up among our younger players.”
For depth, Anderson is counting on multiple-position sophomores Chloe Andre, Meadow Arnold and Olivia Terry and freshman Dara Milivojac.
“As they fight for some of those positions, it picks up the intensity of our practices,” Anderson said. “A lot of these kids can play more than one position too.”
The Saints, a traditional Class A powerhouse, fell to Greenwood Christian in last year’s sectional final and finished 16-16.
“If we can put the puzzle pieces together in terms of the coaching staff putting them in the right places at the right time,” Anderson said. “And the kids have to perform, too. We should be in good shape if the pieces go together.”