2023-2024 Holton Wildcats Volleyball Preview
By Ali Holcomb
With six returning letter winners this season, the Holton volleyball teams hopes to build off last year’s success, said HHS Head Coach Kristel Bontrager.
“This team is fun and creative on ways they can contribute to the team on and off the court,” Coach Bontrager said.
Holton tied for fourth place in Big Seven League rankings last year with a 7-7 record. The Lady Wildcats were 15-22 overall. Holton fell to Bishop Miege in the championship match of a Class 4A sub-state tournament.
Bontrager said that, to be successful, the players will need to focus on building chemistry on the court.
“Our team plays its best when they put their team first, and this group of kids are fully committed to doing that. The leadership from every senior this year will be and has been huge for us,” she said.
Returning letter winners this season include seniors Renn Deters, Cora Miller, Jade Phillips and Charlotte Cyphers and juniors Elizabeth Schuster and Kaiya Taylor.
Miller has been selected twice for the All-Area Volleyball team. Last year, she was an honorable mention pick for the Big Seven All-League team.
Miller served as the team’s libero last season and was the top defender in the league, averaging 5.59 digs per set with 313 total digs. She also had 43 kills, 15 ace serves and a 94.4 serving percentage.
“Cora will play a big role on defense and moving to an outside hitter role,” Coach Bontrager said. “Her experience at high level ball will continue to help her lead well.”
Deters was selected for the All-Area Volleyball team last year. She led the Wildcats with 141 kills, averaging 2.52 kills per set. She also had 11 blocks and 94 digs during the season.
“Renn will contribute as a big hitter from the outside,” the coach said.
Last season, Schuster led the team in blocks, with 32 in 52 sets. She also had 61 kills
“Elizabeth continues to work hard on blocking and will deliver this season from the middle,” she said. “Newcomer Tinley Wilson is an incoming freshman who will contribute to Holton volleyball with setting and front row play as well.”
This is Bontrager’s 19th year coaching at Holton, and her second year as head coach. Carlene McManigal is in her 12th year as the JV coach and Keri Miller is in her second year as the freshman team coach.
Bontrager predicts that Nemaha Central and Holton will be the most competitive teams in the Big Seven League this year.
The Wildcats will start the season with a varsity tournament at Marysville on Aug. 26. The first games begin at 9 a.m.