Strong core will propel Lady Bulldogs through season
     2014-09-04      By Kay Grote    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - Members of the 2014 Gering High School volleyball team are, front from left, Lauren Shaul, Jade Riedel, Alyssa Zwickl, Kaylee Spreier, Kaila Borgman, Leah Newman, Brooklyn Perez, Sara Schwartzkopf, and Morgan Smith. Second row from left, Kasey Schmidt, Mariah Conn, Keltie Imus, Zoe Van Dyke, Abby Kiesel, Allie Boggs, Kourtney Schaneman, Jade Melroy, Brianna Eckerberg, and Joslyn Olsson. Third row from left, Morgan Heil, Abby Lenhardt, Cora Leypoldt, Brittney Spreier, Mykel Garcia, Jocelyn Nuss, Courtney Conn, Whitney Kleich, and Carlee Brester. Back row from left, Kerrigan Blanton, Aleaha Fette, Victoria Schwartz, and Casey Huckfeldt. 
Dave Lashley is stepping back onto the volleyball court as a coach with a lot of hope. With 27 years of volleyball coaching and multiple years of officiating experience, Lashley is looking forward to his first year as Gering’s head coach with a varsity core of experience, height and power.

Lashley knows the Lady Bulldogs will be competitive this year and will be hustling to top their previous season’s record of 16-19 and eyeing the district title. Last year the Lady Bulldogs, who finished the 2013 season under the direction of assistant coach Stevie Gable, placed 3rd in the Western Conference ranks and claimed the runner-up title in the B-6 district and earned a sub-state qualifying slot.

Gable, along with Chelsea Horn, will assist Lashley in coaching duties.

“We will be very competitive and could possibly vie for a conference and district title,” Lashley said.
Gering will bring to the court seven returning players, six of them letter earners. The Lady Bulldogs’ key returning players are led by All-Conference player and two-year letter earner Kaylee Spreier, 5-11 senior middle hitter. Last season Spreier amassed 176 kills and 87 blocks. Lashley will be looking to Spreier and fellow senior and middle hitter Kaila Borgman (5-10) to fire the offense and hold the defense at the net. Another experienced returning senior is Brooklyn Perez (5-7) who will set the plays. Perez is a steady ball handler, racking up 73 assists and 54 digs last season. Senior Leah Newman (5-7) will assist the front line as an outside hitter.

Lashley also has three lettered juniors to round out his starting line-up. Two-year letter earner Allie Boggs (5-9) is a team setter who has proven herself to be a versatile and reliable player with 72 kills, 160 assists, 52 digs and 51 blocks. Jade Riedel (5-9) made the switch to libero last year, contributing 23 digs as a sophomore and classmate Abby Kiesel (5-8) will step up after proving herself last year as an outside hitter contributing 48 kills and 53 digs.
“We have two solid middle hitters and two experienced setters,” Lashley said. “Our outside hitters have improved a lot over last year and continue to get better.”

Other strong contributors will be juniors Lauren Shaul (5-6) at outside hitter, Sara Schwartzkopf (5-5) and Zoe Van Dyke (5-5) as specialized liberoes and sophomore Joslyn Olsson (6-2) as a potentially dangerous middle hitter.

Gering’s schedule will not be easy, with a string of road games slated for late September before the Lady Bulldogs will enjoy an equally long string of games on their home court.

“Our conference has some pretty good coaches so we expect the conference schedule to be a tough road,” Lashley said.
Gering opens its season on the road with a trip to northeast Wyoming to compete in the Gillette Invitational Tournament this weekend. Both varsity and JV will compete in the two-day tournament that will match the Nebraska squad up against some of Wyoming’s top teams. The Lady Bulldogs’ first home action will be Thursday, Sept. 11 with Chadron at 6 p.m.

Gering Volleyball Schedule

Friday-Saturday, Sept. 5-6 at Gillette, Wyo. Invite
Thursday, Sept. 11 home v. Chadron, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 13 Triangular at North Platte (Alliance, Gering), 12 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 16 at Scottsbluff, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 18 Home Triangular at Gering (Chadron, Gordon-Rushville), 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 20 at Ogallala, 12 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 25 triangular at Sidney, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 27 at Torrington, 1 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 29 at Cheyenne East, 6 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 3-4 Twin City Invite at Gering, TBA
Tuesday, Oct. 7 home v. Alliance, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 11 Western Conference Tourney at Gering, 10 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 16 home v. Scottsbluff, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 21 home v. Sidney, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 23 home v. Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 25 at Alliance Tournament, 10 a.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 4 Districts TBA



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