MANISTIQUE - The Manistique Emeralds girl's volleyball team look to have a very promising season, returning eight of their core players to this season's roster.
Generally, the more time a team can spend together, the better they become at communicating with each other and knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses, and Manistique hopes their experience together will prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Monica Giles, Maryse Hinkson, Shanel Bosanic, Kaitlyn Ziminski, Rae Ann Robinson, Harley Troxler, Kelsy Gonyea, and Cayla Strasser have all played together before, and having a season under their belt certainly has to build their confidence heading into the next season.
There have only been a few changes in the lineup, as Hinkson has shifted from a defensive specialist to starting setter, and Robinson has moved from outside to middle position.
Bosanic returns to her lead position at libero, and according to coach Amy Nixon, she has done well in earning the spot.
"From last year to this year, she has put in a lot of hard work to get stronger and better her game," Nixon said. "She has also stepped up her leadership role."
Aug. 18 - at Munising Tournament; Aug. 22 - Ishpeming; Aug. 27 - Escanaba;
Sept. 4 - at Newberry; Sept. 6 - Westwood; Sept. 11 - Gwinn; Sept. 13 - at Norway; Sept. 17 - at Negaunee; Sept. 20 - Iron Mountain; Sept. 26 - at Westwood;
Oct. 1 - at Ishpeming; Oct. 2 - Negaunee; Oct. 6 - at Escanaba Tournament; Oct. 9 - at Gwinn; Oct. 11 - at Iron Mountain; Oct. 18 - Norway; Oct. 23 - at Rudyard; Oct. 25 - Big Bay de Noc
New additions to the team include three juniors, Vanessa McNamara, Morgan Kangas, and Leah Cook, and one sophomore, Maggie Morrison.
The coach believes that the conference will be extremely competitive this season, and that all the teams deserve to be respected.
"I think Iron Mountain will definitely be at the top of their game," she said. They had a very strong team last year, and a lot of their players are returning. Other than them, I think it'll be pretty close between our team, Gwinn, and Norway."