Windsor/Stew-Stras Volleyball Set For State


Published on November 8 2017 1:19 pm
Last Updated on November 8 2017 1:19 pm
Written by Millie Lange

Windsor/Stewardson-Strasburg High School is headed back to the Class 1A State Volleyball Tournament and Coach Ronda Schlechte is looking to pick up an opening round victory this Friday at Illinois State University's Redbird Arena. The Hatchets opening round opponent will be Durand at 10:30 a.m. The opening round match will find Newark taking on Payson Seymour at 9 a.m.

"I’m looking to try and win that first game," said Schlechte. "But from here on out they’re all ranked ahead of us. We’re right there with height. I’m hoping we can go compete and stay with them if they are standout team. We play big tournamnets, the teams that have beaten us are really strong. So, I think we've prepared ourselves."

Coach Schlechte's squad finished third at the State Tournament last year. The Hatchets lost their opening match to Lanark Eastland 25-22, 25-27, 25-18. The team then downed Norris City-Omaha-Enfield 25-15, 26-24 for third place. Coach Schlechte talked about her starters.

"Megan Schlechte is our go-to and she's leading the team in kills. She's flexible and right up there with digs. She and Mikayla lead the team in aces. Her strengths are working around the blocks and putting the ball down. She's been working around an injury. and you have to take that in consideration.

"Kasey Bean, a senior, is my other outside. Probably the last two or three weeks she has been hitting a lot stronger. Did well for us last year during postseason and stepped it up and has also done that this year. She can hit really well.

"Maria Gentry is a senior middle. She's been dealing with shoulder issues all season and wasn’t going to play this season until right before pre-season. She decided she did want to play. Came into game a little on late side. She has a very powerful swing and is leading us in blocks. She has a nice verticle and can put the ball down. She can play around block and is smart with tips.

"Our other middle Mackenzee Reynolds is a sophomore. She didn’t see varsity time last year but has really improved tremendoulsy from summer until now. She's second with blocks. Nice and tall at 5-10 or 5-11. She's getting more and more confident and does a good job blocking.

"Our right side is Mackenzi Tabbert and she is our main setter. She was outside last year. Very strong on defense and with hitting. Moved her to setting this year. She likes to hit that second ball over. If she gets the opportunity to play net, she will. She's also a very strong servicer.

Calla Roney is a junior. She had ACL issues at the beginning of the season and health issues. She was out for two or three weeks,  but she has been back for a while and doing really well. She's a strong front row player. At 5-10 she can put up a good block. Her strength is from the middle but we kept her on right side because of her injury.

"Taylor Rentfro, a senior, plays back row. She has improved tremendously throughout the season. Did not see playing time last year as a junior. This year she is doing well with her serving which is one of her strengths.

"Mikayla Haddock, a senior, is our Libero. She does a very nice job for us. Filled in for Carson last year. She has come through with defense. She's neck and neck on digs and takes the second ball when Mackenzie takes the first one. She's quick and just a real uplifter on the court.

"My two youngsters in the back row are Martina Gratz, a sophomore and Anna Schlechte, a freshman. They have been sharing a couple of spots in the back row this season. Been doing really, really well with serving and get quite a few aces. Anna has taken over more on defense.

"Clare Moomaw, is a sophomore that just came back from an injury. She has been out since September. 5-11 and puts up a big, big block for us. We’re working on getting the timing back. Her strength would be her blocking.

"Mackenzie Brown has subbed and seen playing time. Would be one of my first subs in. Flexible as far as middle or right side. We’re going to train her hard for an outside position next year."

Strengths for the Hatches include their passing and hitting along with consistency.

"Hopefully start off with passing," said Schlechte. "That’s key to keeping everything going. Our hitting has been pretty strong lately. We have been consistent. Others have stepped up so we have moved the ball around quite a bit.

"We’ve also been working on more aggressive serving."

When asked about her opponent, Durand, Coach Schlechte said, "I don’t feel like you can prepare too much. You just have to prepare your team. We just need to play outside. We need to play our game and do the best at that we can."

WSS won the Bronze Flight at the Crossroads  Classic this season, finished second to Mount Zion at Mount Pulaski Tournament, won the National Trail Conference Tournament and got second place at the Shelbyville/Pana Tournament.

The Hatchets go into state with a 33-6 record.