By Sophie Butler
Coach tenBensel is leading the Mustangs for her eighth year as head coach. She’s accompanied by two new coaches this year, Coach Farley and Coach Pankoke. tenBensel said, “With Coach Sinsel taking over basketball and the birth of Kellen as well as Coach Meyer further pursuing her education degree, we’ve had some changes in our coaching staff! Logan Farley and Jeni Pankoke have both brought a lot to this team and have been doing a great job working with the underclassmen preparing them to play high school volleyball!” With the Mustangs ending their 2021 campaign with a 19-11 record with seniors Amanda Ehrman, Katelyn Karr, and Trista Hanson leading the way, there are big shoes to fill. This year’s seniors, though, are growing as players every day. “Georgi and Brooklyn have been making a huge impact on the team since they were freshmen, Lexi since her sophomore year, and Josi last year as a junior, too!” tenBensel said. Georgi tenBensel led the team last year in kills with 312 and kills per set, averaging 3.9. Brooklyn Meyer also aided the Mustang offense in the 2021 season with 1.5 kills per set. Also adding hitting experience to the Mustang offense is Josi Sharp, who was in the top three hitting percentages from the previous year. Additionally, Lexi Wengler brings two years of setting experience to the team, as she led the offense the previous season with 299 assists.
The Mustangs will rely on some underclassmen to step into varsity roles as well. “I’ve seen a lot of the freshmen-juniors that I’m very impressed with so far this season as well! Each class has some hard-working girls that give it their ‘all’ during practice and will be excited to get the season started! We have some great underclassmen that will continue to improve and push for some of those empty spots on the varsity team! That makes this year exciting as well,” tenBensel commented. Silver Lake lost their top two stat leaders on defense, so they look forward to players stepping into these defensive roles as well. Sophomore Emma Schmidt will be stepping into the libero position in place of graduate Katelyn Karr. Katy Soucek, a sophomore as well, will also be starting varsity and taking the middle hitter position. Junior Sydney Bartels is also stepping into a new role as a right-side hitter. Junior Morgan Dinkler will aid the Mustangs, filling a setting position. The Mustangs see their first action on Thursday, August 25 on the road as they will face McCool Junction and then travel to Axtell on Saturday, August 27. To catch the Mustangs on their home floor, they will face Heartland Lutheran and Harvard on August 30.