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this season strong. ….

this season strong. 
	  …. this season strong. 

this season strong.

Tanille Hartwig has begun her fourth season as Athens varsity head volleyball coach. Jessica Bingham and Kathy Luther are also back to assist Hartwig.

Athens lost, 3-0, in Tuesday’s season- opening match at Phillips. The Bluejays fell in straight sets by scores of 25-15, 25-11 and 25-16. Athens has its first home match of the season at 7 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 17, against Marathon.

Tanille Hartwig is counting on senior left side hitter Shauna Belter’s experience to lead the team this season. Belter paced Athens with seven attack kills in the team’s match loss to Phillips.

“Shauna not only contributes physically on the court, but she’s also our leader on the court,” Tanille Hartwig said. “Shauna’s positive attitude and strong work ethic are just what we need to lead a younger team. We are looking to her to consistently lead us on the stats sheet but also set the standard for what we expect when it comes to focusing and working hard.”

Athens has the following four freshmen in the starting lineup to begin this season: Setter and middle hitters Addison Lavicka and Jazelle Hartwig, and twin right side hitters Sydney and Sophia Coker. Lavicka led Athens with nine pass assists against Phillips.

“I am looking at all of our starting freshmen to bring something new and exciting to the volleyball court this season,” Tanille Hartwig said.

The head coach continues to build a tradition of winning in Athens. She’d like Athens to soon be a volleyball powerhouse each and every season like Marshfield Columbus, whom Athens lost to in a WIAA Division 4 regional championship match last season.

“I think one of our biggest struggles is believing we can do it,” she said. “Showing up and working hard is one thing, but believing in yourself and having confidence on the volleyball court is another challenge. As our girls continue to improve on their skills and gain experience, I am hoping they begin to see themselves as contenders.”

Tigers value experience

Stratford veteran bead volleyball coach Brooke Kafka is fortunate to have a senior-laden squad this season that’s attempting to win its fourth straight Marawood Conference championship.

The team got off to a good start to achieving its goal of capturing another conference title by beating nemesis Wausau Newman, 3-0, on Tuesday night at home.

“Winning a conference championship is definitely a goal of our team, but like in years past, we always start small,” Kafka said. “We will focus on one game at a time and work towards improving each practice.”

Kafka has begun her 10th season as Stratford’s head varsity volleyball coach. Rachel Wussow is coaching the school’s JV1 volleyball team and Jenny Wussow the JV2 squad.

Stratford returns a bevy of experienced senior volleyball players this season including setter and rightside hitter Lauryn Nagel, leftside hitters Mikayla Guldan and Tanaya Schillinger, setter Abbygail Oertel and middle hitter Breanna Ackley.

“We have several returning players that I expect to lead our team and I am excited to see some newcomers fill in and complete our team,” Kafka said. “With all other uncertainties this season, I am confident this group of girls will make the most of their season regardless of what the post season looks like this year.”