In today’s edition of the Monday Morning Wrap-Up, we start to take a look at the fall season for girls’ volleyball. The area is coming off a 2022 season that saw three area teams win state titles at the Show-Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
We start our previews with three teams that will have new coaches at the helm for the 2023 season. Aaron Hummert moves from assistant coach to the top seat at Webster Groves while Keith Price takes over a Howell program that has seen success over the past few years. Across the river, Mike McBrien will look to take the Alton program to new heights this fall.
Webster Groves Statesmen
- Head Coach: Aaron Hummert
- Years at School and Coaching Record: 2 years as an assistant at WG, previously Head Coach at Rockwood Summit, record 54-26 over 3 seasons.
- Conference: Suburban Red
- Last Year’s Overall and Conference Record: 8-19-1 (2-3)
- Starters Returning – 4
- Top Returning Players: Katelyn Turley (Libero), Amelia Kennerly (Outside Hitter), Julia Fowler (Middle)
- Players to Watch: Rose Whitemountain (Outside) – played a limited role on Varsity last year, but now as a sophomore has been working incredibly hard in the offseason and is looking to increase her impact on the team.; Maggie Lodes (Setter) – transitioned to the setter position after playing outside hitter for most of her high school career; Katelyn Turley (Libero) entering her third season as a libero for the Statesmen will definitely be the defensive backbone of our team.
Season Outlook: “We have been putting in a ton of work this offseason, trying to focus on our skill development and conditioning,” stated Hummert. “The athletes that have consistently shown up during the spring and summer will be the ones who are out there making plays for us this season. Even though we graduated some great leaders and athletes, we are excited about the growth we’ve seen in our returning players. We believe that we are in a great spot this year to significantly improve on our previous performances.”
Francis Howell Vikings
- Head Coach: Keith Price
- Years at School and Coaching Record: First Year at Howell
- Record: 197 W 75 L 6 ties
- Conference: Gateway Athletic Conference (GAC)
- Last Year’s Overall and Conference Record: 23 W 10 L 1 T Conference Record: 11 W 2 L
- Starters Returning: Avery Guisinger OH/MH Sr., Ella Kloepper OH/MA Sr., Allison DeLassus OH Sr., Claudia Bonacorsi OH/DS Sr., Ava Tutschulte MA Sr., Danielle Moore Opp Jr., Morgan Dumm S Jr., Avery Helms L Jr.
- Top Returning Players: Our top returning players include our 3 juniors. Danielle Moore is a strong right-side player who has a fantastic whipping motion when she swings at the ball. Morgan Dumm is the returning setter from last season’s team. She was instrumental in the success last season and ultimately was the one running the offense. Finally, our Libero Avery Helms is one of the best in the St. Louis Region. She does an excellent job reading and playing defense. Her service receive continues to improve. She is a dominant back-row player.
- Players to Watch: In my short time with the team, besides the players mentioned above I feel all of our seniors will be contributing members of our team. They all have great work ethics and come to the gym every day wanting to get better. They work extremely hard and truly care about their teammates.
Season Outlook: “I am excited to be a part of the rich tradition of Francis Howell volleyball,” said Price. “In the past, their teams always competed at a high level throughout all of St. Louis. The expectation is that this will continue. You can be assured the girls will strive to improve daily. They will be encouraged to challenge and push each other. Most of all, I know they will love and respect each other. This is what makes me so excited about the program. These girls have learned that it is about the team and not about the individuals. When this happens, it helps success fall right into place.”
- Head Coach: Mike McBrien
- Years at School and Coaching Record: 1st year
- Conference: Southwestern
- Last Year’s Overall and Conference Record: 1-20-1
- Starters Returning – Ella Artis; Grace Carter; Tayen Orr; Karen Lewis; Berlynn Clayton
- Top Returning Players: Ella Artis; Grace Carter; Berlynn Clayton; Karen Lewis
- Players to Watch: Kristina Castelli; Anaiah Clanton-El; Mallory Hosford
Season Outlook: New Coach at the helm for the season is Coach Mike McBrien as he takes over for Dan Carter. This season is about building a new culture and identity. We are aiming to strive for excellence on and off the court. We want to improve not just on the record but also in the conference. We are looking to improve our skill set, physicality, and speed of the game. There is a bright future for the girls and the program overall.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan