EFFINGHAM — In case you're busy, and just need the basics, yes, Effingham volleyball will once again be a conference contender.
The facts are that in the 14 years coach Laurie Bohnhoff has been around, the Flaming Hearts have had only one losing season, and have recorded over 20 wins in 12 of the 14 years.
"We should be strong again this year," Bohnhoff said. "It should be a good season. We'll see if we improve enough to get to Mattoon this year in our conference. We have a couple of pretty big kids coming back."
Sophomore Shelby Nunamaker, tops out the list at 5-foot-11. Returning All-Apollo selection Stephanie Robb clocks in at 5-foot-10. Seniors Bethany Donaldson and Katie Bloemker are each 5-foot-9, while setter Felcia Totten and outside hitter Josie Zerrusen are both listed as 5-foot-8.
"We should be a hitting team," Bohnhoff said. "We don't have that many small kids, so we should have some explosive hitting. There are some juniors and sophomores that haven't played that much varsity which could hurt us a little bit."
Effingham lost five seniors to graduation on a team that went 22-14 and 8-2 in the Apollo Conference, good for second place behind 9-1 conference champion Mattoon. The losses include first team All-Apollo libero Kelli Utz and second team all-Apollo selections Shannon Daugherty and Deedra Myers.
The Lady Hearts have their kills leader in Robb, but will need others to contribute as well.
These may include Zerrusen and Nunamaker, as well as Brittany Beals. Zerrusen is penciled is an a potential libero. Nunamaker will see some time on the right side. Donnaldson will see time on the outside.
Sophomore Chandler Ramey, has potential to play on the outside and the junior Totten is slated as the starting setter.
"Brittany saw some time last year, and has a great pre-season so far," Bohnhoff said. "Bethany brings us some versatility. We can move her around. We are looking for some leadership in Felcia Totten. She will probably be our only setter.