By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

The recent history of the East Troy High School volleyball team is etched in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association record books forever.

But as always is the case, eventually players graduate to open the door for new girls who must step in and create their own legacy.

And that’s just where the Trojans find themselves in 2016 – at the start of a new era.

East Troy, which fell in last year’s WIAA Division 2 state title match to two-time champion Catholic Memorial, graduated four girls who earned first- or second-team All-Rock Valley Conference honors.

At the top of that list was M.E. Dodge, who now plays at the University of Wisconsin. Also gone from the program are fellow first-team picks Katrina Santos and Chloe Jakscht and second-team pick Carly Atchison.

But that was then and this is now, East Troy coach Jeremy Weis said, who added the program’s focus never changes.

“The outlook for this team is the same as it has been the last eight to nine years,” he said. “We want to win conference and make a deep run in the playoffs. We are expecting the girls to get better each and every day.”

Weis said last year – and going even further back to 2013 when the Trojans won the state title – aren’t really topics of discussion among this team.

“We try not to talk too much about what happened last year,” he said. “We know that a lot of things can change from year to year and that the girls need to focus on the things at hand.

“Each year is different, and we are working hard to make sure that we are working hard to make improvements on this team.”

Among the girls expected to lead this team are a trio who received All-RVC honors a year ago, led by sophomore outside hitter Brianna Scuric, who was a second-team pick.

“We lost a lot of leadership from last year’s team,” Weis said. “There are many girls who we are looking to fulfill this role on the team.

“(Scuric) plays with great energy, and every girl loves to play with her. She has done a great job preparing herself both physically and mentally to play a huge role on varsity this year.”

Scuric was joined by sophomore libero-outside hitter Mati Jakscht and senior middle blocker Natalee Bearce, who were honorable mention selections.

The rest of the varsity roster includes seniors Tori Miller (right-side hitter), Hannah Hintz (middle blocker) and Megan Francois (middle blocker); juniors Emily Willert (outside hitter-middle blocker), Katie Zewiske (outside hitter-defensive specialist) and Amber Larson (defensive specialist-libero) and sophomores Isabelle Martino (setter) and Julian Friedrichs (middle blocker).

Roles are changing

Weis said with so many new faces, there are plenty of adjustments within the team that are happening.

“It is a completely different group of girls,” he said. “Last year’s team had a bunch of girls who played six rotations. This year’s team, we will be relying on more players to play all six positions.

“The girls that are returning will know exactly what the program is built on and will be able to bring the new girls up to speed very quickly.”

As for the RVC, which the Trojans have won the last six straight years, Weis sees top challenges coming from both Edgerton and McFarland.

“Edgerton is returning almost their entire team, and they played us very tough last year,” he said. “McFarland has always played us tough. So year-in and year-out, they are a team that we have to contend with.”

East Troy opens the season this weekend at the perennially difficult Joust Invitational at Homestead Friday and Saturday. The 12-team event includes several of the state’s top teams, regardless of division.

The Trojans begin defense of their RVC title Thursday, Sept. 8, when they host McFarland at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

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