GREAT EXPECTATIONS

First-year Trinity Lutheran girls volleyball coach Chelsea Stroub has made her expectations clear for the 2015 season.

“I want to do better than we did last year and beat Christian Academy — the goal is to get past regionals,” she said.

Stroub has moved into the varsity coaching in place of Chelsey Hackman.

Stroub, a 2009 Seymour High School graduate, inherits a Cougars varsity team that defeated four semistate teams last season and captured a sectional title en route to a 27-9 record.

In 2014, the Cougars fell in three-straight sets to Christian Academy, the eventual Class A state-runner up, in the regional championship game.

While she hasn’t coached varsity in the past, Stroub has a résumé of success.

Last season, Stroub’s junior varsity Cougars volleyball team went 18-0.

The Cougars dominated in a scrimmage at Austin on Friday, not dropping a set, and Stroub is excited for the season to commence.

“All the girls are really clicking together,” Stroub said. “I have five seniors this year so there’s a lot of leadership. Everything is coming together, and I’m really excited about this year. Some of our juniors are also stepping up which has been a little surprising.”

This year’s team is without last year’s core of seniors: Mallory Barker, Liz Hill, Sydney Stuckwisch and Caitlin Tracey, who graduated in the spring.

The Cougars were known for their height and hard-hitting in 2014.

Now, the Cougars plan to rely on a strong backcourt for success and a faster-paced style of play.

Despite losing a handful of girls, Stroub said she feels as if her team has reloaded.

“I like working with the kids again who played for me on junior varsity,” Stroub said. “We’re adding-on instead of rebuilding. It’s nice being able to see them grow. I feel like the varsity level has a lot more confidence. It’s like night and day. I think that confidence is really important to having success.

“Our back row is on point. We’re working on a fast offense for this year. They’re working crazy hard now so that it pays off later.”

Senior middle hitter Anne Franke, and senior defensive specialists Taylor Reynolds and Hayley Carter return from last year’s team.

Senior Haylee Barker and junior Courtney Barker shared the setting role.

At middle hitter, junior Lexi Schneider will step-in, senior Kayla Stuckwisch takes over at right-side hitter and junior Hailley Peters will play as an outside hitter.

Also vying for action will be junior setter/defensive specialist Whitney Rogers, sophomore outside hitter Abigail Hackman and junior defensive specialist Emma Patmore.

Following her time with the Owls in high school, Stroub played volleyball at University of the Cumberlands, an NAIA school out of Williamsburg, Kentucky.

With her playing days over, Stroub took the next step.

“I played in college, and I didn’t want it to stop,” Stroub said. “The next step was coaching since I couldn’t play anymore. I enjoyed it and have stuck with it. I enjoy watching the girls grow.”

Jeanne Pollert now will serve as the junior varsity coach and also assist Stroub on the varsity side.

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.