NORFOLK, NE – As the Northeast Community College volleyball team prepares for its 2018 season, Amanda Schultze will be relying on some new talent.
“I am looking forward to having ten new faces on the team and seeing what they can do.” said Schultze, who is beginning her sixth year as head coach. “We have some very talented young women coming in, in all positions. They are very hard-working players and will need to earn a spot on the court.”
Schultze is hoping the team heads back to Charleston, WV, for a third appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Tournament.
Last fall for the second consecutive year, the Hawks qualified for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. Northeast held on through the second round, ending the season with a 19-16 record.
The Hawks will count one returning starter on their roster this year. Last season, Savannah Nelson, Wakefield, received Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) Region XI all-conference honorable mention, Region XI-A second team honors and Region XI-A all-tournament team honors. She recorded 1,246 assists, 372 digs, 26 blocks, 60 kills and 26 ace serves.
Other returning sophomores, including last year’s statistics, are Delaney Belt, Shelby, (154 digs, 23 assists, 12 ace serves) and Gabriela Barbosa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (138 digs, 9 assists, 6 ace serves), who both received significant playing time as defensive specialists. Shelby Paprocki, Clarkson, (3 kills, 7 digs, 3 blocks) also received playing time as a freshman.
Additionally, Northeast has added Kalli Brester, Howells, a transfer from Midland University, to its roster.
“Kalli was able to train with us in the spring and has fit right in with our philosophy,” Schultze said.
New players this season include: Elley Beaver, Columbus; MaKayla Davidson, Alliance; Julia Eskens, Wynot; Hannah Heppner, Stanton; Caitlin Kumm, Osmond; Caitlin Orton, Mills; Logan Wemhoff, Humphrey; and Megan Wehrbein, Lewiston.
Layne Mitchell will begin her first year as assistant coach. A 2017 graduate of Northeast, Mitchell played volleyball for the Hawks under Schultze.
Melissa Hampl will serve as volunteer assistant. Megan Borg, Wakefield, will return as student manager.
Northeast opens the 2018 season on Friday, August 24, when the team travels to Beatrice to compete in the two-day Southeast Community College tournament. The Hawks’ home opener will be Friday, August 31, as it hosts the Northeast Tournament in the Cox Activities Center on the Norfolk campus. Northeast is set to face Lake Region State College and Fort Scott Community College at 5 and 7 p.m., respectively. The following day, they will wrap up the tournament with a 1 p.m. match against Southeast Community College.