Elk Rapids volleyball returns with experienced team

Tim Peterson

ELK RAPIDS — Last season the Elk Rapids varsity volleyball team had many new faces on the roster, after losing eight seniors to graduation.

In a potential rebuilding year, the team did better than many expected, improving each game to finish above .500 and losing in the district finals. The Elks lost just two players to graduation this time, returning a team of 10 players loaded with varsity experience. The Elks are led by a trio of third-year varsity players in senior Logan Reasoner and juniors Lili Hoberg and Ryleigh Yocom, a first team all-conference selection last year. The Elks have seven players back for their second year on varsity. Morgan Wirtz, an athletic senior who sat out her sophomore season after transferring from Kalkaska, senior Nevada Molby, an all-conference honorable mention after joining the team as a junior, and four seniors in Alena LaPointe, Addison Jacobs, Ava Knight and Grace Mishel — the senior quartet played together since middle school — and a solid junior in Emma Gilbert. These 10 returning volleyballers are joined by two sophomores who played JV last season, Violet Sumerix and Morgan Bergquist, freshman Hailey Yocom and Bri Roberts, a transfer from Midland.

This summer the team was able to participate in open gyms, something COVID eliminated in 2020.

“This is a group with great camaraderie. They are a drama-free group and are a pleasure to coach. Last year, they came in having to learn the speed of the varsity game with no volleyball being played during the summer. They will be more experienced in handling game pressure, working together and technique. We are still trying to determine the positions, but we have a head start,” said Elk Rapids varsity volleyball head coach Connie Gorno. 

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