MOORHEAD, Minn. (08/30/10)--It’s been almost 10 months since the Cobber volleyball team lost five of their last seven matches of the 2009 season and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons. Concordia head coach Tim Mosser is hoping that the team that steps on the court on Sept. 3 at the UW-Eau Claire Invite will be cleansed of the tough finish. Mosser has reason to be optimistic after the offseason as CC returns three of their top four offensive players from a year ago and has a nucleus of returners that will be a tonic for bringing the Cobbers back to the top of the conference.
The 2010 campaign will be a mixed bag for Concordia as they have only six returning players from last season. The Cobbers will be a blend of talented veterans and athletic newcomers. Leading the way will be All-American Jenna Green (Jr., Dilworth, Minn./D-G-F HS) who will be a dominant force in the conference as she steps into the role of team leader. Last year Green led the Cobbers in kills per game and finished the season with 269 total kills and has 558 kills in her two-year career. She also led the team in digs and her passing prowess routinely led to critical Cobber points. Green had double-digit kill totals in all but three matches she played in during 2009. In conference play, Green had 113 kills and was third in the MIAC in kills per game.
Concordia will be far from a one-player show in 2010 as Green’s front row teammate Katie Vohnoutka (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) will give the Cobbers a formidable 1-2 punch. Vohnoutka finished last season with a team-high 299 kills. She was fifth in the league in kills per game (3.29) and seventh in points (3.81/game). Vohnoutka had double-digit kill totals in all but three conference matches and was also second on the team in blocks in league play. Green and Vohnoutka will be joined at the net by the third of four CC juniors on the team. Ashley Beseman (Raymond, Minn./MACCRAY HS) had over 100 kills in 2009 and led the team in blocks.
The fourth and final junior will be counted on to set up the terrific trio at the net. Amy Sykora (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens HS) returns as the team’s setter for a third straight season. Last year she had a team-high 702 assists and has amassed 1,295 helpers in the past two years.
The other two returners for Mosser’s crew are both sophomores as Concordia heads into the season without a senior on the roster. Rachel Wiinanen (Maple Grove, Minn./Osseo HS) and Danelle Loomis (Clara City, Minn./MACCRAY HS) used 2009 as a learning experience and both had moments where they showed that the future is optimistic for the Cobbers.
For the second straight season Mosser has brought in a talented crew of freshmen. The opening day roster will feature nine first-year players and six of those are listed at 5-10 and will give the Cobbers depth on the front line as Concordia tries to return to the top three of the MIAC and a run at the national tournament.