Volleyball Preview 2022: For the Litchfield Dragons, things are looking up
Dragons pin their hopes on five seniors in the starting lineup.
LITCHFIELD — In his 18th year as the head coach of the Dragons, Darin Swenson has eight starters returning to his lineup in ‘22 that won nine of 29 matches in ‘21.
Two players to look out for on Litchfield as the season gets underway are seniors Greta Hansen and Olivia Holmgren.
Hansen, a middle hitter, tallied 170 kills and 64 digs, leading the Dragons in blocks with 70 in ‘21.
Holmgren, a setter, tallied 597 of Litchfield’s 667 assists in ‘21, leading the Dragons with 37 service aces and ranking second with 250 digs. She added 15 blocks and 15 kills in her junior campaign.
“Greta is tall, athletic and quick off the ground. Opponents will need to keep track of her along the net,” Swenson said. “Olivia never quits and is extremely competitive… It’s hard to put a ball on the ground anywhere near her.”
Middle hitter Izzy Pennertz and defensive specialists Ciarra Resmen and Grace Braaten round out the big five senior group returning for Swenson’s Dragons.
Pennertz ranked second with 190 kills and third with 54 blocks in ‘21. Resmen tallied 118 digs, 17 service aces, 12 assists and three kills. Braaten ranked third in digs (215) and receptions (272) in ‘21, adding nine service aces, nine assists, one kill and a block.
Junior outside hitter Morgan Falling and sophomore outside hitters Asha Ehlers and Anna Sorgatz round out the Litchfield starting returnees. The three played in a combined 145 sets in ‘21.
Three key losses the Dragons will be without this season are Kaity Kuzler, Addi Marquardt and JoJo Schultz.
Kuzler ranked first in kills (197). Marquardt was first in digs (373) and digs (373). Schultz ranked fourth with 120 digs.
The Dragons began the season Aug. 26 at the Rush City tournament.
Aug. 26 at Rush City tournament
Aug. 30 vs. Hutchinson
Sept. 6 vs. Maple Lake
Sept. 9-10 at Marshall tournament
Sept. 13 at Kimball
Sept. 15 vs. NLS
Sept. 19 at Paynesville
Sept. 22 at HLWW
Sept. 24 at Dassel-Cokato tournament
Sept. 27 vs. Rockford
Sept. 29 at Dassel-Cokato
Oct. 4 vs. EV-W
Oct. 6 vs. Annandale
Oct. 11 vs. Glencoe-Silver Lake
Oct. 13 at Watertown-Mayer
Oct. 24 at St. Cloud Cathedral