Anna Vander Waal

After qualifying for the State Volleyball Tournament each of the past four years, the Pella High Lady Dutch realize it is time to rebuild.

Pella High veteran head coach Catie Brand stated, “It’s going to be an exciting year for the Lady Dutch. With so many new faces in the program, the team is starting to create their own identity. Pella Volleyball is coming off four trips to the State tournament, and a huge graduating class, so we know it will be a rebuilding year. But this group is ready to work for it with a combination of strong senior leadership and promising young players. They want to learn a ton this season and compete at every opportunity. We’ve had a great start, and we can’t wait to see where this team can go.”

Brand is starting her 8th season at the helm.

Back from the 31-7 Pella squad of a year ago that made it to the quarter-finals of the state meet, are two returning starters.

The enthusiasm starts with those two and builds from there.

Back as starters are setter Anna Vander Waal and Bailey Van Voorst an outside hitter. Both are sophomores on the Dutch roster.

Other lettermen back on the team are Courtney Thompson, Emma Pleima, Lisa Dykstra, Courtney Paxton and Madison Naig.

“The players are very motivated and excited to make this season their own. With many new players on the floor, they look to get better every single practice and playing opportunity. We have athletes around the same experience level so it will be a competitive practice environment. They will really push each other,” Brand said.

Pella graduated six seniors from a year ago and all had roles on the 2018 team. “We have a lot of learning to do this year in a short amount of time,” Brand replied.

Three new juniors and six sophomores join the varsity roster in 2019, which should make for a competitive battle for playing time.

Brand looks for Norwalk and Indianola to be strong again this fall.

The coach added, “We look to be competitive and finish in the top half of the conference.”

Perry Bell can be reached at sports@journalexpress.net or by calling the Knoxville newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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