August 31, 2015

Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Veteran John A. Logan College volleyball coach Bill Burnside says this year’s team is probably the tallest up and down the roster he has ever coached.

The Volunteers, who are off to a 3-3 start this fall, including a 1-0 mark in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference, feature five players 6-feet tall or taller; two that are 5-foot-11; two more that are 5-foot-10; and one more listed at 5-foot-9.

“We have size at almost every position,” Burnside said. “Our outside hitters (freshman Annie Wehrheim of Woodlawn and sophomore Carly Callahan of Carterville) are 6-foot and 5-foot-11. Our middle hitters (freshman Cheyenne Pitchford of Sesser-Valier, sophomore Kierra Nolan of Murphysboro, and freshman Johanna Mandrell of Crab Orchard) are 6-1, 6-foot, and 5-foot-11. Our rightside hitters (sophomore Chynna Byars of Geff, near Fairfield, and freshman Annie Lietz of Nashville) are 6-foot-3 and 5-foot-11. We’re plenty big. The challenge is to have our size make an impact on the match.”

Handling the setting duties are 5-foot-9 sophomore Christy Hayden of Benton and 5-foot-7 freshman Caroline Rogers of Franklin, Ind.

Defensive specialist for the Vols is 5-foot-5 freshman Ali Amici of Mascoutah.

Rounding out the squad are 6-foot sophomore middle hitter Lincoln Brasel of Kinmundy and 5-foot-10 outside hitter Maddie Woolen of Martinsville.

“I think we’re a very talented team,” Burnside said. “We have a lot of young impact players, but it may take some time for us to jell. We just have to work hard to improve each and every day. If we do that, I think we’ll be fine.”

The Vols finished 24-10 a year ago under Burnside, now in his seventh year as head coach, and placed second in the conference.

Burnside said both Kaskaskia and Lake Land will be tough to beat in league play.

“Kaskaskia already beat us once at the Kankakee Invitational and Lake Land is the defending conference champ, so nothing’s going to be easy,” he said. “We will need pretty much everyone to step up their games against those two schools, especially now that we are dealing with some minor injuries.”

Former Murphysboro and SIU standout, Jessica Whitehead, begins her second year as assistant coach.


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