Looking up

Hitter Emily Darwin will contribute to the Bobcats’ power supply at the net.

BENSON — The Benson Bobcats will feature a “well rounded team of utility players,” when they hit the volleyball court next week and beyond.

That’s how first year head coach Katie Maakestad explained it, noting versatility and experience from a strong corps of returnees will go along way toward realizing a team goal to go deep into the postseason. And communication on the floor will be a key element, she said, if the Bobcats are to rebound from a 9-14 year in 2018.

“The team needs to learn to be as one on the court and to always be communicating,” said Maakestad. “We have some great players from seniors down to freshmen, which I did pull one freshman up to varsity this year, Ally Jennings. Juniors include Emily Darwin, Taylor Fenn, Paige Vaughn, Victoria Hockenbury, and Sierra Garner. Sophomore's include returning players Shaylin Taylor, Brynn Barney, and new to our school Chloe Martin.”

The Bobcats will look to defensive specialists Hailey Post and Bailey Stretch, outside hitter Cheyenne Meier and opposite hitter Anna Miles to provide senior leadership.

Maakestad has liked what she’s seen on the floor while preparing for the season.

“Our outlook is to provide an upset or surprise to every team we encounter with our ability and communication,” she said. “I can see us going far this season — state tournament here we come.”

While it may be Maakestad’s first year at the helm guiding the Bobcats' varsity program, she was an assistant coach with the Bobcats the last three years and assisted the middle school for three years prior to that.

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