Mataya Arenda passes the volleyball

Hillsboro-Central Valley junior Mataya Arends passes a ball at volleyball practice Tuesday. Arends will join senior Stella Benson at outside hitter this season. 

Following a two-win season with a largely inexperienced squad, Hillsboro-Central Valley volleyball coach Katie Kolness is expecting a turnaround from her young team this fall. 

The Burros will return four starters and several players who saw varsity time when H-CV kicks off the season Saturday at the annual Northern Cass volleyball tournament.

With returning junior setter Madi Olsen and hitters Sydni Culp, Krista Ackerman and Stella Benson, Kolness – now in her fifth year leading the Burros – says the team’s offense is looking ready early. 

“These girls have already stepped up,” she said.

After the graduation of former seniors Sydney Owens, Anna Spokely, Noella Kritzberger, Molly Porter and Korina Holte, H-CV lost a pair of defensive specialists, two attackers and a setter.

But the Burros have no lack of experience at middle hitter.

Culp, a nearly 6-foot junior, was H-CV’s leading attacker last year and recorded 110 kills as a sophomore with 29 blocks. 

However, Kolness said the middle hitter was battling long-term effects from an injury Culp suffered as a freshman and wasn’t 100 percent in 2020.

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