Spoon River College Volleyball Coach Makenna Barker says her team is ready and eager to get back out on the court. “New recruits will make the 2020-21 campaign even stronger, and we look forward to seeing how the returning players use their year of experience to guide and shape the freshman team.”
This year’s team includes six strong returning players from the successful 2019 season and four new players.
Leading the Snapper offensive charge this season will be returning 1-2 punch duo, Hannah Burdess and Cassidy Locke. Burdess, a 5’11” six rotation Outside Hitter, led the team in kills and aces last year and also served as team captain. She was named to the All-Region 24 Second Team and was a go-to player all season. “If we needed a point, we found Hannah no matter where she was on the court. She embodies what every coach looks for out of a team captain. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to be a leader of this team,” Barker said.
Locke, a 6′ tall Middle Blocker, was second to Burdess in kills. She also racked up 94 stuff blocks on the season. “Cassidy is a kid that gives you 110% all the time. She doesn’t have any other gear but high. She jumps out of the gym and is just a real physical presence at the net. We will be relying on her heavily for her blocking abilities.”
Jazmine Morris and Emma Manusete are also returning pin hitters that will be relied on heavily for offensive production. Manusete is a powerful attacker with the great ability to communicate well with her teammates, and she is an integral part of our offense. Morris was Burdess’ counterpart on the Outside last year. “She has a more quiet approach to the game but does a great job of finding holes in opposing team’s defenses.”
Anchoring the Snapper defense this year will be returners Gracie Henrikson and Kaitie Van Pelt. Henrikson tied Burdess for the lead in aces last season and was absolutely lights out defensively in the fall. “Gracie has that mentality where she wants every ball to come to her. She does a great job communicating with her teammates on the court and they know that she is always right behind them to make the play. I can’t say enough about how well Gracie has stepped into this libero role and how excited I am to see her compete this season. She is a true competitor.”
“Van Pelt is by far one of my most consistent passers. She is a player that all coaches wish they had because she will play any position asked of her. She even stepped in to hit a few times in the fall due to injury,” said Barker. “Van Pelt’s presence causes her to be one of those players that you don’t ever want to leave your institution. She is such a great teammate with such a fun personality that she makes practices enjoyable. She is such a consistent player and you know that no matter where you put her, she is going to give it her best.”
Last spring, SRC coaching staff added Kaitlyn Geltmacher to the roster. The 2019 graduate of West Prairie High School in Sciota provides the team with an athletic pin hitter who does a nice job of putting the ball away. She has a great vertical and uses different shots to throw off opposing defenses. Snapper fans should be excited to see what she can do in her first season with the team.
The freshman class consists of athletes from Chillicothe, Colchester, and Danville, IL. Jansan Davis, from Chillicothe, will be running the Snapper offense this season. “She has really come into her own in the last couple of months and is now owning the setter position for the Snappers. I’m anxious to see her direct our offense this season” says Barker.
Hailing from Colchester is Kyah Beck, another high flyer who despite her size, puts the ball away with more authority than players of taller stature. Expect to see Beck used as an all-around player and rounding out the strong SRC defense. She will be an instrumental player for the Snappers this season. Rounding out the freshman class is Emma Bogen from Danville, a 6′ tall, left handed Middle Blocker. She will be locking down that position with fellow middle, Cassidy Locke. “Bogan’s left-handedness provides the Snappers with a sneak attack of sorts. She has a heavy arm swing and is incredibly athletic. She will be a big impact player as well.”
“I am thoroughly excited to see this team in action. They not only have great athleticism, but they also have great team chemistry. In volleyball, team chemistry will take you further than individual athleticism any day,” said Barker. “These ten ladies have put in the work during our limited fall season and it is my hope that they are able to come back and have their season to show what they are truly capable of,” Barker said.
The first game of the season is January 21 against Olivet Nazarene University. The first home game is scheduled for February 16 against Triton College.
A complete schedule can be viewed at www.src.edu under the Snappers Athletic tab. Follow the Spoon River College Athletics Facebook page for the most up-to-date information and to watch live streams of games when available.
Spoon River College is a two-year, public community college in West Central Illinois, with campuses and Community Outreach Centers in Canton and Macomb, and Learning Centers in Havana and Rushville.