Swathers look to reload to defend title
HESSTON — Despite the loss of nine seniors from last year, Hesston High School volleyball coach Jason Peters has a sense of optimism for the upcoming season.
The Swathers were 33-7 last season, finishing the Central Kansas League 9-0, the team’s first undefeated league season in 15 years. Hesston was denied a return to the Class 3A state tournament with a three-set loss to Cheney in the sub-state finals. Cheney finished fourth at the state tournament.
Peters begins his 16th season as Hesston head coach, where he is 401-168. He is assisted by Katie Gaston, Staci Hansen and Amy Vogt.
Hesston won the Council Grove and Clearwater tournaments last season, finishing second in the CKL pre-season tourney.
Returning letterwinners include Alex Martin (5-9, sr., OH-MH), Harley Ferralez (5-5, jr., S-H-DS) and Caryn Yoder (5-2, jr., DS-H-S).
Martin had 112 kills last year with 31 blocks, 26 aces and 70 digs. Ferralez had 56 aces, 224 digs, 28 kills and 41 assists. Yoder had 33 kills, 37 assists, 18 blocks and 77 digs.
Ferralez was an All-CKL honorable mention last season.
“The 2020 Swather volleyball team will have to adjust to the loss of nine seniors from the 2019 team, returning just three players with varsity experience,” Peters said. “However, a strong group from last year’s JV team that finished with a 27-4 record will be moving up to compete for the open varsity positions. While this year’s group will be young, there is a lot of potential for another successful season and for the team to continue the high expectations set in previous years.”
Peters looks for Smoky Valley, Hillsboro, Nickerson and Halstead to be among the top challengers for the Swathers’ crown.
Top nonleague teams on the Hesston schedule include Garden Plain, Maize South, Beloit, Wichita Trinity Academy and Cheney.
Aug. 29 CKL Pre-Season @ Smoky Valley 9 a.m.
Sept. 1 @ Conway Springs w/Moundridge 5 p.m.
Sept. 3 @ Minneapolis w/Hutchinson Trinity 5 p.m.
Sept. 8 Hillsboro 5 p.m.
Sept. 22 @ Lyons w/Haven 5 p.m.
Sept. 24 Garden Plain 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 @ Halstead w/Hoisington 5 p.m.
Oct. 1 Wichita Trinity Academy 5 p.m.
Oct. 6 @ Nickerson w/Lyons 5 p.m.
Oct. 8 @ Southeast of Saline w/Beloit, Hoisington 5 p.m.
Oct. 10 @ Council Grove Inv. 9 a.m.
Oct. 13 Pratt, Smoky Valley 5 p.m.
Oct. 15 @ Maize South 5 p.m.
Oct. 17 @ Clearwater Inv. 9 a.m.
Oct. 24 Sub-State TBA
Oct. 30-31 State @ Hutchinson Sports Arena TBA