Blackburn takes helm of Clare volleyball fortunes

August 30, 2013

By Ben Murphy

8-30-13 Clare Volleyball teamNew head coach Emily Blackburn only has three returning varsity members, but she isn’t letting that dampen her mood for the Clare volleyball team’s prospects this year.

“I feel good about the season,” Blackburn said. “We have a great group of girls that know how to play as a team. This group of girls knows how to have fun yet put the competitiveness in the game of volleyball.”
Returning to the team are seniors Cassidy Campbell (outside hitter), Laura Walton (outside hitter, back row), Becca Fisch (outside hitter, back row).

New to the team is senior Kyrsten Kruskamp (middle hitter), juniors Kenzie Humphrey (setter), Sierra Benchley (outside hitter), Alex Rowell (middle hitter), Kemma Wilson (back row) and Mackenzie Thayer (outside hitter, setter).

“We have power in Cassidy, Laura and McKenzie as our hitters,” Blackburn said. “Our serving should stand out with Laura, Cassidy and Becca. Our middle hitter Alex is right on target and if we can get her some power she will be a powerhouse.”
The coach is hoping that her experience in the Clare volleyball program helps the transition as well.

“The seniors this year are the first group of girls I coached and I am so excited to be coaching them in their final year,” Blackburn said. “They have improved so much. The juniors this year have been with me since I coached them as freshmen. I’m really looking forward to coaching these girls this year and finishing out with them next year as returning seniors.”
As for the Jack Pine Conference, the coach eyes three favorites.

“The top teams in the conference we need to be ready for are Beaverton, Roscommon and Meridian,” Blackburn said. “Our key focus this year is our blocking and our quickness.”

Clare has already competed in three tournaments this year and resumes action on Sept. 7 at the Breckenridge Invitational.

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