Despite being a young team last season, the Alta Cyclone volleyball team finished with a 9-9 mark and a 5-3 record in conference play.
And with five returning starters off of that team, prospects loom for an even better fall campaign in 2004.
"We have a lot of strong hitters," Henningsen said recently. "If we can tighten up our defense to set up our offense and get our hitters on track, we will be very effective against a lot of teams."
The Lady Cyclones return last year's leading hitter in senior Holly Leyden. She led the team in kills and in serving last year with a 98 percent accuracy ratio. In 2003, Leyden was named as a hitter to the first all-conference team.
Other returning starters are junior setter Emily Cameron, senior outside hitter Jenny Mahr, sophomore back row specialist Jahde Hammer, sophomore middle hitter Deidre Hinkeldey and serving/back row specialist Kayla Suhr, a senior.
At setter last year, Cameron was a second-team all-conference pick, according to Henningsen.
"I think our offense is stronger than last year, but we'll need to improve on our passing," Henningsen said. "We need to improve our passing on service receptions.
"We are very quick and scrappy, but we want to be more consistent with hitting our targets."
Among the prospects to see extended playing time this season are Lisa Bengston, Sierra Phipps, Liza Lichtenberg, Jessica Hirschman, Brianna Snyder and Amy Huseman.