The Alta volleyball team has some big shoes to fill.
Gone are, among others, Jahde Hammer, Dee Hinkeldey, Megan Suhr, Brooke Schroeder and Amy Huseman, who led the Cyclones to the Northwest Conference title with a record of 7-0 and an overall finish of 16-1.
"We graduated a lot of seniors last year that gave our team experience," said Alta 10th-year head coach Jeannie Henningsen. "We need to focus on fundamentals and help our younger players gain confidence in playing at the high school level. We have strong hitters and we need to improve our passing game so our setters can get the ball to them."
Alta didn't lose all its talent to graduation, however. The Cyclones have six returning letterwinners. Three of them - Brittany Corlew, Christine Sand and Sam Hamer - are seniors.
The other three - Kelsie Peterson, Jessy Bibler and Bridget Murillo - are juniors.
Peterson was a second-team all-Northwest Conference selection a year ago after flooring 127 kills (second best on the team) while swinging at a .259 clip. She also served up a team-best 52 aces while converting 80 percent of her service attempts.
Bibler was fourth on the team in kills with 84, and Murillo finished second in assists, doling out 74 on the year.
Henningsen is excited about Alta's depth this season.
"We have several new players that could make an impact for our team," she said.
Setting and hitting are the team's biggest strengths.
On the other hand, "we are working on our passing and team defense each day so that we can get our offense going," said the coach.
In terms of goals and expectations, the Cyclones hope to improve all aspects of their play as the year progresses, and to finish high in the conference.
On that note, it will be a balanced league this year.
"There are a number of teams that could vie for the conference title," Henningsen said. "It should be a fun season to be a part of."
Alta opens the season Tuesday, Aug. 28 at home against Kingsley-Pierson.
Seniors - Brittany Corlew, Christine Sand, Allison Glienke, Sam Hamer
Juniors - Bridget Murillo, Kelsie Peterson, Jessy Bibler, Kelsey Barker
Sophomores - Geneva Heschke, Steph Peterson
Freshmen - Jordan Henningsen, Hillary Glienke, Courtney Van Haaften, Hannah Glienke, Katie Garrison, Haley Payne, Meagan Phipps