Spartans might be better than last year

Lux Casco volleyball.jpg
Luxemburg-Casco might be better than last year's team which won a state title. (WLUK)

LUXEMBURG (WLUK) -- The last time Luxemburg-Casco took the court it won its first girls volleyball state title.

With what has happened since with COVID-19 dominating everybody's life that might feel like it happened longer than just last November.

Nevertheless, the Spartans returned to practice this week, and after waiting to see if a season would actually happen, the players are happy to be back.

"We really tried to get into the gym early," senior Kenzie Hanson said. "We tried to do a lot of stuff in summer (tournaments) and not knowing kind of hurt a little bit; we wanted to be in the gym but once we got into the gym we got going. It was fun."

"We're just excited to be on the floor and to be able to have an opportunity to play," coach Jeff Frey said. "There were a lot of question marks all the summer and we were trying to play as much as we could because we were concerned that would be our only opportunity to get together as a group, so the fact that we're able to be on the floor, we're going to take every opportunity and take advantage of every chance we have."

The Spartans were impressive last year, winning all six sets at state, but there is no guarantee they will get a chance to defend their state title. The WIAA will release during the season the plan for the postseason.

With that in mind the Spartans will first think about winning the North Eastern Conference title, something they didn't win last season.

"Definitely," senior Hannah Derenne said. "We want to do as good as we can in conference because we don't know if we have that postseason coming, so give it all you got during conference because that could be your state."

And this year Luxemburg-Casco is arguably the favorite to win the NEC. The Spartans believe they are better than last year's team, mainly due to its front row, Frey said.

One of those girls is Derenne, who has little doubt the 2020 team will be better.

"All the girls that are filling in, it's like they were there the whole time," she said. "It's just smooth sailing."

It sounds like the Spartans are ready to have another great season.

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay