Yankton High School volleyball is soon to take wave in beginning their season with high levels of excitement behind the program as the first match approaches.
Yankton opens the 2019 season Tuesday night at home against Huron, at 7 p.m. at the YHS gym.
“The Gazelles have put in a tremendous amount of work in this off season, putting well over a hundred hours in the gym this summer between camps and opens gyms,” said head coach Shanna Koenig, whose Gazelles were 4-23 a year ago.
Koenig said there is a very strong desire for success with this year’s team, and there is a tremendous group of leaders this season to make it happen.
“We are really trying to build a positive culture exemplifying the continual pursuit of excellence through focused work ethic and a willingness to grow in knowledge of self and of the team,” said Koenig.
There are five returning seniors this season for the Gazelles, Gabby Pietila, Ivy Mines, Carissa Salvatori, Alyson Johnson, and Brooklyn Bernatow. Koenig credits much of the new positive cultural changes to the team to these ladies saying there always ready to learn and encourage their teammates.
“These five young women have made the choice to model the behavior needed to be successful, not only in the game, but in life,” Koenig said.
Koenig stated her team outside of the seniors as relatively inexperienced at taking the floor at the varsity level but is confident in her team’s ability to grow in a very positive way from her upperclassman on down through great leadership.
The Gazelles will have seventeen freshmen out on this year’s squad along with three new coaches.
According to Koenig the Gazelles are focused on creating a new identity this year which includes, exceptional defense, aggressive serving and passing, unity, positive culture, discipline, excellence, and a daily relentless pursuit of that identity.
Koenig noted that it has been great to watch her team grow and is excited to show the community where the program is at now.
“It has been incredible to witness thus far, and I hope that those who come to watch the Gazelles play this season, win or lose, see more than just the scoreboard. The Gazelles are creating something very special,” Koenig said.
2019 Season Schedule
Aug. 27 vs. Huron 7 p.m.
Aug. 29 at Watertown 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 Norfolk Inv. 9 a.m.
Sept. 3 vs. S.F. Lincoln 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 vs. Harrisburg 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 vs. Washington 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Brandon Valley 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. Pierre 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Dakota Valley 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Aber. Cent. 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Brookings 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Harrisburg 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 at S.F. Christian 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 vs. Brookings 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 vs. Mitchell 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 vs. Brandon Valley 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 East-West (Harrisburg)
vs. Spearfish, 4 p.m.; vs. R.C. Stevens, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 East-West (Harrisburg)
vs. Sturgis, 9 a.m.; vs. Douglas, 10:30 a.m.; vs. R.C. Central, noon
Oct. 29 at Tea Area 7 p.m.
Nov. 5 at S.F. Roosevelt 7 p.m.
Nov. 7 at O’Gorman 7 p.m.
Nov. 14 SoDak 16 TBD
Nov. 21-23 State (Rapid City)