Warriors, Hawks ranked in the preseason

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File Photo - DCN:  Waukee's Lauren Vespa sets the ball in a match last season. She led the team in assists with 391 a year ago.
File Photo - DCN:  Woodward-Granger's Abby Musser (middle) goes up for the spike in a match against Van Meter last year. Musser returns to the Hawks this season for her senior year.

The Iowa High School preseason volleyball rankings have been released and two Dallas County teams are ranked in the top 15 of their respective classes. The Waukee volleyball team is ranked No. 7 in Class 5A going into this year after going 19-20 overall last year and the Woodward-Granger volleyball team is ranked No. 14 in Class 2A ahead of this season after going 24-16 overall last year.

After a sub-.500 record last year, the Warriors have a strong core of upperclassmen with four seniors and four juniors on this year’s team.

Last season the Warriors were in the bottom half of Class 5A in kill efficiency at 0.160 and were even lower in kills per set with 8.07. Waukee coach Steve Baas has called their killing efficiency a weakness this year.

While the Warriors weren’t strong attackers last year, they were tied for ninth in aces with 211 throughout the season. They were also strong defensively with 1,519 digs as a team last year (14.89 per set) which was 10th in Class 5A.

The Warriors, however, lost Morgan Potts to graduation this year after she led the team in digs last season with 484. They do return Denise Ssozi, who had 296 digs last year, and Danika Mikesh, who had 270 digs last year.

The Hawks were seventh in Class 2A last season in aces with 266 (2.61 per set) throughout the year. Abby Musser led the team in aces with 62 last season and returns as a senior this year.

The Hawks were also 10th in Class 2A in digs with 1,581 (15.5 per set) throughout last season. They return their three top players as far as digs go this season in Musser, who led the team with 501, Tori Manning, who had 383 and Bree Lesch, who had 350 digs last season.

The Warriors start their volleyball season on Saturday with an invitational in Ames while the Hawks also begin on Saturday, but with an invitational in Bondurant.

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