Dike-New Hartford Volleyball looking to fill the setter role

The Dike-New Hartford volleyball team has begun preseason practices, and will look to fill the setter position for the first time in a few years.

After the graduation of four-year starter Madelyn Norton, who’s now a member of the volleyball team at Western Illinois University, the Wolverines are working to find the best fit for the position. Head Coach Diane Harms says as of now, there are multiple players who could step into the role.

"We have four really good candidates," Harms says. "We probably will be in something different than what we've run a lot of the years since I've been here. We're probably going to use two, maybe three setters, depending on the situations. We're very blessed that we have quality people to step in. What we've been doing preseason-wise, they're getting more confident, more comfortable. As the season goes, they're going to keep growing and growing. They're setting Jadyn, Payton and Maryn a lot. They've been communicating with them about the height, speed and tempo. There's another example of their leadership."

Senior outside hitter Payton Petersen says it’ll be an adjustment, but that the competition for the role within practice will only make everyone stronger.

"Losing your setter is a huge deal, they run the entire offense," Petersen says. But I think our setters have done an amazing job of stepping in. Harms does a very good job of growing setters as they start young, and growing up. Our setters are a little shorter this year, so we have to run a 6-2, which means we have to have two right sides. I think anyone can have it right now. It's fun to see how interchangeable, how many options we have. Continuing to grow and push each other is an advantage for us. Because if you have other people fighting for the same position, that's going to push you that much harder."

The Wolverines will be in good shape from the attacking standpoint. Petersen, twin sister Jadyn Petersen and fellow senior Maryn Bixby were the top three kill leaders on last year’s team, and each brings Division I caliber talent to the team. Jadyn Petersen and Bixby are committed to Northern Iowa, and Payton Petersen is committed to Louisville.

Dike-New Hartford is coming off a 45-3 season where they finished as the runner-up in the Class 2A state tournament.

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