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VOLLEYBALL: Gretna aims to make state championship this fall

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Last year’s Gretna Dragons volleyball team narrowly fell in a five-set battle against Elkhorn South in the state quarterfinals, but maintains the goal of making it to the state championship this year.

“The volleyball team always has the goal of making it to the state championship,” head coach Mike Brandon said. “We have goals within that that we think will make that possible. We have the goal of finishing in the top three in the Metro Conference regular season and making it to the championship of the Metro Tournament.”

He added that each position group has their own expectations.

The Dragons will have some production to replace, specifically from Skylar McCune (469 kills, 472 digs in 105 sets played), Hailey Zimmerman (174 kills, 30 total blocks in 103 sets played) and Savannah Shelburne (691 assists, 43 aces out of 419 serves in 105 sets played).

Brandon expects big seasons from Midland University commit Brena Mackling (620 assists, 53 aces out of 406 serves and 179 digs in 104 sets played) and University of Cincinnati commit Faith Frame (571 digs, 37 aces out of 364 serves in 105 sets played).

The Gretna head coach hopes for some improvement this year.

“We struggled some with defending big outside hitters last year, so I’d like to improve in that regard,” Brandon said.

The main challenges for the Dragons will be injuries and a tough Metro Conference.

“We have a few injuries to key players that we will be facing at the beginning of the year,” Brandon said. “Also the Metro Conference is once again the toughest conference in the state and will present challenges every week of the season.”

The Dragons season will begin on Thursday, Aug. 18, as they host Grand Island Central Catholic and Lincoln East.

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