Returning with a letter on the Decorah volleyball program are (front, l-r) Alexis Svestka, Brooke Berns, Ambria Pipho, Ava Holland, Amanda Kuehner; (back) Cassie Wyatt, Emma Nierengarten, Avery Shelton and Emma Johnson. (Photo by Becky Walz)
Returning with a letter on the Decorah volleyball program are (front, l-r) Alexis Svestka, Brooke Berns, Ambria Pipho, Ava Holland, Amanda Kuehner; (back) Cassie Wyatt, Emma Nierengarten, Avery Shelton and Emma Johnson. (Photo by Becky Walz)

The Decorah volleyball team should be loaded this fall.

With nine returning letter winners and only three players lost to graduation last year, the Vikings will have numerous athletes vying for the starting nod.

“We return a lot of experience and enthusiasm for the game,” said Head Coach Gina Holthaus. “We have some size, quickness in the back row and we have the ability to have some flexibility with our setters and back row players.”

Holthaus, who is entering her fifth season with the Vikings, has a 25-76 career record. She will be assisted by Jackie Reckward and Dale Wilharm.


Looking back

The Vikings fought for every point throughout the 2018 season, looking for the right combination on the court to find success, ending the season with 6-27 overall record. Led by senior trio Allison Groux, Leah Weis and Grace Syverson, Decorah had holes to fill.

Playing 86 sets, the Vikings hammered down 530 kills in 1,997 attempts, averaging 6.16 kills per set. At the service line, Decorah was 1,231-for-1,371 with 134 aces provided. The Red and Blue contributed 482 assists, 834 digs and 181 total blocks (73 solo, 181 assists).

Hosting the NEIC meet, Decorah finished fifth, going 2-4 during the day-long competition. The Vikings defeated Crestwood and Oelwein. The season came to a close versus NEIC’s Charles City, falling 17-24, 21-25 and 11-25.


For the complete story and additional photos, pick up Decorah Newspapers at one of the many convenient locations throughout Decorah and Winneshiek County. Or, for 34 cents an issue, subscribe to Decorah Newspapers by calling (563) 382-4221.