West Platte players must deal with a second coaching change in two years. However, the new coach looks a lot like the old coach.
Amber Guthrie, a West Platte grad, returns to the post after taking a one-year hiatus last season. The Bluejays went 13-12-2 and 5-2 in KCI Conference play last year in what turned out to be Alysa Pfleiderer’s only season at the helm.
Pfleiderer touted a change in system last year, and now the players must readjust to past habits.
“I’m not worried at all,” Guthrie said. “I’m excited to be back. My system is still pretty similar to the way it was before: a lot of focus on fundamentals because we have to be able to do that before we can do big, exciting things.”
West Platte’s top players have experienced success with Guthrie.
Nealie Niemeier and Jordan Schultz — both seniors — provide a pair of experienced outside hitters, and senior Megan Kottman returns at setter. While the attack appears solid, senior Alexa Raney logged valuable minutes on the back row last year, and Ciara Davies, a junior anchors the middle.
West Platte did lose a pair of All-KCI performers: Gretchen Hiatt and Patti Callahan.
The Bluejays last reached the playoffs in 2012 under Guthrie, but they have reeled off three straight winning seasons. This senior-laden roster aims to jump back to the top of the KCI in addition to taking the current players into the playoffs for the first time.