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Volleyball preview: Carlton Bulldogs

Carlton returns all starters from last year's state team; first match Aug. 27 at home against Deer River

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Carlton's Ava Grondahl makes a kill during the Polar League volleyball scrimmages Tuesday, Aug. 20, in Esko. (Dave Harwig / Pine Journal)

Head coach: Barb Soukkala

Assistant coaches: Danielle Rychlak, Ashley Sell

Returning starters: Brynna Mickle, Sr., S; Abby Mickle, Sr., OH; Alaina Bennett, Sr., MH; Tayler Nelson, Sr., OH; and Ava Grondahl, Sr., MH

New faces to watch: Holly Grondahl, Soph., MH

Team strengths: Maturity, experience, confidence

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Biggest challenge: Overconfidence, potentially overlooking an opponent

Coach’s assessment: “I think we are playing a tougher schedule this year, which will help them,” head coach Barb Soukkala said. “Of course, their goal is to get back to state, but they also know there are a couple teams in their way. I think they found that out in softball that it’s not a guarantee and they’re going to have to work for it and earn that spot."

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Carlton's Brynne Mickle sets the ball during the Polar League volleyball scrimmages Tuesday, Aug. 20, in Esko. (Dave Harwig / Pine Journal)

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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