Volleyball preview: Carlton Bulldogs

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

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


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."

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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