Royals hoping for big turnaround under Rempe: Colo-NESCO won just two matches a year ago

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Jenna Hill (13) and the rest of the Colo-NESCO volleyball team hope to do more celebrating in 2021 under the leadership of new coach Karissa Rempe

The Colo-NESCO volleyball program is looking to take a big step forward in 2021 as it begins the Karissa Rempe era.

Colo-NESCO went through a rough 2-21 season in 2020. But the Royals are ready for a fresh start this fall under Rempe.

"I am excited for my first season as head coach," Rempe said. "It is nice that I already know all of the girls, having coached (as an assistant) last year. I think it made the transition a little easier for them as well, since they already knew what to expect from me and they know what I expect from them."

It might take some time to get things heading in the right direction. But Rempe is willing to be patient. 

"Our biggest goal as a team is to work hard to get better every single day," Rempe said. "A goal that I have for them is to move past mistakes and focus on the next point." 

The good news is the new coach has some quality talent coming back to work with.

Seniors Jenna Hill and Izabell Voelker were excellent performers in 2020.

Hill had 125 kills, 68 digs, 23 blocks and 22 aces last season. Voelker finished with 223 assists, 64 digs and 24 aces.

"Our team's biggest strength is our offense," Rempe said. "When we get a good pass up on defense, there is a lot we can do with it."

The other starters will be seniors Bekah Nessa and Molly Seyller, juniors Sophia Piziali and Rylie Handsaker and sophomore Sydney Ingle.

Nessa played in three sets last year and will be an outside hitter. Seyller came up with 34 digs and six aces in 2020 and she will play as a defensive specialist.

Piziali tallied 23 kills and 15 blocks as a middle blocker last season. Handsaker will help out at setter and she had five assists a year ago.

Ingle will be seeing her first varsity action. Elsie Jensen will also see significant playing time for the Royals.

"A few of our seniors have stepped up a lot and been very vocal with encouraging and helping the underclassmen," Rempe said. "We also have a couple juniors and a sophomore that have made a lot of growth and it has shown at our practices and in our scrimmages."

Colo-NESCO wants to move up in the Iowa Star Conference South Division standings this season after going 1-4 in the conference in 2020. The ISC South figures to be competitive with traditional power North Tama looking to hold off Baxter and Collins-Maxwell for the conference championship.

"I think a lot of our conference is pretty equal talent wise," Rempe said. "I could see North Tama winning it as they have a lot of varsity returners."

The Royals open the season Thursday at the South Hamilton triangular meet. The meet will begin at 5:45 p.m. in Jewell.