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Thien leads Titan volleyball team into 2023-24 season

As the fall volleyball season approaches, anticipation is building for the season that lies ahead for the Titans. Tea Area High School Head Volleyball Coach Eric Thien, at the helm for six years, is gearing up for another action-packed season with the Titans. With a record of 51 wins and 61 losses under his guidance, Thien is focused on harnessing the team’s strengths and propelling them to success.

Last season’s record of 10 wins and 20 losses has fueled the team’s determination to make significant strides this year.

Assisting Thien this season will be Jordan Rohrbach, Lexi LaFave, and Brittany Hutt.

With some key players graduating, the spotlight turns to the emerging talents ready to shine. The team bid farewell to Jillian Huenink, Maggie Curry, and Jaci Welch, all of whom graduated last spring. Leading the pack of upcoming talents are seniors Julia Haack and Mara Grant, sophomore Anaya Connors, and junior Kalli Boom.

The Titans are poised to capitalize on their serving skills and speed of offense this season, two pillars that are expected to define their gameplay.

“Th e team has been focusing a lot on speeding up our offense and gaining chemistry with each other,” said Thien. “The attitudes and energy of the group has been very positive and they are fired up about the season.”

As for the competition landscape this season, Thien knows they will see strong teams again from Sioux Falls Christian, Dakota Valley, and Sioux Falls Jefferson.

But with the Titans’ shift from individual play to cohesive teamwork, they are hoping to battle with the best of the them.

“Everyone is playing with each other and not playing as individuals,” said Thien. “I am very excited to get the season started and leave Class A with a bang.”

This year holds particular significance for Tea Area High School’s volleyball program, as it marks their final year in Class A before transitioning to Class AA.

This year’s roster includes the following athletes: Kalli Boom, Gwynn Campbell, Anaya Connors, Taylor Del Monaco, Emily Froendt, Mara Grant, Julia Haack, Claire Hank, Kya Haynes, Rylan Konrad, Addyson Tow, and Bree Umbreit.

The team was set to kick-off their 23-24 season on Thursday, Aug. 24 in a match-up against Sioux Falls Christian. They will be at West Central on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and will hold their first home game of the season on Thursday, Aug. 31 against Harrisburg.


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