“I am excited,” Jeannin said. “Our first week of practice has been very intense.
“We are seeing things we like to see leading into the season. We are optimistic. We have high goals set for this year.”
Ottawa went 17-21 last year. Ottawa has a mix of five returners with varsity experience and four others making their varsity debuts.
“We had a talk with the seniors,” Jeannin said. “They know this is their year. The underclassmen are rising to the occasion.
“The mix of our upperclassmen, who have experience, and the underclassmen, who are stepping into those roles, we can be a competitive team.”
The four returning starters are seniors Brette Moore, Katlyn Geist, Corie Fischer and Kylie Foster. Junior Brynn Ferguson played a reserve role last year.
“These seniors were freshmen my first year here,” Jeannin said. “I have coached a lot of them as a junior varsity players and now as a varsity players. They are stepping into the second year of being contributors to the varsity team. They are prepared for that challenge.
One of the reasons why Jeannin likes the makeup of this squad is each player is not set in one position.
“They all can play more than one position,” she said. “We have a lot of versatility. All my hitters can hit in different places. They have played different positions throughout their high school careers.
“They are successful at it. It is a great example for the underclassmen. There is a lot of things you can do and things might change. You can still compete at a high level at any position you play at.
“I have a lot of different options. We can make adjustments depending on who we are playing. What we need for the night or the tournament.”
Ottawa figures to be mentally tougher this season with the returners having a year of maturity.
“Our challenge this year is rolling when thing are good and finding ways to change things when they are not going as well. We will be overcoming obstacles all year long. We have a great conference and play some great competition.”
Ottawa will have two new setters in junior Chloe Brown and freshman Jenna Devore.
“It will be a good mesh,” Jeannin said. “Chloe has been in our program for awhile. She has good maturity to her. Jenna plays a lot.”
The Cyclones open the season Sept. 4 at St. Mary’s.