By Kyle Daubs
Hannah Buescher is ready.
It could be today, tomorrow, or a month from now, the Charleston High School libero just wants to replicate last year’s success.
“I think we can be just as good as last year,” said Buescher. “I hope we can. We have some high expectations going into this year.”
Last year’s CHS squad finished 25-12, set a school-record for wins and won a regional title for the first time since 1998.
Buescher was integral for that success, finishing second-team All-Apollo as a libero with 292 digs, 34 aces, and a 2.21 serve-receive average. Aside from the individual success, Buescher sees Charleston reloading despite losing some key pieces.
“Everyone is back on varsity except for our setter, but we have two strong setters coming up in a sophomore and a junior,” said Buescher. “We have two outside options to replace, but we’re going to be okay. It’s just finding that second middle player right now.”
COVID-19 has limited time to work on skills, but Buescher said the team has been training since June.
“Halfway through June, we were going Monday, Wednesday, and Friday near the track,” said Buescher. “We worked on core, bleacher, anything we could in groups of nine with a coach. It was just good seeing all the age groups again.
Charleston got its first taste of preparing for the season. Two days after the IHSA moved to Phase 4, the squad suited up inside for the first time and was able to hit.
“It was good to get back in the gym, but it was definitely weird,” said Buescher. “We all had to wear masks, which makes it hard to play. We were six feet apart. We wiped the balls down after every drill. Other than that, we all gelled really well together for it just being the first day.”
As for Buescher, the standout has been linked to Parkland as an option after high school, but nothing is set yet. She has her sights on closing out her high school career on a high note.
“I’m really excited,” said Buescher. “It’s going to be a big year. Hopefully, as a team we can win another Regional. It just depends if we all put the work in. Hopefully, we can all do that.”
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