The players that made the trip to China included seniors Kain, Whitney Jennings and Katrina Neuendorf, sophomores Kennedy Curl, Shauntaya Jones, Deanna Shepard and Devyn Nacke and freshmen Madison Dalton, Brittany Bandy, Grace Boyd and Alexis Kessler.
The adult chaperones included Fisher, Hoover and his wife, Loretta, and parents Carol Jennings, Gina Curl and Emma Kessler.
The varsity players that did not get to make the trip included juniors Nakeya Penny, Sydney Bullard, Emily Prentice, Karli Armstrong and Kaddi Winter, an exchange student from Germany, and sophomore Monika Ness.
Hoover said the volleyball players didn’t get to go to China plus more underclassmen got to make the trip than upperclassmen because of future friendships in mind with sister-school Jinhua High School No. 1.
The Berries have a scrimmage at 6 p.m. Thursday at Northwestern with just three practices as a full team together.
The season opener at Lafayette Central Catholic next Tuesday has been postponed due to LCC’s volleyball team making this weekend’s state finals. No makeup date has been set yet. The Berries are now set to open at home next Friday, Nov. 15, against McCutcheon.
Jennings is set to sign to play at the University of Iowa next Wednesday.
The Berries are coming off a 25-2 season a year ago and won North Central Conference and sectional titles.
They return just three players with extensive varsity experience in Jennings, Penny and Bullard. But Jennings and Penny could be one of the top 1-2 punches in the state. Jennings is a Miss Basketball candidate who averaged 23.6 points and 7.8 assists per game a year ago, and Penny averaged 13.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game a year ago as a sophomore.
Hoover said the China trip was a great way to get the season started.
“It was an unbelievable experience for myself and the girls,” he said. “I don’t know what you can say in five days about a society that has been here for 5,000 years.
“The history in China goes back 5,000 years, as old as the Pyramids. They know about their history. Everyone knows about the different dynasties and emperors in those dynasties. They have knowledge about it and are very proud of it. We saw buildings 2,000, 3,000 years old. Magnificent structures. I tell you, the emperors lived pretty good.”
As did the Berries during their week-long stay in the country.