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READY TO HIT THE COURT: SHS Lady Tigers excited for volleyball season

The Straughn volleyball team has to replace a few key players, but the Lady Tigers look to have a strong 2017 season on the court.

“This is a new team,” head coach Daniel Rodgers said. “We have the potential to be a very good team. They are just going to have to be willing to put in the extra work.”

The Lady Tigers will have a tough schedule, especially in are play, Rodgers said.

“We are going to have a pretty hard schedule,” Rodgers said. “Our area is going to be tough once again, but we have a chance to be good this year as well.”

Replacing key players is something that Rodgers said is going to be crucial for the Lady Tigers.

“Right now, we know we are having to replace some of the girls that graduated,” Rodgers said. “We are training a new setter, new libero and some new girls on the back row.”

Rodgers said that the girls have been working hard to prepare for the upcoming season.

“So far, we have worked a great deal on passing and getting our hitters in the right spots. We have some capable hitters, but we have to replace our setter. A big focus has been to make sure to make good passes to setter and the setter getting the ball to the hitters. This year, we want to be more aggressive and attack instead of being passive.”

There are still things that Rodgers said he would like to see the Lady Tigers improve on.

“We have to do a better job of breaking serve,” Rodgers said. “If we run into trouble with that, we won’t even give ourselves a chance. We have focused a lot of time on serve receive, and I’ve seen improvement.”

The girls also put in a good deal of training this summer that Rodgers said will pay off in the long run.

“This summer these girls worked really hard in the weight room,” Rodgers said. “I even had girls calling me this summer asking for a key to get into the gym because they wanted to get some work in. I’m so proud of the way that these girls want to get better. The biggest thing for us is going to be getting quality passes.”

Rodgers said he knows the girls will continue to work and improve for their game.

“We are all excited to about this season,” Rodgers said. “This is a great group of girls that has done everything that I’ve asked of them. We want everyone to come out and support these girls. They give a great name to this community and they are working hard to reach the goals that we have set for our team.”

The Lady Tigers open up the season when the travel to Goshen on Aug. 31.