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BRINGING HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Lady Bobcats ready for 2017 volleyball season

The Opp Lady Bobcats look to build off last year’s success as they prepare to begin the 2017 high school volleyball season in September.

“This year is going to be great,” Lady Bobcat head coach Bridgett Brantley said. “We are finally out of the rebuilding process, and I’m looking for us to win some trophies in few tournaments.”

Last year, the Lady Bobcats had one of the best seasons in school history and made it to the second round of the regional playoffs before being put out.

This year, Brantley said that the goal is to go further.

“Last year, was good, but this year is going to be better,” Brantley said. “Our goal is to be the first team from Opp to make it to the state tournament. This team is capable of doing that.”

Brantley said that the girls have worked hard this summer to get ready for the season.

“This summer we worked on basic fitness and agility,” Brantley said. “We wanted to get them into good volleyball shape. Last year, we worked a lot on hitting, but this year it has been passing, passing and passing. Hitting has always been our strong suit, but all the work on passing in really paying off.”

Passing was something that Brantley the team has struggled with in the past, but all the practice is paying its dividends.

“Normally, I would say that passing is something we need to improve on, but it has looked so good the past two weekends,” Brantley said. “We went over to Enterprise a couple of weeks ago and played against some very good teams. Our girls played amazing and we went 7-0 during that play date. This past weekend, we played in another play date and went 3-1. We really looked great in both of those and I can’t wait to see what the season holds.”

Brantley is entering her fourth season as head coach of the Lady Bobcats, and she said that this will be a bittersweet season for her.

“These are the group that I started with,” Brantley said. “I’m ready to see what they will accomplish this year, but at the same time I’m not ready for the season to start because it will be my last year with the girls that I started with. These girls have been so great over the past four year, and they have grown tremendously as volleyball players.”

With the season just a few weeks away, Brantley the girls still need to work on a few things.

“We need to work on defense a little and become more vocal leaders,” Brantley said. “We have to bond as a team, and genuinely be happy for the girls on the court. Our focus needs to be on truly becoming a team. With girls, sometimes they almost get jealous when another girl scores a point. I mean they are happy they are winning, but they want to be the one in the spotlight. If this team comes and is genuinely happy for the girls on the court, they can go as far as they want. They just have to stay together as a team.”

The Lady Bobcats will open the season at home on Labor Day (Sept. 4) against Pike County.