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TIGERS HAVE HIGH HOPES: RLHS expects success during volleyball season

The Red Level Lady Tigers’ volleyball team returns every player and looks for a big season in 2017.

“We have worked really hard all summer,” Lady Tiger head coach Dawn Kelley said. “This year, we return all of our starters, and we are in a much better place than ever before. We have one senior on the team, Codi Howell, and we expect big things from her this year. Our junior varsity team is really young, but their willingness to learn has been incredible. Everyone is just hungry to win.”

Over the summer, Kelley said that team spent a lot of time working on ball control.

“This summer, we worked hard and stressed on ball control,” Kelley said. “These girls have really worked hard to improve in every aspect of the game. We started conditioning in July and then Wanda Weeks came down and put on a camp for us. We’ve got kids playing positions that they have never played before and they are really stepping up.”

Kelley said that the team has done well during their summer play dates.

“We’ve played in a couple of play dates and had some really strong showings,” Kelley said. “We played in Enterprise a few weeks ago and looked very good. Everyone was playing their position exactly the way that they should.”

The Lady Tigers have a lot of potential, but keeping it together on the court will be crucial.

“Our biggest thing we need to improve is maintaining focus,” Kelley said. “We have to focus on us and not what’s happening on the other side of the net. Everyone has a job to do on the court, and we have been stressing that during practice.”

Kelley said that if the team plays to their potential there will be no reason they can’t reach their goals.

“Our goal is to make it Montgomery (Regionals) at a minimum,” Kelley said. “We just have to take it one game at a time to get there, but this group can do it.”

Although Howell is the only senior, Kelley said that all seven varsity players have key roles for the Lady Tigers.

“Codi Howell is our only senior and Allison Travis is going to be our libero this year,” Kelley said. “Really, all seven of them are extremely important to the team. They all know what to do on the court and have improved from last season. Chasey Sanders in an eighth grader that has really stepped up for us in the middle, and she is going to be a really good player. Kayley Ayers, Gracie Richards, Alexis Perdue and Alyssa Stuart have all really come a long way from last year.”

Kelley said that the team has really gelled nicely coming into the season.

“They have been complimentary of each other,” Kelley said. “They have been playing as a team, and they know that they have to have each other to succeed.”

The Lady Tigers will open up the season on Aug. 31 when they take on Pike County at home beginning at 4 p.m.