Lady Chiefs bump into 2006

Published 7:35 am Wednesday, August 9, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
A team improving from year to year is the goal of any athletic coach. Northview High School head volleyball coach Blaire Hall said her team has done just that.
"They have improved a lot since last year," Hall said. "They have a lot to learn, but they are a young team and I hope it all goes well for them this year."
The team ended tryouts last Friday and they begin their season Aug. 15 at home against Jay. Hall said if the girls can become a team and learn to work together they should be all right.
"I want them to play better as far as their skills go and they have already shown me improvement over the summer," she said. "I also want them to come together as a team. If they can focus on their skills and come together as a team rather than a bunch of individuals we will have a good year."
The volleyball program does have a lot of players returning, but only two returning starters on the varsity squad. There are seven other girls who are moving up from the JV squad to fill the slots made empty by graduating seniors.
In the attempt to improve on last year, Hall has focused on discipline during all facets of the game.
"They have more drill time now and less play time," she said. "I was up front with these girls and I asked them to put everything aside when they come to practice and they have responded to that well."
Hall does believe this team has a couple good leaders to push the girls against a tough district.
"I think we have several good leaders," she said. "We only have one senior, Crystal Hollingsworth, but Kasey Baggett, Gabrielle Hicks and Rena Hollingsworth are all good leaders on the varsity level. And Stephanie Doucette should be a solid leader for the JV team. They are all exceptional leaders and they have that quality on the court that will help all our other players."
As far as the competition goes, Hall said Jay and South Walton will give the girls the toughest competition. And Jay will be a good test for the girls because last year that was the team who gave the Lady Chiefs a good match, Hall said.
"We will have some tough contests, but if our girls step up and meet the level of play of our opponents it will be a good year for us," Hall said. "We need to be ready to play against the teams that are better than us and focus on doing everything correctly.
The Lady Chiefs open against Jay in Bratt with the JV playing at 4 p.m. and the varsity at 5 p.m. They will then play an 18-game schedule and begin the district tournament on their home court Oct. 17.

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