The McClain varsity volleyball team has set big goals and has high expectations to start the season, according to Emma Gall, who begins her eighth season as head coach.
“These girls have worked really hard and have set several smaller goals to begin the season with one ultimate goal for the end,” Gall said. “Expectations are high, these girls have really raised the bar this year, and I think if they continue to work hard and improve they could achieve it.”
Three seniors – Kelcey Smith, Jhalea Coleman and Savannah Anderson – should provide plenty of solid leadership to a talented, but still youthful team.
Smith returns as a four-year varsity starter who is the team’s best middle hitter. Coleman also provides plenty of strong net play and is a second season varsity performer. Anderson is also a two-year varsity player who will oversee a solid back row and is the team’s libero.
Two other returning starters are juniors Malea Montavon and Sarah Bennett. Montavon was an outstanding outside hitter last season and Bennett is considered one of the team’s leading setters.
Chayden Pitzer, a talented sophomore up from a strong jayvee squad, will also provide plenty of solid net play this year.
The Lady Tigers finished with an 11-12 overall record last season which included a dismal 4-8 mark in the South Central Ohio League, but coach Gall thinks this year’s team will greatly improve on both of those numbers.
“We’ve looked really good in the preseason and everyone really seems to know their roles and were playing well as a team,” Gall said. “We played summer league in Hillsboro and did very well, finishing second in the tournament.
“These girls are hustling and working hard and they had lots of compliments given to them by several opposing coaches.”
Rounding out the team will be juniors Molly Black, Riley Williams and Lexie Barton. All three should see plenty of valuable playing time this season.
Miami Trace and Chillicothe are considered the league favorites to start the season, but Washington is always solid and at the top of the pack.