By Josh Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Lockwood High School volleyball team returns the majority of its players from last year when the Lady Tigers went 18-17-1 before falling to a New Haven team that took third in the Class 1 state tournament.
The teams met in the sectional round where New Haven, who ended the season at 32-5, took down Lockwood in two sets.
Despite the loss, the Lady Tigers late-season run gives Jamie Roschevitz reason to be optimistic for the 2017 campaign – especially considering Lockwood returns most of its players from a year ago.
But Roschevitz, the Lockwood head coach, wants her team to perform at an even higher level this season.
“After winning districts last year and having most of the same girls return, our goals are to get back to where we were last year and increase our overall wins from last year,” Roschevitz said. “To do this, we are going to have to work hard, but the girls are hard workers.”
Leading the way for Lockwood this season is Moriah Coose. The senior middle hitter was named to the Spring River Valley Conference first team after tallying 302 kills, 135 blocks and 126 digs as a junior.
Senior setter Rylee Neill, a second-team all-conference selection, is also back as Lockwood’s setter. As a junior, Neill compiled 514 assists, 151 digs, 43 aces and 33 blocks.
Senior libero Kaylee Kennon finished the 2016 season with 215 digs, while junior middle hitter Heather Byrnes contributed 65 blocks, 99 kills, and 66 digs.
Junior outside hitter Lillian Eggerman added 83 kills, 137 digs and 20 blocks. Junior outside hitter and defensive specialist Makenzie Purinton tallied 93 digs as a sophomore to help lead the Lady Tigers.
“With the players we have coming back and young ones that will fill roles, our expectations are high, but also realistic,” Roschevitz said. “Our conference is very competitive and we expect no different this year. We know we will have to work hard, but the girls have shown that they are ready to do this.”
New to the varsity scene Lockwood will be Tiffaney Clabough (senior RS), Kourtney Mein (junior DS), Emma Bronson (sophomore OH/RS), and Camryn Foster (freshman S/DS).
“(I am) very pleased with the overall work ethic and drive,” Roschevitz said. “They work hard to improve and girls that are moving into new rolls have really stepped up.
Roschevitz believes her team is ready to put together another successful season.
“They have grown up watching successful teams and these seniors have experienced a lot of success,” she said. “They are hungry to go out and make a very successful season together with the senior leadership, and with the hard work of this group, I think that will be very possible.”