By Josh Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MV-BT /Liberty head coach Shari Tune doesn’t see this season as a building year.
But the Lady Eagles will have several new faces from last year’s team that finished third in Class 2 while compiling a 29-7-1 record in 2016.
“We’re just going to be different,” Tune said. “Honestly, in my 11 years of coaching, I’m not sure I’ve had a group of kids as a whole that work harder. The effort that I get every day is probably the highest I’ve ever had coaching.”
Liberty loses four seniors from last year’s team, including First-Team All-State selection Brenley Stearns and Second-Team All-State pick Brook Conway. Stearns led the team with 278 kills and 63 aces, while Conway led the way at setter with 425 assists to go along with 189 kills.
Makayla Elliott also played a key role with 105 kills.
“They just knew what was expected,” Tune said. “They had been there since Day 1. They’re going to be missed. We’re not going to be lost without them; we’re just going to be different.”
The Lady Eagles return senior outside hitter Makayla Irvin and junior middle Ally Smith. The rest of the team will consist of up-and-comers.
“They’re going to be two huge parts of our team this year,” Tune said. “We’ve had a good tradition the last four or five years. We just want to continue that. We just want to work hard and see where that takes us.”
Trinity Clark, a junior, will take over at libero. Fellow junior Caitlyn Basham will also play a defensive role.
Tune said a couple of freshmen will have the opportunity to compete at the varsity level, as well.
“We have goals for what we want to achieve, but we just start out small and work our way up,” Tune said. “We always want to be on top of the (South Central Association). The SCA is getting tougher, year by year. Our district is really similar to that.”