By Chris Parker
Aurora is coming off the best season in school history. The Lady Houn’ Dawgs won the Class 3 District 12 Championship before falling to eventual Class 3 State Champion Helias Catholic in the state sectional round to finish 29-4-2 overall.
Six seniors graduated from that team including all-state selection Kaylee Huffman.
Second-team all-conference selections Julia McVey (outside hitter) and Brooke Bellamy (middle hitter) return this season. The two finished second and third in kills last year for Aurora with 222 and 157, respectively. McVey led the team in aces with 48 and Bellamy led in blocks with 16.
“Julia McVey and Brooke Bellamy are two of our players that will be standouts because of their experience. The team trusts in both of these players to know the game and the expectations,” head coach Skye Wade said. “Expectations are a little higher and achievable for both because they will be stepping into leadership roles.”
Senior Maggie Wagner along with juniors Kortney Juracek, Sommer Gatewood and Kaylee Wilson and sophomores Belle Marquier, Olivia Gibson and Brookelynn Sandoval also return to the court this season.
Sophomore Autumn Allmon and freshman Gabie McVey will be two new players to watch for in 2018.
Aurora will be in the new Big 8 Conference East Division with Mt. Vernon and five former COC Small schools including traditional power Rogersville.
“Our side of the conference is very strong. (It will be an) exciting challenge to play against these competitive teams,” Wade said. “Maintaining our motto of grit is our expectation for every game.”
Aurora opens the season on Aug. 28 at Lamar.