By Chris Parker
Glendale volleyball was young last season and finished with an eight-win season. It was the first time that Glendale failed to finish over .500 since 2012.
The upside is that the Lady Falcons return their full team in coach Stephanie Bates’ 16th season as head coach.
Leading the way is returning first-team all-conference selection Gabby Birmingham who is both a hitter and setter for the Lady Falcons. She led Glendale in both categories with 217 assists and 137 kills last year as a junior.
“She has played both positions since middle school, so experience helps her. She also possesses great court awareness as a hitter and setter,” Bates said.
Fellow first-team all-conference selection Jacey Noble returns for her Senior season at libero. She was tops for Glendale in digs (344) and serve-receives (408).
The Glendale attack will have versatility with Jayden Sanford and Isabelle Winters returning. The junior duo put down 123 and 111 kills, respectively last season.
“Hopefully, we will be able to have three attackers on the front row at all times,” Bates said.
Senior middle hitter Savannah Davison gives Glendale a fifth returning all-conference player. She led the team in blocks with 56 last season. Chloe Satterfield is another senior that returns after tearing her ACL in the second game of her junior season. She will be a setter and outside hitter.
Junior transfer Tori Flowers will have a varsity impact as well. She comes from northwest Missouri.
All of the returning talent has Glendale ready to return to its 20-win ways.
“We should be competing for the conference title,” Bates said. “Our district is super competitive, so we will have to play consistently well postseason to move on.”
Glendale opens the season on Aug. 24 at home against Ozark Conference rival Waynesville.