By Chris Parker
Hollister volleyball enters coach Alexis Mitchell’s second season after an 11-win season in year one. The Lady Tigers enter a new conference with the Big 8 West Division.
“We are very excited to be moving to a new conference,” Mitchell said. “It is packed with really great teams and I believe that it will be really competitive and can really help us grow as a team.”
Mitchell will have to replace first-team all-conference selection Raven Ross. Ross led the team with 226 kills last season.
“She brought many great aspects to the team. She did a lot great things for our team both offensively and defensively,” Mitchell said. “One key characteristic that she brought to the court was her mentality. She rarely became frazzled and brought calmness to the court.”
Senior Angel Yalacki along with juniors Jullian Narvaez and Trinity VanEngen and sophomores Kyla McClintic and Alivia Hackman will be the key hitters for Hollister. Yalacki was second on the team with 86 kills last year.
Junior Allison Muttillo will be Hollister’s main setter while classmate Drew Henderson will be the libero.
Mitchell will look for her team to advance further in the postseason after winning a district quarterfinal game last season.
“My expectations for the Hollister Volleyball Program are that we are come out each night and we compete. We have a very solid conference and postseason,” Mitchell said. “Coming into my second year of coaching, the girls know that I always expect great attitudes and effort. We are going to have a new look to our team where everyone will play a key role in our success. I believe that we are in for a great season. Last year we made it past the first round in districts and I believe that we have that same capability this upcoming season. We look to take that a step further this upcoming season.”
The Lady Tigers will have a theme of valor this season.
“The theme for the Hollister Volleyball Program this year is valor, great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle,” Mitchell said. “Three distinct features we discussed with the girls are strength, courage, and passion. Throughout the season, we will be referring to this. There are going to be some new faces to the floor this season and we are very excited for the potential that this team has. We have a pretty big freshman class that are very talented and I believe they will push some of our older girls and keep practices competitive.”
Hollister opens the season on Aug. 28 at Lockwood.