By Chris Parker
Webb City is ready to compete in the area’s toughest conference this season with all but one player returning from last year’s 15-13-3 squad that lost to Republic in the opening round of district play.
“As a coach it’s always fun to have lots of varsity returners,” coach Rhonda Moore said. “They know me, they know expectations and they have been bringing it since they came in as freshman to leave their mark on Webb City Volleyball. (They are a) great group of seniors and fun to work with.”
The leader amongst those returners is senior setter Abby Brownfield. She led the team in assists with 304 and was second in digs with 123.
“She has a lot of respect from her teammates and myself,” Moore said. “She’s always willing to go the extra mile, always makes her teammates better when she’s on the floor. She is the ultimate team player. Her talent on the court puts us in great opportunities to score and has become a threat herself since moving her to run the 5-1 offensive system.”
Junior Anna Swearengen (132 kills) and senior Aubre Conway-Owen (127 kills) return after big seasons hitting last year. Fellow senior Allary Liberatore will also look to expand her attacking this year after a 98-kill season last year.
“More strong attackers keep the defense on their toes as they have to be prepared to take hard hits from all the way across the net and not just focus on one hitter that we use all the time. This makes us more effective,” Moore said.
Seniors Emma Catterson (libero) and Madeline Hayes (hitter/setter) along with junior Talyn Smith (hitter) round out the varsity returners.
Juniors Jasmine Putman (middle) and Ashley Caters (outside/right side) along with sophomores Maddy Peeples (right side) and Sage Crane (defensive specialist) will push for varsity time.
“These girls are a fun group to coach and watch,” Moore said. “(They have) lots of talent to choose from and can pick each other up if one is having an off day. They are high energy and competitive and are willing to do whatever it takes for each other.”