By Chris Parker
West Plains will have new head coach in Tori Richardson, as she moves up from coaching the freshman team last season.
The Lady Zizzers were 20-11 last year with school-record 5-4 conference record. West Plains loses seven seniors including all three all-conference selections along with the leader in every statistical category.
Morgan Mulford was second on the team in kills last year as a junior, but moved out of the district leaving senior McKenna Warren as the only returning player with more than four kills last year returning.
“McKenna has been on fire this summer as our big middle hitter and that is exactly what we are needing from her this season,” Richardson said. “Throw in a handful of blocks each game and she’ll be a player to watch out for.”
All but one assist graduated from last season’s team leaving senior Macie Duggins to step into the key setting role.
“She had an incredible season as our junior varsity setter last year,” Richardson said. “She’s a hard worker and leads the team through her actions. I am excited to see her step up and take on the varsity setter role.”
Senior Morgan Mahan is the only other returning player that saw varsity time in more than one set last year. She will be looked to provide some offense as a middle hitter.
Sydni Miller and Emme McDaniel will continue to play defense as they move up from junior varsity. Junior Cassidy Cunningham is returning after taking her sophomore year off. Sophomores MacKenzie Brunson, Myah Mayfield and Hayden Ellett will also be key varsity players.
All these new players will have to blend together to compete in the Ozark Conference and postseason.
“My expectations for this year at West Plains will focus mainly on the girls just consistently playing to the best of their ability and improving. If this happens, things will fall into place for the Ozark Conference and postseason,” Richardson said.