By Chris Parker
Liberal finished 23-6-2 and the Class 1, District 9 runner-up last season. Coach Becky Lowery will have a different looking team in her seventh year at the head of the Lady Bulldogs program after graduating a strong eight-player senior class.
Gracie Bott is the only returning player that saw more than 14 varsity sets last season. She was a defensive specialist last season, but will be changing positions in her sophomore season.
“Gracie will be changing positions this year from defensive specialist to setter. She will be running a 5-1. With this new position and her experience, she will be taking on more of a leadership role,” Lowery said.
Senior Jessica Roby will be moving up from junior varsity to varsity as an outside hitter. Sophomores Jacee Barthelme and Kaylee Wallace will be transitioning from setters to hitters this year.
Liberal moves into a new conference in the WEMO. It will be a new conference for Liberal, but not for Lowery.
“I coached in the WEMO conference for seven years. It was a strong conference,” Lowery said. “Our biggest challenges this year don’t really have to do with our competition, but mainly with the struggles of being such a young, inexperienced team.”
Liberal will look to use this year as a building season with the inexperienced roster.
“Our main goal this season is to gain confidence and experience,” Lowery said.