By Chris Parker
Expectations are high for Licking volleyball after graduating just one key contributor from last season’s 24-win team.
Senior Gracie Bonnell along with juniors Maddy Cole and Abagail Moncrief all had more than 100 kills last season. Bonnell, who earned first-team all-district honors, led that group with 217 kills.
They will again provide Licking with a diverse offensive attack.
“I expect them to run an advanced offense. We have options we have not had in the past and we are excited to see what our hitters can do,” head coach Angela Barton said.
Junior Abby Cole will trigger the offense after earning first-team all-district honors thanks to her 488-assist season at setter. She also is a key contributor in the serving game (85 aces) and defensive game (221 digs/193 serve-receives).
“Abby has a keen awareness of the court. She sees what the other team is doing, she takes advantage of holes on their defense and she is incredibly competitive. She has a wicked serve and she doesn’t let anything hit the floor,” Barton said. “I would like to see Abby take a more commanding role; take ownership of the offense and run the team like a true quarterback.”
Senior Makayla Lewis will run the back row at defensive specialist. She had 266 digs last season which helped her earn second-team all-district honors.
Sophomore Kamryn Barnes will take a role at middle hitter. Junior Maggie Cline will be a key outside hitter. Classmate Ashley Creek will fill a utility role for the Lady Wildcats.
Freshman Kylie Taylor will have an immediate impact at the varsity level as a libero.
All of these pieces have the Lady Wildcats aiming high this season.
“We are looking to go deep into the postseason,” Barton said. “They are young and hungry and I expect a stellar season. I believe this crew is the best Licking has seen in some time, and we’re hoping to start something special.”
Licking opens the season on Aug. 28 at home against Houston.