By Chris Parker
Buffalo volleyball will be seeking to climb back over .500 this season after two years with fewer than 10 wins. Carmen Smith enters her 12th season as the head coach of the head coach of the Buffalo volleyball program.
The offense will come from a combination of middle hitters Delaney Miller (junior) and Bethany Lancaster (junior) along with outside hitters Madison Andrews (junior) and Courtney Austin (senior) and right side hitters Allison Mankey (senior) and Andrew Brown (sophomore). Miller missed last season due to a knee injury, but is healthy and back on the court for her junior year.
Senior Lexi Jack and sophomore Brooke Jacobs will be charged with setting up the attack while senior Maddie Jacobs will be the libero.
Buffalo leaves the now-dissolved COC Small for the newly former Ozark Mountain Conference featuring El Dorado Springs, Warsaw, Butler and Sherwood. It is an alignment that provides some uncertainty for the Bison.
“These are teams that we have never played and have not got to see or meet up in tournaments,” Smith said. “We are excited to enter into the new conference. We know that regardless of the conference that we are in, we must show up every game. Anyone can win on any given night; that has been proven year after year with matchups.”
Buffalo lost a few players to graduation, but have a good stable of returning talent to lean on this season.
“My expectations are to come every day with the desire and effort to improve. I expect more wins this year than last. We had young players on the court last year. We graduated a couple girls we will miss this year, but the hitters are stepping up and want to be good, and they want to win, and that is a huge part of the game,” Smith said.
Buffalo will host Bolivar, Hillcrest and Osage for a jamboree on Aug. 20 before opening the regular season on Aug. 27 at Sherwood.