By Chris Parker
Jasper was one of the area’s best Class 1 teams last year going 24-6-1 before falling to Lockwood in the Class 1 District 9 semifinals. Three all-conference players in Audrey Myers, Stevie Galani and Reagan Dumm are gone from that team.
Also gone is the Spring River Valley Conference, as Jasper will join the WEMO this season.
“We will definitely have our hands full in the new WEMO conference,” said Jasper head coach Sylvia Evans, who was named SRVC Coach of the Year last season. “There are some talented teams in that conference but we should give them a run for their money.”
Kiersten Johnson will be the fulcrum of the offense coming off of a first-team all-conference season as a setter. The junior accounted for 584 of an available 590 assists for Jasper last season.
“We want her to touch the ball each time it comes over the net,” Evans said. “She has such great hands and great sense of court awareness.”
Junior Kristy Holliday returns after an 87-kill sophomore season. The junior is the only returning Jasper player that had more than 34 kills last season. She returns to her role as middle hitter and will be looked to for blocking at the net.
Senior twins Kelly and Kate Dockery will see a lot of varsity time this season. Both will play outside hitter.
Leeah Walker, Baylee Jeffries, Haylee Simpson, Saylor Garwood and Addy Primm will be other new names to watch for Jasper on the varsity level.
Jasper will be looking to come together quickly with so many new players taking over for the graduated five-player senior class.
“My expectations for the team this year is to learn to play together. This is a totally new team compared to last year,” Evans said. “This team is young and has some good talent on it and I am excited to see what they can do. We should be fun to watch.”
Jasper opens the season on Aug. 28 at Golden City.