By Chris Parker
Crane volleyball had a banner year going 24-7-3 with a district championship last season. The Lady Pirates fell to Billings in the Class 1 State Sectional round.
They lose a strong senior class of five players that included the leader in every major statistical category, four all-conference selections and one all-state selection.
“Last year’s seniors set a high standard for our team this year. They worked hard on and off the court. They set an awesome example of how to work as a team,” Crane head coach Amy Medlin said. “They left big shoes to fill. We will be working hard to learn new positions in order to create the rotations that work best for us.”
Celsie Killman will was second on the team in kills last year with 85 last season. She will be a middle hitter and blocker.
Chesney Essary returns for her junior season. She will play libero for Crane.
“Her hard work and never quit attitude is contagious. I look forward to seeing her continue to develop as a defensive player,” Medlin said.
Classmate Mackenzie Myers will be switching her role to setter this year.
Zoe Reel is expected to make an impact as an outside hitter and blocker in her freshman season.
“I feel like out biggest strength is our ability to work together and play as a team. We don’t have a lot of height, but we have grit,” Medlin said. “We are basically building a whole new team. With players learning new positions and rotations, our biggest improvement will need to be in court awareness.”
Medlin hopes this team can gel together and make another run to a district title.
“I have high expectations for our team this year. We won our district championship last year and I would love nothing more than to do the same this year,” Medlin said.
Crane opens the season on Sept. 3 at home against Clever.