By Chris Parker
Buffalo volleyball will have to replace a graduated six-player senior class, three of which that earned all-conference honors, from last year’s 11-win team.
“We graduated our tallest players and middle blockers, Delaney Miller and Bethany Lancaster. They played those positions well and their leadership will be definitely be missed. We also graduated an outside hitter that was a great defensive player as well, Madison Andrews. The height and leadership from last year’s seniors will be missed the most,” Buffalo head coach Carmen Smith said.
Senior Brooke Jacobs earned second-team all-conference honors as a setter last year. She accounted for 476 of Buffalo’s 541 total assists last year.
Caitlyn Dugan will move from outside to middle hitter this year. Andrea Brown, who missed most of last year due to injury, will play right side hitter this year. Juniors Kyra Jacobs (outside hitter) and Serenity Gann (libero) both return as well. Dugan had the most kills of any returning player with 58 last year. Jacobs posted the second-most digs (124) for Buffalo last season.
Juniors Caity Mankey (outside hitter) and Kaylee Deckard (defensive specialist) along with freshman Elizabeth Western (setter/outside hitter) will also be varsity factors this year.
“We will have to be a defensively minded team, as we do not have the height we had the last couple of years,” Smith said. “I feel like we have a team that will rise to the challenge. I expect us to be as good as last year’s team, and hopefully the girls make it a goal to do even better.”
Buffalo opens the season on Aug. 31 at Sherwood.