We are less than two weeks away from the start of the 2013 volleyball season. Here are some of the area's top juniors to keep an eye on this year.
Bailey Baumann, Ozark – Last year she helped Clever take home the SWCL crown while she was named SWCL MVP in just her second season of varsity action. In 2013, she’ll find herself on a loaded Ozark squad in the hunt for a state championship. She will be a welcomed addition to Coach Justis’ squad.
Caroline Clifford, Ozark – Last year was definitely a season that Caroline Clifford would like to forget. In a nonconference home matchup against Kickapoo, the Missouri State commit landed awkwardly on after a jump, tearing her right ACL. Although Ozark would rally and make it to another Final Four without her, Tiger Nation will be thrilled to have No. 32 back at outside hitter in 2013.
Rilie Good, Nevada – At 6-foot-1, Good is one of the tallest players in the area. But, she doesn’t let the height go to waste. In 2012 she posted a staggering 116 blocks to help the Lady Tigers to a 19-win season. Expect her to improve upon her 185 kills as she becomes the focal point of the Nevada attack in 2013.
Abby Groover, Rogersville – The Lady ‘Cats were a young squad last year, but pulled it together late to make it yet another successful season for Coach Miller, and Groover was a huge part of the equation. Her versatility makes it difficult to gameplan for her, and because of Rogersville depth, she’s even that much more valuable.
Morgan Henderson, Buffalo – The 5-foot-10 middle blocker helped lead a revival for Lady Bison in 2012. She led the way with 80 blocks and a team-high 42.2% kill percentage. Henderson also finished second in kills (172) for Carmen Smith’s 28-8 squad.
Rachel Holthaus, Winona – There’s nothing on a volleyball court that Holthaus can’t do. She registered 395 kills (51.4%), 94 blocks, 154 digs, and 381 assists to help lead Winona to the Class 1 state championship. With her and Nola McAfee back, Winona will be in the hunt for another ring.
Shannon Mitchell, Southwest – Mitchell dominated both sides of the net for the Trojans in 2012. The 5-foot-11 middle hitter led Southwest with 203 kills and 116 blocks, helping pave the way for a 20-win season for Southwest.
Bradyn Wall, Carl Junction – The daughter of Carl Junction head coach Sarah Wall, Bradyn is one of the area’s most technical setters. She racked up 653 in 2012 to help lead the Lady Bulldogs to the Big 8 title. She also led CJ with 51 aces. She returns enough weapons from last year’s squad to make a run at a school-record in 2013.
Brooke Wilson, Osceola – Wilson racked up 302 kills in 2012 in helping to lead Osceola to the Class 1 Final Four. The first-team all-stater averaged nearly 4 kills per set, and is a big reason why the Lady Indians should have a return trip to Cape Girardeau.
Alyssa Young, Billings – The 5-foot-9 outside hitter was a model for precision hitting in 2012. Young paced the Lady Wildcats with 159 kills at 50.5%, she also tallied 43 aces at 25.7% percent rate. She also led Billings with 76 blocks.