Posted: Monday, 12 August 2013 4:32PM

The Waynesville volleyball program is trending up

Waynesville, Mo. (For  -- Holly Davidson is hoping the Waynesville volleyball team can take the next step in her second season at the helm.

Last year, the Lady Tigers went 20-10, doubling the win total of the previous season.

Waynesville will have to replace graduated seniors Brianna Copeland at outside hitter, as well as Teresa Treudeau and Anna Anderson from that 20-win team, but otherwise returns the bulk of its varsity team.

Davidson said the Tigers will be led this season by seniors Alyssa Arnold and Alexis Olney.

Arnold is a setter who will likely pursue a volleyball career at the collegiate level following this season, while Olney will be an outside hitter.

Sophomore Callie Bildner and junior Brianna Williams will serve as middle hitters and Savannah York will play right side hitter.

"(Bildner) and Arnold are probably going to be the major contributors on the team," Davidson said.

Davidson said a few move-ins have increased the competition for spots.

"That is always an interesting dynamic being that we are military," Davidson said.

Davidson said finding a replacement for Copeland, who was a big hitter for the program last year, might be one of the keys to this season.

"We are looking for someone who can be consistent and put the ball down," Davidson said.

Davidson said sophomore Ariel Okore, a track standout who recently competed in the AAU Junior Olympics, is a standout athlete and leaper and could be an impact player in the future.

Davidson said she is also excited about the recent start of a club volleyball program that is preparing players for varsity volleyball at a younger age.

"We haven't had a club volleyball program here in Waynesville," Davidson said. "Our younger girls have improved so much and I think the future for our program is looking better and better as we go on. Even compared to last year, I feel like we are way more prepared for this year.

"We are in the Ozark Conference with all the Springfield schools where they have awesome youth programs, and getting one started here has been really big."

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