Springfield, Mo. (Ozarks Sports Zone) -- Billings High School volleyball coach Britany Cheek is banking on a talented JV team to make the transition to the varsity level in 2012.
Billings won its district championship last season and finished 19-9-1 overall. The Lady Wildcats lost three all-conference players from that team, including middle hitter Savannah Harter and libero Tara Randles.
Kelsey Hedrick, an honorable mention All-Southwest Central League setter, is also gone.
Help is on the way in the form of five starters from the 2011 JV team. They are: Shondra Davis (junior, libero); Sammy Himes (junior, setter); Erica Parker (sophomore, outside hitter); Lindsay Brandt (sophomore, defensive specialist) and Sierra Wilson (sophomore, outside/middle hitter).
“They each have what it takes to play at the varsity level,” Cheek said. “All of them bring an important playing component to the team that will have a huge effect on our success.”
Varsity returnees include senior Emily Smith, a 5-foot-10 first team all-district middle hitter, outside hitter Maci Saxe and sophomore setter Olivia Fabro.
“Emily and Maci bring a big presence to our front row,” Cheek said. “They can put the ball away. They both are great leaders and push the team each day in practice.
“Olivia will fill one of our setting roles. She is a solid player who can hit, play defense, set and serve.”
Smith was second on the team with 54 kills. Cheek likes the potential of sophomore transfer Alyssa Young. Billings will have 10-12 players available for varsity games this season.
“Alyssa can play any spot on the front row,” Cheek said. “She is very smart when she plays and will help us a lot on the front line.”
Billings opens the season at home against Exeter on Aug. 27 in a rematch of last year’s Class 1, District 7 championship match. Billings prevailed 2-1 to advance to the Class 1 state tournament, where it lost to eventual champion Eminence in the first round.
Cheek thinks her 2012 Billings squad can be strong defensively and in the front row.
“Our outlook is very positive,” Cheek said. “We want to come to each practice ready to push each other and work to the best of our ability… We hope to advance beyond sectionals this season. The girls are determined to get better and work together to achieve our goals.”
It was a tough weekend for our local teams in Blue Springs.
Both Springfield Catholic and Nixa went 0-for-2 on the weekend, forcing them to settle for fourth place in Class 3 and Class 1 respectively.
CLICK HERE FOR NIXA 3RD PLACE GAME PHOTOS --...
In the aftermath of Drury's run to the National Championship, a common topic has arisen in the area.
In a one game scenario, could the Panthers beat Missouri State?
Naturally, my first inclination is to say no. The difference between the mid-major,...
Just 16 days ago Nyla Milleson was let go as the head coach of the Lady Bears.
Missouri State President Clif Smart and Athletic Director Kyle Moats both took turns citing a laundry list of reasons, both on and off the court, as to why the...