Ash Grove, MO (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- Ash Grove varsity girls’ volleyball team wants a shot at redemption. They did not make it to the 2011 district championship game, which was a first for head coach Duane Cox in his career at Ash Grove.
The volleyball team has a history to uphold. Ash Grove won its district in 2008 and placed third in state. That season marked the first girls’ volleyball team at Ash Grove to make it to the state playoffs.
As his fifth season as varsity coach begins, Cox is already thinking about the 2012 district championship game.
Setter Jamie Mauss (jr.) is also looking toward that championship game. Mauss earned first team All-Mid-Lake Conference last year, her second year as a starter.
“This is going to be a really good season.We didn’t get past district last year, so that’s our main goal. We will play the best we can,” Mauss said.
Ash Grove has eight returning varsity players, including three seniors, providing some solid experience for the coming season. Karina Critten (sr.) made second team all-conference last year and plays middle.
“Our main focus is our defense. Our blocking has always been really good. Our attack has always been really good. Our weakness has always been our defense,” said Cox.
Cox is excited about how much the team has improved since last season. A lot of the team members had years of experience playing basketball and were skilled athletes, but they had much less knowledge of volleyball.
“Athletically, they were capable of doing so much, but they were lacking in their knowledge of the game,” said Cox. “The players’ knowledge of the game has improved so much since last year. That is going to help us.”
Ash Grove’s first game is with Joplin’s College Heights Christian (15-15-1 last season). Cox expects College Heights to be a strong, competitive team. He has high hopes for Ash Grove volleyball.
“Our team is going to be a lot more balanced than we were last year. On any night, any of those kids on the floor can be the go-to person,” said Cox.
The Ash Grove assistant varsity volleyball coach is Roger Dreier.
Ash Grove's 2012 volleyball seniors.
Ash Grove coach Duane Cox.
2012 Ash Grove volleyball roster:
Jordan Beasley (sr.)
Karina Critten (sr.)
Tayler Welch (sr.)
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