By Chris Parker
Monett volleyball won nine matches last year, which was the most for the program since 2011.
One all-conference player in senior libero Harley McCulley returns this year. She will be joined fellow returners Kylie Knight (junior outside), Katelynn McNair (senior setter) and Natalie Turner (senior outside). Senior middle Fait Drewianka returns after sitting out last season.
This group has been preparing for one big change this fall as Missouri goes from a best-of-three to best-of-five set format for volleyball matches.
“Starting the five-set format was needed in Missouri,” Monett head coach Courtney Bauer said. “We are catching up to the states around us and it will help college bound athletes make the transition from high school more effectively.”
Preparing for this transition has been hampered by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our team has continued to put in the time on the court during COVID,” Bauer said. “We have not been able to participate in our usual summer camps, and have had to cram the allotted MSHSAA contact dates, but we feel that we are prepared for the season and are doing our part to make sure we have one.”
Monett will look to continue a string of four consecutive years of improving win totals.
“Our overall expectations this year will be to continue to win more games than the previous year,” Bauer said. “Our uphill climb over the past three years have helped prepared us and we will continue to make the climb in the right direction.”
Monett opens the season on Sept. 1 at home against Diamond.