2020 Fall Preview: Ava Volleyball

By Chris Parker

Bailey Loge returns home to take over as head coach of Ava volleyball this season.

“As an alumnus of Ava High, I am thrilled for the opportunity to return to my home town and continue to develop the volleyball program I was once a part of,” Loge said. “The support and encouragement I have received from previous coaches, teachers and the community is unparalleled, and being able to coach such a bright group of young ladies just feels like the icing on top.”

This will be her first stint as a head coach.

“This will be my first year as a head coach. Although transitioning into this role won’t always be smooth, I hope to take my background as a collegiate player and draw from the knowledge and experience of my assistant coach, Shelby Tracy, to learn and lead as much as I can along the way,” Loge said.

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Ava has progressed from four wins to 14 to 20 over the past three seasons. It is a trend Loge hopes to keep going.

“Our players will need to recognize their individual strengths and capitalize on them, before focusing on the areas in which we might be lacking,” Loge said. “Willingness to adapt, concentrating on smarter play, and mental toughness will be vital to keeping this positive momentum going.”

If the Bears are going to keep up the recent run of success, they will have to replace group of six graduated players that included two first-team all-conference selections.

“I will miss the fluency and team dynamic that those girls were able to build over the years together. They truly left behind some big shoes to fill,” Loge said.

Junior Lauren Hall had 110 kills last year, which was third on the team. Her experience will be important this season with no other returning player posting more than 24 kills last season.

“Lauren looks to be a key component to our offense, along with our defense. I’m looking forward to what she has to bring to the table this year as her play continues to evolve,” Loge said. “As quick and athletic as Lauren is, she will be used in various positions on the floor this season.”

Sarah Dobbs will bring consistency to the offense in her senior year. She led Ava with 500 assists at setter last season.

“We have a brand new offense to develop that would be incredibly challenging to do without the experience of Sarah Dobbs in the setting position. She has the patience and determination to work with our team and the ability to be even more successful this year,” Loge said. “Sarah brings that extra bit of fight you don’t see in just any player. This energy equips her to lead and push our team to be better.”

Senior Kaylee Downs will expand her impact beyond defense this year and also play outside hitter.

“Kaylee Downs will have a major impact on the court this year with the possibility of her moving from the libero position into a more all-around role,” Loge said. “She has a high knowledge of the game, great work ethic, and will continue to be a steady team player that we just can’t afford to have off the court.”

Former junior varsity players Alyssa Wallace (senior setter) Makynna Wallace (senior middle) Paige Kimmons (senior defensive specialist), Addison Croston (junior defensive specialist), Baylan Alexander (junior middle) will be tasked with stepping up to varsity and making an impact.

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