DOBSON — The Lady Eagles lost two key pieces, but think the volleyball team can improve overall as a group this season.
Two of the top players in the league, Cassidy Joyner and Kendra Johnson, have moved on to college, but several younger players who were on the roster last year have grown and improved.
Helping with that growth are a couple of new assistants.
Head coach Carrie Hutchens and top assistant Camarra Kidd will have more time for varsity this season as two new coaches work with the JV team.
Former Eagle star Whitney Joyner finished college and immediately began helping with the summer camp last month. Now she and Tia Joyce, an East Surry alumnae, take over JV.
Last year the Eagles were 12-9 before falling to North Surry in the Western Piedmont Conference Tournament. This was a slight dropoff from the 17-7 record the 2012 team had while still in the Northwest Conference.
However, several contributors were young and inexperienced. Now they are ready to step up to the challenge.
In the first game of the season Monday, hitter McKenzie Danley slammed a kill home against Mount Airy in the first set. That swing was harder than any she made last season.
The girls are gaining confidence and becoming more aggressive, said Hutchens. But that aggression has to be tempered, too, sort of a “controlled tenacity,” she said.
Kelsey Taylor slides from the middle to the left side to take Joyner’s spot. Madison Robertson takes over the libero role that Johnson played.
Kristin Key is tall and can put up strong blocks.
Two track standouts will be counted on heavily. Jess Fowler showed good floor coverage Monday with five digs. Ashlynn Jewell will handle much of the setting duties along with soccer player Laura Dobbins.
Basketball player Emma White was a perfect 18/18 from the service line in the first game and will see plenty of time.
Makayla Draughn can help the team in several ways.
Date Opponent Site
Aug. 18 Mt. Airy Home
Aug. 20 Wilkes Central Away
Aug. 26 Starmount Home
Aug. 27 West Wilkes Home
Sept. 3 East Surry Home
Sept. 8 West Wilkes Away
Sept. 9 Carver* (DH) Away
Sept. 11 South Stokes* Home
Sept. 15 West Forsyth Home
Sept. 16 North Surry* Away
Sept. 18 Forbush* Away
Sept. 23 West Stokes* Home
Sept. 24 West Forsyth Away
Sept. 27 Mt. Airy/East Surry Mt. Airy
Sept. 29 Starmount Away
Sept. 30 South Stokes* Away
Oct. 2 North Surry* Home
Oct. 7 Forbush* Home
Oct. 9 West Stokes* Away
Oct. 13-15 WPAC Tournament @ Forbush
* denotes WPAC match