While the squad will be young again this year, it will have experience coming back from last year.
Senior Meredith Moseley and juniors Kaylee Benefield, Jordan Moorer, Bailey Turner, Taylor Cochran and Abby Hedgepath will all be returning.
New additions to the team are eighth grader Anna Bryant and ninth graders Kara Perry and Cammie Cochran.
Benefield, who Head Coach Dana Bryant expects to be one of her strongest hitters this year, and Perry will be playing middle hitter. Moorer and Taylor Cochran will handle left side hitter duties with Moseley and Hedgepath playing defensive specialist.
Bryant, while only an eighth grader, will have to step up as libero this year.
Coach Bryant looks for Benefield to be one of the leaders on the squad this year. “Kaylee is a very verbal leader, works hard and leads by example,” said Bryant.
“Some of the girls are leaders but quiet leaders like Abby Hedgepath who is a super kid, works hard and is very focused.
“Bailey Turner, our setter and Jordan Moorer, outside hitter, are also very focused. Jordan gets after it and works very hard. It’s hard to pick just one leader on this team,” admitted Bryant.
Bryant says that she is pleased where her team is right now as opposed to where the team was last year at this time.
The goal for the team is to make it past Super Regionals this year.
In the area with Pleasant Valley are Ohatchee, Wellborn, and Victory Christian.
Coach Bryant, who is in her fourteenth year of coaching at Pleasant Valley, says she keeps coming back because she loves the girls, loves coaching and loves volleyball.
Bryant is especially pleased with the efforts of her team so far this year. “They love to play,” said Bryant. “They are excited to come to practice everyday and they don’t want practice to end.
“It’s fun being with a group of kids that really want to be there and love the game. I have to run them out of the gym!”
The Lady Raiders first matches will be this Thursday at White Plains in a tri-match with White Plains and Spring Garden.
Pleasant Valley will host the Sandy Hunter Invitational on Saturday. Other tournaments they will participate in are the Donoho Invitational, the Geraldine Tournament, Blalock and the County Tournament.