PORTAGEVILLE-- Coach Toni Hill feels pretty positive about what she is seeing in her Portageville Lady Bulldogs volleyball team. Hill points out how hard the girls are working in practice and believes that that will translate into a successful season.
It won't be easy for Portageville who lost six seniors to graduation with five of the six starting on last year's varsity team. These key losses include Kellye Penn and Mary Hannah Fisher, who were named to both the all-conference and all-district teams last season.
However, Hill and the Lady Bulldogs return three seniors in Courtney Chamberlain (middle hitter), Samantha Womack (setter) and Jennifer Simmons (middle and outside hitter). Hill will look to see her seniors really step up and lead the team this season. "Courtney(Chamberlain) was an all conference player last year and I am looking for her to step up and take a leadership role." Hill said.
Hill will be moving some personnel around to fit the teams needs. "Samantha (Womack) will be moving to setter, we had her at outside hitter last year." Hill's juniors are "working hard and will help filling in some holes left by last year's seniors."
The Lady Bulldog sophomores will be a bright spot, both now and in the future. "We will be moving up two sophomores; one into the middle hitter position, Janika McIntyre, and the other into the setter position, Katelyn Jackson."
Portageville is focusing on their passing and serving games in practice. "We are struggling with passing right now, but that is not uncommon at the start of the season. We will continue to work on passing as well as getting our serves strong and consistent," Hill said.
The Lady Bulldogs are brimming with confidence as the start of the season draws near. "We look forward to a good season. The girls are determined to work hard and come out with a winning season," Hill said.
The Portageville Lady Bulldogs will begin their season at Senath on Sept. 2 at 6 p.m.
Coach: Toni Hill
Last year: 16-15-1
Key players: Courtney Chamberlain, Samantha Womack, Jennifer Simmons, Janika McIntyre and Katelyn Jackson
Players lost: Kellye Penn and Mary Hannah Fisher
Sept. 2 -- at Senath, 6 p.m.
Sept. 4 -- vs. Hayti, 6 p.m.
Sept. 5 -- at Campbell, 4 p.m.
Sept. 8 -- vs. Cooter, 6 p.m.
Sept. 11 -- vs. Charleston, 6 p.m.
Sept. 12-13 -- BA Tournament, TBA
Sept. 15 -- vs. Malden, 6 p.m.
Sept. 18 -- vs. Kennett, 6 p.m.
Sept. 22 -- at Caruthersville, 6 p.m.
Sept. 23 -- at South Pemiscot, 6 p.m.
Sept. 25-27 -- Gideon Invitational, 6 p.m.
Sept. 30 -- at NMCC, 6 p.m.
Oct. 1 -- vs. Gideon, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 -- vs. Clarkton, 6 p.m.
Oct. 7 -- at Sikeston, 6 p.m.
Oct. 9 -- at North Pemiscot, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 -- at Holcomb, 4 p.m.
Oct. 16 -- vs. Twin Rivers, 6 p.m.
Oct. 20-23 -- Bootheel Conference Tournament, TBA
Oct. 27-30 -- Districts, TBA