ORAN-- The Oran Lady Eagles volleyball team will have to work hard this year to rebound from key losses to graduation. The Lady Eagles graduated seven seniors from last year's varsity team, including all-conference standouts Cassie Graviett and Alyson Seyer, as well as seniors Callie Kielhofner, Katey Tilley, Kristin Roberts, Tiffany Christian and Cammie Milam.
Coach Sara Heisserer isn't too worried about that though. "We have some girls returning that can fill those shoes" Heisserer said. Oran returns seniors Beth Griffin, who nabbed all-conference honors last year, as well as Taylor Tenkhoff and Kelsie Glastetter. Heisserer also moved juniors Taylor Irwin, Jessica Webb and Megan Cook up to round out the starting six.
Depth will be an issue for the Lady Eagles, who have 12 girls on the varsity and junior varsity teams. "We only have six juniors and seniors this year so they will see a lot of playing time," Heisserer said.
Heisserer's squad is working hard in practice and striving to improve in both their strengths and weaknesses.
"We focus a lot on serving and passing," Heisserer said. "With out those two aspects you can't do anything else. I feel we are pretty strong in the serving area. Our weakness is our numbers and our size. We don't have any one over 5-9 so we will have to adapt our game to that and play smart to avoid injury."
Heisserer looks for the steady improvement of the team throughout the year. "I want us to improve every week in practice and to come out and play hard," she said.
The Oran Lady Eagles volleyball team will kick off their season with the B.A. Sports Classic in Cape Girardeau on Sept. 12 and 13.