(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- Starting the upcoming 2010 season, the Dexter Lady Bearcat volleyball team will have a new coach leading the way.
Lauren Hutchcraft, a graduate of Dexter High School and a Lady Bearcat volleyball player herself, will take over after the departure of Kris Vandeven.
"I'm really looking forward to this season," Hutchcraft said. "The girls have all worked really hard this summer and I'm really excited to get started."
Dexter lost two key players from last year's team to graduation: middle hitter Abby Warren, who led the team in kills last year, and libero Brittany Bedford.
They helped guide the Lady Bearcats to a 17-15 record until they eventually fell to the Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs in the Class 3, District 1 championship game last season.
The 2010 season will feature seniors Elisha Flanigan and Shelbie Hessling, who Hutchcraft said is who she will look towards for crucial leadership on the floor.
"I see them as the leaders of the team and taking charge," she said about her seniors. "They will be the two that lead the morale and hopefully, the juniors can step up as well."
Returning starters include McKenzie Mitchell, Lauren Ward, Brittany Harris and Erika Mouser. All of which are expected to play a big part this season.
"They're really stepping up," Flanigan said about the younger players. "The juniors will play a big role on our team. We have good teamwork, good effort and everyone shows up and works their hardest."
Lindsey Hindman and Kelsey May are also expected to help out off the bench when needed.
"I think we'll be very competitive," Hutchcraft said. "All of the girls are working really hard in practice. We have a strong group of seniors and juniors and I think we might surprise a lot of people, hopefully."