BHS volleyball set to open
It's her second season, and Baldwin High School volleyball coach Jill Brown is looking forward to it. Brown has a young, but experienced team.
"We just finished the first week of practice and I am real excited about it," said coach Jill Brown. "I think we have a good group this year."
It can be described as large, with 41 players. It can also be called young, with just one senior Jen Wingert. But, it is also known as experienced. That's because most of the nine varsity players and some of the junior varsity members played volleyball in various leagues during the off season.
Because of that, Brown expects the team to be ready when it opens the 2001-2002 season for Baldwin High teams at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Eudora. The JV squad will be at home at the same time.
"I really think we'll be ready because a lot of the varsity girls played in leagues this summer," Brown said. "I think we'll be more ready, more ready than normal, because of that. I think they'll be more prepared.
"I'm excited about it," she said. "They're doing outside volleyball stuff and that's great. It's a good group."
Brown has five returning players from last year's team, which finished 13-22. Heading the group is sophomore Emily Brown, who was a first-team All-Frontier League selection. Another sophomore returner is Rachel Miles. Wingert and juniors Anna Skaggs and Katie Martin round out the returners. Four other sophomores make up the rest of the varsity squad Katie Kurtz, Haydon Hubbel, Cheri Rowland and Kari Garrison.
Coach Brown believes that group will come into its own this year. The Frontier League will again be a tough place to do that, too.
"Gardner, Wellsville and Paola are always strong and are good programs," she said. "They lost a lot of seniors last year, but had good JV teams.
"I think we can be more competitive, even with those top teams," said Brown. "We had a lot of girls who played in the off season. We look young on paper, but we have our top hitters back and our returning setter. Even though we look young, we're experienced."
There are 18 players on the junior varsity team. Juniors are: Kasey Pittenger, Erica Johnson, MartiKay Hess, Crystal Benton, Hollie Jensen and Tiffany Tatom. Sophomores are: Cory Thompson, Kyla Lewis, Sheila Zook, Angie Bacon, Amanda Anderson, Lesnita Kalb, Cassie Mayo, Stacy Lassman, Nicole Charles, Meggie Smith, Jen Black and Jamie Ballard.
Freshmen out for their first high school sport are: Sarah Barkley, Sheena Beets, Trisha Cox, Kara Everett, Leslie Haeffner, Kelli Harris, Lindsey Hitchcock, Katie Krysztof, Kayla Lefever, Kate Richards, Bailey Stuart, Kara Tompkins, Rebecca Verhaeghe and Jessica Walter.
"I think our freshman class looks like it will be a good class," said Brown.
The freshman team will have its first game at 5 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Paola.