CCNA FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Lady Rams

Coach Becky Lipasek is new to the Riverton Lady Rams, but not to high school volleyball. Coach Lipasek, with 27 years teaching and coaching, has recently retired from Missouri. Most recently from Branson.

"I have two daughters with one attending Pittsburg State University, and they have extended family here in Southeast Kansas," said Coach Lipasek. "Coming from a large high school to a smaller school will be a nice change of pace. I believe I can be closer to the girls and get to know them and their families better."

The Lady Rams won-lost record has been down, but with six seniors out, Riverton should be very competitive. Seniors, both at 5’ 8” and middle/outside hitters, are Jamee Compton and Alyssa Saunders. At 5’ 5” McKayla Lee is a setter. Outside hitters are 5’ 6” Elaine Darcey and 5’ 11” Jurnee Adams.

A newcomer from Branson High School is junior 5’ 7” Kellyn Lipasek, and is slated as a setter and outside hitter. Sophomores include 5’5” Libero/outside hitter Danielle Weaver, and 5’ 9” middle hitter Zoey Mitchell. As a setter and outside hitter is 5’ 9” Camryn Compton.

Experienced assistant coaches are Jessica Tabor and Julia Springer.

Lady Lions

It will be hard to top the 2016 volleyball season for Baxter Springs. In her first year as a head coach, Alayna Von Moss guided the Lady Lions to a regional championship and to a fourth place finish in the Kansas state tournament.

Another outstanding accomplishment for Baxter Springs was Kansas Volleyball Association’s selection for First Team All Academic. Nine student athletes finished the 2016 fall semester with a 4.0 grade average. As a combined team the Lady Lions compiled a 3.84 grade average.

Thirteen players received varsity letters last year. Coach Von Moss and assistant Morgan Westervelt return eight of them. Sophomore Delaney Barnes, a 5’ 11” outside hitter, received Honorable Mention as a freshman on the CNC League team.

Whitney Holstrom, a 5- 8” senior, returns after not playing her junior year because of an injury. Seniors 5- 8” Ryleigh Sills, with great leaping ability returns upfront. As does 5’ 4” Kallie Cook who plays as a defensive specialist.

Also returning as last year starters are juniors 5’ 10” outside hitter Kassity Shafer,, 5’ 4” Libero Bridgett Dewey, and 5’ 9” weak side hitter Abbey Underhill. Underhill will be side lined for the first few weeks because of an ankle injury. Chloe Wilson, a junior 5‘ 11” transfer starter from Wellington Kansas is projected as a middle hitter. Also, a junior, is weak side hitter 5’ 6” Hanna Draper.

With varsity experience as freshmen are 5’ 5” Averi Wilson and 5’ 4” Delainey Anderson as defensive specialists.

"We lost five seniors from last year, with three that never left the court," said Coach Von Moss. "We are short on starting experience, but we have a nice well rounded bunch of athletes with numerous players between 5- 8” and 5’ 11”. Height and athleticism is always good in volleyball. We expect nothing less than return to state."

Lady Bulldogs

With 21 players out at Galena, Coach Cory Perry will tackle coaching a new sport for him, volleyball. Coach Perry has been a long time softball and basketball coach, but decided to apply his ability to volleyball in mid-June of this year.

"I’m just beginning to get a good feeling of this squad," he said.

The Lady Bulldogs return only one senior, 5’ 4” setter Gracie Qualls from a team that struggled without a victory in 2016. Four girls had varsity experience last year. Juniors Davin Downey, a 5’ 6” hitter, 5 ’4 “ Libero Hanna Huffman, and 5’ 4” setter Jodie Howard. Sophomore 5’ 7” Briley Krouse is an outside hitter and received Honorable Mention as a freshman on the CNC League team.

"We’ve been working hard, and we have some sophomores that need to step-up," said Coach Perry.

Those sophomore being: Allyson Campion, a 5’ 8” middle hitter, 5’ 6” outside hitter Gracie Sullivan, outside hitter 5’ 6” Haley Pence, setter 5’ 3” Addyson DeCocq, and 5’ 5” hitter Chloe Hornbeck.

"For a program that need to improve, we have 10 freshmen out," Coach Perry said of the future for the Lady Bulldogs.

Lady Titans

The Columbus Lady Titans will again be coached by Melissa Smith. The Lady Titans struggled last year but are returning a solid squad for 2017.