Ladycats are a mix of experience, youth
Surprises could be in store for Ladycat volleyball fans as the program begins the 2006 season under the direction of new coach Mandy Henry.
"This will be a building year for us, although I think we will surprise some people," said Coach Henry. "I am excited to see how we look once we get everything in place."
Henry has no shortage of talent to chose from with 25 girls filling out the junior varsity and varsity rosters.
The squad will be led by four returning starters who include: Abby Munoz, 5-foot-6 senior middle hitter; Chelsea Corn, 5-foot-7 senior outside/middle hitter; Holley Skinner, 5-foot-8 senior middle hitter; and Katie Hynes, 5-foot-8 junior outside hitter.
The squad will also benefit from the experience of one returning letterman. Junior Destiny Massey is coming back as defensive specialist after a successful sophomore season.
New to the team this year will be junior Michelle Roberts. The defensive specialist is listed as one of the coach's top prospects. Henry also expects several freshman to see some varsity time.
"I have a talented freshman class that I'm looking forward to seeing develop," said Henry. "Out of our 25 girls, 15 of them are freshmen."
In addition to returning starters, returning letterwinners and top prospects, the 2006 Ladycat squad includes: senior Jordan Davis; junior Rashell Dorris; sophomores Whitley Willard and Kyra Asbury; and freshmen Marti Richmiller, Katie Gregory, Emily Orrell, Janay Ragland, Mandi Sizemore, Chelsea Addison, Stephanie Sizemore, Airica Baker, Sami Alcala, Olivia Cline, Shelbi Shipman, Natalie Cline, Belinda Long, Naomi Beck and Liz Haney.
Players listed as setters on the roster include Richmiller, Alcala, Roberts, Olivia Cline and Long.
When asked to assess Cassville's competition this season, Coach Henry mentions two area rivals.
"We saw Mt. Vernon at team camp and split with them. They are tough," said Henry. "Everyone tells me that Aurora will be the team to beat however."
The Ladycats open their season on Aug. 29 on the road against McDonald County. The team's first home game is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31. Cassville will play host to Blue Eye.
Coach Henry will be joined courtside this season by new Assistant Coach Janet McNeill.