Ladycats work to grow as a team

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Cassville volleyball squad has not exactly started the season the way they wanted. The team, which finished up the Willard Tournament this weekend, is now 0-7 (0-2); however, the girls and their coach are undeterred.

"We're a young team that needs to grow and mature," said Coach Mandy Henry. "I strongly believe that we will be a different team by the end of the season."

Cassville has shown potential this season. The girls traveled to McDonald County in the first competition of the year and lost in the first set 19-25. The Lady Mustangs, who were district champions last year, then pulled away in set number two 11-25.

The Mustangs' 2006 district championship team looked a lot like Cassville does this year. McDonald County came into last year's district tournament with a less than stellar 13-13-4 record but swept the tournament to advance on to the state playoffs.

Because of Cassville's youth, the Ladycats might also follow this trend and as they continue to gel throughout the season will turn things around.

Cassville also played two conference match-ups this week. The Volleycats lost to Monett 18-25, 18-25 and also to East Newton 6-25, 12-25.

The squad finished the week out with a trip to Willard. While there, the Ladycats saw some top competition and learned from losses to Salem, Willard, Savannah and Mt. Vernon.

Thus far on the year some key players have stood out for Cassville. Marti Richmiller, a sophomore, finished the week with 13 kills, nine digs, five assists, three aces and one block.

Olivia Cline, a sophomore, served up 18 assists, six aces, four digs and one block for the week.

Others who did well this week included: Stephanie Sizemore, 10 digs; Emily Orrell, six digs; Destiny Massey, four digs; and Natalie Cline, one block.

"We are facing some adversity," said Coach Henry, "They (the girls) have not given up and continue to play hard and try to do the right things."

Henry stays positive and sees a bright future for her team.

"We will see the benefits of their labor as long as they keep a team attitude and continue to improve," said Henry.

The Wildcats will have ample opportunity to get some wins this week. They travel to Mt. Vernon on Thursday and then play in the Southwest tournament this weekend. Cassville also will play at Blue Eye on Monday, Sept. 17 and then at home on Tuesday, Sept. 18 against Lamar.

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