Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

August 1, 2012

Small packages

McMurtrey hopes dynamite comes in small packages

GLASGOW — Robin McMurtrey, the veteran volleyball coach at Barren County High School, has been diligently working her team out through most of the summer. They’ve been lifting weights, running and going through numerous drills in preparation of the start of the 2012 season.

And that focused attention to hard work will be very important this season. The Trojanettes will have a new look this year as many of Barren County’s big hitters have graduated.

“This year, because we’re going to be much smaller, we’re going to have to be much faster,” said McMurtrey. “We’re going to have to cover the court much better defensively. Last year, we had an offensive edge because we had so much height. This year, we’re going to have be a defensive team.

“We had big blockers last year, so our back row didn’t have to work as hard. But we don’t have big blockers now so our back row will have to cover more of the floor. We’re going to have to be faster.”

The Trojanettes will play a scrimmage match at Warren Central on Thursday and open the regular season on Tuesday against South Warren.

And so far, McMurtrey said things are going well. The coach has been very pleased with what she’s seen in practice.

“We’re a little bit ahead of the game right now. We’re hitting it every day,” said McMurtrey. “I was a little concerned because I was going to lose some good players, but we’re farther along as a team now than I thought we would be. I think that’s because we have some good leadership on our team. I have eight seniors this year. That’s so important because we have so many young kids.”

The team includes freshmen Cheyenne Bartley, Auna Combs, Maddie Costlow, Claira Estes, Hannah Gerald, Cassie Gray, Amber Jones, Abbiey Matthews, McKenzee Pedigo, Ally Robertson, Anndouglas Springer, Madison Wyatt; sophomores Lindsey Forbis, Ashley Holland; juniors Bailey Birge, Krista Hawkins, Alyssa Holland, Erika LeFevre;  and seniors Kelsey Cummings, Jordan Gardner, Rayna Glass, Paige London, Kelsay Manion, Kelsey Sturgeon, Stephanie Tolliver and Katilyn Wyatt.

“We’re very good servers and we’re very consistent on the serve,” McMurtrey said.

“We can run one setter or two setters. We have good passers in the backrow and that means we can have some good hitters. Because of our size we’re going to have to try some new things, but I think they’re up to the challenge. I think we’re going to be fine.”

And McMurtrey believes she has the players to make sure the Trojanettes are “fine.”

“Kelsay Manion can play anywhere. She can play the back row and she can hit from any position,” McMurtrey explained.

“Jordan Gardner is our setter and she has nice hands. And that position is important to the team because if you can’t set the ball, you can hit. Katilyn Wyatt is probably our best defensive player,. She covers the floor well.

“Bailey Birge, a junior, will be a very good hitter and she is probably one of the most experienced players we have. You will see some of our younger kids playing on the varsity and that’s fine with me. We started a middle school program and that has greatly increased the skill level of the players when I get them in high school.”

McMurtrey is very confident in her squad this year and she believes the Trojanettes will make some noise at the regional level.

“We should be around the top in the district. We should do just fine in the district,” said McMurtrey.

“In the region, it will be difficult to compete against some of the Bowling Green schools because they have some big hitters and big blockers. But, I know we will still be competitive.”

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