The Holden Lady Eagles volleyball team takes to the court this week with three matches scheduled following an interruption to the start of the season caused by a suspension of practices due to a Covid-19 safety guideline.
The volleyball team is looking to continue its success from last season when Holden posted an overall record of 13-4, and repeated as champions of the MRVC-East volleyball season, posting a conference record of 9-1.
“We got a lot of court time and game time this summer, so hopefully, that will show when we get on the court,” says Holden volleyball head coach Julie Carver. “We worked on fundamentals all summer. “We really focused on defense first, and defense in general over the summer.” Coach Carver looks to seven seniors, and seven juniors to guide this year’s team into the season. “I expect our senior and junior class to lead us throughout the season,” says the head coach. “They will be a big part of our team.” This year’s senior representation of Elaina Young, Kalie Slack, Laila Seiz, Emma Lohe, Brady Hinton Lena Weeks, and Angelica Pasquall will step up as team elders to replace graduated players Jill Casey and Lily Stoyko. Juniors on this year’s squad include Gracie Carver, GiGi Jones, J’Lee Jones, Kelsey Lailer, Tristyn Powell, Sarah Ayler, Natalie Moss. “This is a veteran team that should be able to handle adversity,” says coach Carver. “I expect them to be confident, and compete every night. “Last year’s seniors provided a ton of leadership, and the junior class (from last year) is ready to fill those shoes. They have done a nice job this summer leading this team.”
Last season, Lohe, Hinton, Seiz, Slack, and Powell each received all-conference recognition. Lohe was also named to the all-district team. “This is a solid group of players that are not amazing at any one skill, but are good at all skills,” highlights coach Carver. “We should be very balanced and consistent.”
The lone sophomore on the team is Alexis West. Incoming freshmen on the roster include Izzy Guinn, Cami Gibson-Agee, Jaci Gower, Kia Harmon, Lilee Keller, Grace Kendrich, and Emalee Haggard. Sophomore Masyn Powell returns for his second season serving as the volleyball team’s manager.
Joining coach Carver in her third season since returning lead the Eagles volleyball program is third-year assistant coach Tonya Mallinson, and first-year assistant Cindy Keller. “Team highlights from last year were how resilient the kids were to an ever-changing schedule, and winning our conference,” notes coach Carver as this year’s team has already experienced a change brought on by Covid-19 safety measures. “I always expect us to compete for the conference title, and I think Knob Noster and Higginsville will be solid as usual. “We will have to win some tough matches to win conference,” predicts coach Carver who heads into the season with anticipation built upon the large group of talented upperclass players. “What excites me most is we have depth and experience,” says coach Carver. “We should be fun to watch as we will play with energy and enthusiasm, and work hard every night we hit the court.”
The Lady Eagles volleyball team was scheduled to hit the court, and begin the season on the road at Oak Grove on Tuesday this week.
On Wednesday, the Lady Eagles were set to play Cole Camp in Holden’s first home game of the season.
This Thursday, September 9, the Lady Eagles host Harrisonville.
The JV match is scheduled for 5 p.m. JV game, and is followed by the varsity match at approximately 6.