2022 Fall Preview: Clever Volleyball


By Chris Parker

Clever volleyball has a new head coach in Briana Walsh this year. Walsh, a graduate of Clever, was the head coach at Springfield Central last year.

“I graduated from Clever and grew up playing volleyball here,” Walsh said. “I knew I could build upon the culture that has already been created. I am invested in these kids and this community. I have an incredible coaching staff from our middle school through our high school and that makes a huge difference because it truly takes a village.”

Clever graduated its top two hitters who were both all-conference selections from last year’s 15-win team, but there is still plenty of experience returning.

That returning group is led by seniors Rylea King, Abbi Street and Lindy Twigg.

“Rylea King will be our libero and just brings a consistency in her passing and defensive, as well as a calmness that we need,” Walsh said. “Abbi Street will be a six-rotation outside hitter for us and very much a leader with how she plays the game. She is extremely coachable and a great teammate. Lindy Twigg will be one of our setters this season and does a great job connecting with our hitters and being a voice on the court.”

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King led the team in digs (389) and serve receptions (480) on her way to honorable mention all-conference honors last year. Street had 98 kills as a junior. Twigg was second on the team in assists with 305.

Junior Morgan Bos returns in the middle where she was able to put down 172 kills as a sophomore.

“Morgan Bos will be a returning junior and will be very dynamic in the middle for us,” Walsh said. “She is an exciting player to watch and is definitely our ‘hype’ person.”

Classmate Jenna Thompson also returns and will see a bigger role at outside hitter. She is also a strong passer and defensive player.

Sophomore Audrey Riley has impressed in the off-season and will be a newcomer to the varsity level this year.

“Audrey Riley will have a big impact on varsity this year,” Walsh said. “She has worked hard and has put herself in a good position because she is a ‘jack of all trades’ kind of player. She can set, swing, pass, and play defense.”

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Fellow sophomores Addie Gilmore and Chandler Friend will also see varsity time.

Consistency will be key for Clever in Walsh’s first season.

“We have the ability to be a very consistent team if we continue to work together and trust the process,” Walsh said. “I believe we can be a great passing and defensive team. We want to be able to outlast teams in rallies without making a lot of unnecessary errors and I think we can be that team.”

Clever will host a jamboree on Aug. 25 with Webb City and Mt. Vernon before opening the regular season on Aug. 30 at home against Crane.

“I have a great group of kids from our incoming freshmen to our seniors,” Walsh said. “I want them to feel connected, buy-in to the overall vision, and feel sheer joy in playing together no matter what the outcome is. I hope to create an environment where these kids look forward to showing up every day.”

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